With the London Marathon coming up (22nd April) why not rival the runners in London and visit one of the many parks and green spaces in Lisburn & Castlereagh for a run? With trails ranging from 40 acres to 11 miles there's somewhere to suit everybody's needs.
Castle Gardens is set within the heart of Lisburn. The formal gardens are the perfect place for beginners to start their fitness journey as they connect with nature and enjoy the views of Lisburn. While you're in the gardens, look closely along the old stone and brick walls of the terraced gardens and you will spot the lime-loving Hart's-tongue Fern and the creeping Ivy-leaved Toadflax growing from small gaps in the mortar.
Stretching between Lisburn and Belfast at eleven miles, Lagan Valley Regional Park is a great choice for experienced runners and beginners alike as the park has been accredited with both a Quality Medium Distance Walk and High Quality Short Walks through Walk NI. The park is also popular with those who are training for marathons, 10K and 5K runs as the regional park has a 10k trail stretching from Lisburn to Belfast.
Moira Demesne offers over 40 acres of parkland with many different walkways across the park, so runners have plenty to explore. If you prefer to run with a group, Jog Moira meet every Monday and Wednesday in the park at 7pm. Park Run have a Junior class for those aged between 4 - 14. Held on a Sunday morning at 9:30 am and free to join, it's great for kids who are active. With volunteers on hand to look after the kids its a great chance for them to get out and make new friends.
Wallace Park is a very popular choice with runners in Lisburn, the 25 acre park offers a green oasis in an otherwise urban landscape. The park is also the meeting space of Jog Lisburn which has been active since 2013. With over 150 members they welcome runners of all abilities and meet in the park on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6.30pm - 7.30pm with training sessions suited to the members needs. Can't make Jog Lisburn? Park Run Lisburn meet once a week on Saturday mornings at 9:30am.
Hillsborough Forest Park is set in the picturesque village of Hillsborough, the park offers runners the chance to really challenge themselves in its 200 acre grounds which are suitable for those who are training for 5k, 10k and marathons. The trail around the lake has become popular with runners due to 1.5 mile trail stretching across the entire park which is perfect for runners of all abilities as the lake provides the perfect scenery for you to start your fitness journey.