Clement Wilson Park has several footpaths that link to the Lagan towpath, route 9 of the National Cycle Network and nearby Barnett Demesne. The River Lagan flows through the park, making it a popular place to spot kingfishers and grey wagtails. John Luke Bridge is named after a local artist. The bridge improves access for pedestrians and cyclists.
Getting to Clement Wilson Park
Enter the park at Newforge Lane. Take Metro no.8 from Belfast city centre and get off at Newforge Lane junction. Metro no. 93 also serves the park. If you are walking or cycling, you can also enter the park at Malone Road, just after the House of Sport roundabout.
History of the park
Clement Wilson Park was originally occupied by a clog factory, which produced goods for people working in the mills and other industries.
In 1929, Wilson Management Ltd bought the factory site and 25 acres of land to the north-east of Shaw's Bridge. Further land was added in 1943 and 1960, bringing the site to 54 acres.
Wilson Management Ltd decided to use the factory to produce soft fruit for canning. Some of the fruit was grown in orchards, which stood on what is now grassland belonging to the park beside Newforge Lane.
Because the company was located on the outskirts of Belfast, factory staff were unable to travel home for lunch. Instead, they spent their lunch break walking around the fields surrounding the factory.
After noticing how much his staff enjoyed using the site, company chairman Mr R Clement Wilson decided to landscape the grounds into gardens. The area became the first 'factory garden' in Northern Ireland.
The events of World War II changed Clement Wilson Park permanently. The factory closed and a water current, which began at Shaw's Bridge and fed water from the River Lagan to the site, was filled in using rubble from demolished air-raid shelters and buildings.
This covered millrace soon became a raised walkway and was known locally as Burmah Road. Today, it is the main path through the park.
In 1974, the council began negotiations with the Clement Wilson family to buy their site. They bought 41 acres of land to turn into a public park, which was named after the company chairman following a request from the family.
Clement Wilson Park officially opened to the public on 30 October 1975.
To find out about events and activities in Belfast parks, go to Park events.
Park opening hours
|29 July – 11 August 2020||9.30pm (9pm for Botanic Gardens)|
|12 – 25 August 2020||9pm|
|26 August – 1 September 2020||8.30pm|
|2 – 15 September 2020||8pm
|16 – 29 September 2020||7.30pm|
|30 September – 13 October 2020||7pm|
|14 – 20 October 2020||6.30pm|
|21 – 27 October 2020||5.30pm|
|28 October – 10 November 2020||5pm|
|11 November – 31 December 2020||4.30pm|