A NEW walking book, published by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI), highlights Cave Hill Country Park in North Belfast.

‘Rambling on the Rocks: Walking Northern Ireland’s Natural Landscape’ aims to take walkers on an epic geological journey across all of the north’s well-known, and a few less well-known, natural landscapes. One of the walks is through Cave Hill Country Park and tells the story of searing hot deserts, warm clear seas and violent volcanoes – all of which were once at this location.

Published as part of GSNI’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the walking guide has been written for the general public. It contains 20 walks in total: three in each county and two in Belfast, highlighting the very best of our natural landscapes, all of which have been illustrated with exceptional photography from renowned local photographers Esler Crawford, Alistair Hamill and Chris Hill.

The graded walks cater for all abilities, from the serious hill walker to families with young children and/or dogs.

Dr Marie Cowan, Director of the GSNI, outlined the main aims of the book.

“The new walking guide from GSNI shares with the public some of the wonderfully diverse natural landscapes of Northern Ireland,” she said.

“We are very fortunate to have some of the most diverse geology in the world, and the walks guide provides information on just how special these landscapes are by taking them on an exciting geological journey as they work their way through all of the walks in the book.

“We have tried to make the book accessible for everyone so have included walks from all across Northern Ireland and for all abilities, as well as giving practical information such as where to park your car, or get refreshments.”

The book contains walks that feature many famous natural landscapes of Northern Ireland including the Giant’s Causeway. It will take the reader on a geological time journey that includes violent volcanoes, icy wastelands and searing hot deserts, sometimes all within the same walk. It also includes many lesser-known landscapes and will allow the reader to explore new locations for themselves with all of the information they need to enjoy a day of walking.

In addition, each walk is packed full of other interesting material including history, archaeology, plants and wildlife and folklore, all of which can be directly linked in to the ground beneath your feet.

There are also some fascinating ‘Did You Knows?’ featuring everything from pirates and poets, to hermits and hawthorns.

The new book is available to purchase with an RRP of £7.99 and is available directly from GSNI, from Tesco and Eason’s as well as other major book stores.