Stormont, or the ‘House on the Hill’ as it’s also known in Northern Ireland, is home to our sometimes turbulent NI Assembly – the closest equivalent is Parliament. Situated on the outskirts of Belfast, in the grounds of Stormont Estate, its position at the top of the hill affords it some stunning views of the city.
The grounds of the Estate are free to visit and open all year round. A popular spot with runners, walkers and wet noses, it’s a great place to practise some nature photography.
There’s something quite magical about spotting little pops of colour peep out from among the fallen leaves or watching new life make its home on a moist ledge of decaying bark. Although winter mightn’t be as colourfully diverse as the warmer seasons it’s the perfect showcase for the resilience of the natural world.
If you’re visiting the city you can catch a bus from Newtownards or the centre of Belfast that will drop you off at the gates of Stormont, or very close to them. Limited parking is available in front of the main gates though there is a bigger car park at the Upper Newtownards Road entrance. Parking is free. Pets are welcome on leads and the trails are great for runners and walkers. There’s also a playpark for the kids, toilet facilities and a couple of coffee shops if you need to shelter from the elements.
A lovely part of the world when you want to get away from it all and get a bit of muck on your shoes!
Until next time,