The Giant’s Ring, located on the outskirts of Belfast, was built around 2700 BC making it older than the Egyptian pyramids! Northern Ireland’s equivalent of Stonehenge, this earthwork circle is set in the middle of beautiful farmland near the Shaw’s Bridge crossing of the River Lagan (which has been used as a crossing since the stone age). In the middle of the circle is a tomb made up of five upright stones and a large capstone, the bare frame of what was originally a chambered grave, covered with a cairn of stones and earth.
The exact purpose of the henge is not known--some say that it served as a meeting point and ritual area as bones have been excavated from the surrounding areas. In the 18th century, Giant’s Ring was used for horseracing. With beautiful views across the Lagan Valley, the Ring is a favorite spot for locals and tourists to picnic, walk or cycle.
There are some wonderful walking trails in the area, including the Giant's Ring Path, which takes walkers through the beautiful countryside of Minnowburn and Ballynahatty, beginning in the car park by Minnowburn Beeches. This trail takes about two hours and is a circular route, which will loop back to where you left your car.
For more information on the Giant’s Ring Path: