Divis & Black Mountains rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills range which run from the edge of Lisburn to Newtownabbey.
Divis or Dubhais, meaning ‘black ridge’, refers to the dark basalt bedrock & stands at 478 metres with its lower sister, Black Mountain standing at 390 metres, making Divis the highest point in the Belfast Hills.
The mountains provide a varied landscape & is home to a host of wildlife & the backdrop to the city's skyline but for many years this area has been off limits as it was utilised by the Ministry Of Defence. However recently a new mountain top coffee shop, the Divis Coffee Barn has arrived & proper walking trails makes walking in these hills more accessible for everyone.
I have lived near these hills all my life and yet it was not until recently that I walked up here and it a great spot to 'clear the head' & see Belfast from a very different perspective. As a photographer it presents many many opportunities to catch images such as the one in this blog - a simple shot of a young couple as the sun sets and they are silhouetted on the horizon.
As I have only been walking on the hills since late summer, all of my photography up here has been about capturing daytime panoramas of the City from the Ridge Trail, but I have set a couple of goals - firstly, whilst the sunsets are stunning, the City will look more beautiful if I can catch it bathed in an early morning winter sunrise. This will however require an early start, as sunrise is around 8am at present and its a half hour drive from my house to the car park & a further 40 minute walk to the Ridge! Secondly I would love to get snowy or frosty shots - that, of course, will require it to be a bit colder that the unseasonably mild weather we are experiencing at present - the other problem I will have if we do get the snowy conditions, is getting there since the car park is on the top of the Divis Road!!
For now I will settle for a few longer walks over the hills, perhaps even parking one car at Divis & the other at Cavehill - that should make a good long walk!!!