It had been a while since my last visit to Giant’s Ring, so I thought I might as well make a return visit, seeing as there’s not much else to do. 

That last visit, in early January, was really enjoyable, helped by the weather. It was freezing, but it was nice and bright and made for some good photos.

I was glad to report, that the weather was the same for this visit, for which I arrived just after 8am in order to avoid crowds.

You may have seen Giant’s Ring on the news recently, with a feature on Newsline on the Thursday before about littering at beauty spots in Northern Ireland.

Seriously folks, don’t be trampy. Put it in a bin, and if there are no bins, take it home with you and dispose of it.

Thankfully, there wasn’t the amount of rubbish lying about as there was in that news report.

As I got out of my car, I had a look across Belfast and could see sprinkles of snow at Blackmountain and Cavehill. 

There wasn’t a lot of people about. Those that were out and about were usually accompanied by a dog.

One particular dog kept coming over to me with a ball in it’s mouth, almost as if it was wanting me to take it out and throw it away for them to chase.

The triangle of Giant’s Ring, Minnowburn and Terrace Hill Garden isn’t too hard to navigate and can be easily covered.

There isn’t much I haven’t covered, but I did manage a detour on my way back from Minnowburn through a field I haven’t been through before.

That ended up taking me to Terrace Hill Garden. I didn’t plan on going there, but as I was there, it would have been rude not to get some photos. 

Whilst walking from Giant’s Ring to Minnowburn, I encountered some cows standing about in a field enjoying the sunshine. 

I even took a detour to Edenderry Nature Reserve to see what it was like. 

While walking along the bridge at Minnowburn, I noticed a carving in the stone saying “H. Burns 1955”. I doubt they would have believed it would still be there 66 years later.

As I returned towards my car, the weather started to get duller, so it looked like I timed my visit perfectly.

With the nights getting longer, I’ll be able to get out on my bike after work, freeing up Saturday mornings for hiking.

At the moment, I’ll just be doing Cavehill, Belvoir Park Forest, Giant’s Ring and Lisnabreeny Hill on a rotating basis.

Photo Album

Giant’s Ring/Minnowburn/Terrace Hill Garden – January 2021

Minnowburn – November 2020

Giant’s Ring – September 2020


Alan Shearer is the cover star of Football Europe as Europe’s three main competitions are set to return from Winter hibernation.

Fabrizio Ravanelli gets a four page profile as he aims to get into Italy’s World Cup squad.

The Quarter-Finals of the three main European competitions get previewed, with England being represented by a team in each competition.

The preview for Aston Villa’s tie against Atletico Madrid billed it as Brian Little’s toughest test in Europe as Villa manager. By the time of the first leg, he had resigned as Villa manager and was replaced by John Gregory.

Hoping to win the UEFA Cup, Lazio get a three page profile as they hope their big spending will be rewarded with trophies.

Off the pitch, figures at UEFA are fearful that Joao Havelange is planning to hold onto power at FIFA, despite announcing his retirement.

In Scotland, Alex McLeish has been appointed manager of struggling Hibernian, while Barcelona manager Louis Van Gaal has hit back at critics who say he is trying to turn Barcelona into Ajax.

Another Dutch manager outside his homeland will be Dick Advocaat, who has announced he will be leaving PSV Eindhoen to join Rangers next season.

As the countdown to the World Cup continues, Ciro Ferrera (Italy) and Juninho (Brazil) are facing a race against the clock to be fit for France.


“NEW YORKE” is the headline of this cover, but it’s nothing to do with America, it’s new Manchester United signing Dwight Yorke, who is also the cover star.

The early pages of the magazine is dominated by players staying at United – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying he wants to stay and fight for his place, and David Beckham signing a contract to stay with United until 2003.

Around this time, Paul Hayward was a columnist in the magazine, and he uses his column to comment on the number of clubs who are quick to sack their manager.

One United player with a keen interest in the European Cup group stage draw was Jordi Cruyff, who will be facing former club Barcelona.

United are a club who are constantly linked with players, with Andy Mitten writing a full page on the wonderful world of transfer rumours.

Dwight Yorke gets a five page feature, with an Aston Villa fanzine editor contributing his analysis of the player.

There is a look at United’s upcoming European Cup group games, with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Brondby getting a full page preview each.

Eric Cantona gets three pages as he makes his final appearance at Old Trafford in a friendly to commemorate forty years since the Munich Air Disaster.

Jaap Stam debuts as a columnist for the magazine, expressing his surprise that Patrick Kluivert didn’t sign for United.

If you’re going to a game at Old Trafford, there is a review of pubs in the city for you.

There are reviews of United’s early season games, while the magazine ends with a quiz between Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, with Giggs winning by 5 to 4.


I’m still here, I just haven’t done anything blogworthy over the past six weeks.

However, last Saturday, I headed to North Belfast for my monthly trip to Cavehill.

I struck it lucky with the weather. It was dry, which was nice. Even nicer, was that there was a lot of daylight for me to work with when getting photos. At least I avoided the 24 hours of rain that started that afternoon.

Regular readers will know that I wanted to turn up early enough to photograph the sunrise. Sadly, throughout the Winter, my bed was too cosy. Now, as Spring approaches, the sunrises are earlier, meaning I won’t be able to get there in time as the Car Park doesn’t open until 7.30am.

I arrived just after 8am. I would have arrived earlier, but I had a rotten run of luck with traffic lights.

Whilst the weather that morning was nice, having rained for a few days going into my visit, there was a lot of mud and puddles to navigate around.

It was also very windy, so like a member of U2 trying to maintain Social Distancing, it was best not to stand too close to The Edge.

As per usual, halfway up, I could see Solitude and Windsor Park at the same time. The temptation was there to see what view I could get of Cliftonville v Glenavon and Linfield v Carrick Rangers.

Briefly, there was even a small smattering of snowflakes falling down. Not lying on the ground but I still had to do a double take.

Eventually, I reached the top, McArt’s Fort, took in the view and got some photos.

However, on the way down, I took a different route. Instead of going straight down, I turned right.

The previous month, for my February walk, I headed that way.

If you’re wondering why there is no blog for this, it wasn’t really worth blogging about.

I happened to be in North Belfast that day, to collect a Decathlon delivery from ASDA. After that, I decided to pop along, only going to that point where you have to turn left or go up. I decided to go left to have a nosey.

That morning, was dull and grey, there were no good photos to be had, so I didn’t bother.

That path led me to Upper Hightown Road. There was one spot for a good view of Belfast, and the daylight set up some nice arty shots, just as I did when going down an alternative pathway to the Car Park at Innisfayle Park.

This wasn’t the only adventure I have been on since my last blog post.

In mid January, I headed to Belvoir Park Forest for a stroll, exploring more and more of it than I had previously. You can have a look at the photos here.

The following weekend, there was snow in Belfast. A nice surprise to wake up to. It didn’t last long though.

Unsurprisingly, I was out with my camera, even though the snow was underwhelming.

You can have a look at the photos here.

The following weekend, I headed to Blackmountain for my monthly walk up for January.

It was the first time I had been up there on a weekend, all my previous visits were on weekdays when I was using up Annual Leave.

Despite the fact it was 8.50am and freezing, the place was rammed. I won’t be heading up there on a Saturday for a while, not until I get my second jab. Haven’t even got my first one yet. The downside of being so young.

And worst of all, the weather was dull and grey, so I didn’t get any decent photos.

The following weekend, was the partial walk up Cavehill because I happened to be in North Belfast, mentioned earlier.

And then, more snow the following weekend. Just like in January, it was underwhelming and short lived. You can have a look at the photos here.

So that is what I’ve been up to. Up next on my hitlist is Cregagh Glen/Lisnabreeny Hill as I haven’t been there for a while.

Even though travel outside Belfast is restricted at the moment, there’s nothing wrong with having dreams and plans.

Easyjet have just announced flights between Belfast and Inverness, and they’re cheap. Might take that up in the next eighteen months for some Highland Rambling.

Slievenacloy in Lisburn is still on my radar, if I can find it.

I’m hoping to sneak off to Bray at some point this year, and visit Bray Head and Big Sugar Loaf.

Edinburgh Fringe is doubtful for this year. That’s just my opinion, but the scale of the event, I’ll be surprised if it happens. Even if it doesn’t return in August, I’ll still try to head there and do Arthur’s Seat towards the end of the year.

And of course, I have flights to Gatwick booked for July, so I’ll have to make a decision regarding wether to move them by June.

Regardless of when I go, I’ll probably ditch my hotel in London (free cancellation) instead and go to Brighton. If I do, I’ll try to sneak in Devil’s Dyke.

That are my plans for 2021 and 2022 but in the short-term, Cavehill again at some point in April 2021.

And you may see photos of it on a new Flickr account for all of my 2021 Photo Adventures. You can find it here.

Photo Album

Cavehill – January 2021

Cavehill – November 2020

Cavehill – October 2020

Cavehill – August 2020

Cavehill – June 2020

Cavehill – February 2020

Cavehill – November 2019


Ronaldo (the original, not Cristiano) is the cover star of World Soccer having won World Player Of The Year, a year where he was top scorer in the World Cup.

It was a double celebration for him, with Brazil winning Team Of The Year. Guus Hiddink of South Korea won Manager Of The Year.

All three winners get profiled.

2002 was the year that saw the death of Jeff Astle at the age of 59, believed to be as a result of heading footballs in the 1960s and 1970s, and an editorial calls for a proper inquiry.

Having had an awful World Cup, France are back in winning form, and there is an interview with new manager Jacques Santini about the turnaround in form, as well as a feature on the new players he has brought into the squad.

Another one of Bazil’s stars getting featured is Juninho, who has endured a frustrating time since the World Cup, having suffered from injuries.

Also getting a profile is Lazio manager Roberto Mancini, who has had to deal with financial problems at the club which has resulted in players not getting paid.

Republic Of Ireland are in a mess after losing their first two Euro 2004 Qualifiers, which has resulted in the resignation of manager Mick McCarthy.

Livingston get profiled, having finished 3rd in the SPL, having ambitious plans for the future, building an academy and being a feeder club for Manchester United.

In Italy, the news has been dominated by an upsurge in fan violence.

One of the players profiled is Benjamin Mwaruwari of Auxerre. You may know him better as Benjani, who had a spell in England with Portsmouth and Manchester City.

In Northern Ireland, Glentoran are six points clear at the top of the league after nine successive wins.

Also getting profiled in this edition is Simon Davies of Tottenham Hotspur and Wales and Andy Van Der Mayde of Ajax and Holland.


Betty Boo is the cover star of Smash Hits, an edition which reveals that she has a secret.

In news, Axl Rose held a Lobster Party for 120 friends at a cost of $30,000.

Staying with US Rock singers, there is an interview with Ugly Kid Joe singer Whit Crane.

Another US singer being interviewed is Billy Ray Cyrus, who worked as a Car Salesman before hitting the big time.

Cover star Betty Boo is the subject to a joint interview with The Chippendales.

In reviews, Take That’s debut Album, and Alien 3 both get 4 out of 5.

In ads, there was an advert for the next edition of Smash Hits, which has a poster of Madonna, while this edition ends with a poster of Madness.