To help with social distancing, we are trialling a one-way system at the Waterworks. It is very important that everyone observes strict social distancing in our parks. A safe distance means staying at least two metres from everyone else in the park.
Free WiFi is available in the social pavilion.
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The park is home to the Waterworks multi-sports facility. It also includes a community garden, where local volunteers grow their own fruit and vegetables and two children's playgrounds. The Waterworks is also a popular spot for walkers and offers several varied routes.
History of the park
The Belfast Waterworks were established in the early 1840s by the Water Commissioner. The site supplied water to the city's factories and residents for 20 years before demand began to outstrip supply.
In 1897 a public meeting was held to decide the future of the Waterworks and a suggestion was made that the site should be used for water-based activities.
The site's owners, the Water Board, were initially hesitant, as their operation licence only extended to providing the city with water and they did not want to sell their land to the Belfast Corporation (now the Belfast City Council). However, following an Act of Parliament in 1889, the Water Board were allowed to use the Waterworks for leisure, provided they spent no more than £500 per year on the site.
Tom Boyce, a boating contractor who operated the Ormeau ferry across the River Lagan, was commissioned by the Water Board to provide 12 rowing boats for the site. Public bathing soon followed, as did diving and swimming galas, speedboat racing in 1929 and model yacht sailing in 1933.
The Waterworks were bought by the Belfast Corporation in 1956. They decided to partially fill in both of the site's reservoirs for safety reasons. The work took ten years to complete.
Since then, the upper pond has been stocked with trout for the local angling club and two manmade islands have been added to encourage waterfowl to breed.
We have a mobile coffee kiosk at the Waterworks.
We have installed public access defibrillators for park users at the Waterworks.
Park opening hours
Our parks are open during coronavirus (COVID-19) except Bridges Urban Sports Park. This park is closed.
If visiting your local park, you must follow social distancing guidance.
Orangefield Park and Victoria Park are open 24 hours every day. The rest of our parks open at 7.30am and close at the following times throughout the year.
If a park contains a 3G pitch, park gates may remain open while the pitches are booked for play. Users must leave the park promptly after play finishes on the 3G pitches as the park gates will be locked within 15 minutes.
|15 April - 28 April 2020
|29 April – 5 May 2020
||9.30pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
|6 May – 28 July 2020
||10pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
|29 July – 11 August 2020
||9.30pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)
|12 – 25 August 2020
|26 August – 1 September 2020
|2 – 15 September 2020
|16 – 29 September 2020
|30 September – 13 October 2020
|14 – 20 October 2020
|21 – 27 October 2020
|28 October – 10 November 2020
|11 November – 31 December 2020
Find out what events we have planned in our parks
Enter the park at Antrim Road or Cavehill Road. If you are travelling by bus, take Metro no.1A-H from Belfast city centre.
The Waterworks has been awarded the Green Flag Award every year from 2012 to 2019. This award recognises the best open spaces in the UK.
The Waterworks is an oasis for wildfowl in north Belfast. You can find many greylag geese and mute swans, as well as mallards, tufted ducks, coots, pochards, goldeneyes, cormorants and great-crested grebes in the park. You can also find redwings and fieldfares feeding on the grass. Visitors can enjoy the ponds and scenic views.
View walking routes
077697 06945 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm only)