By Rachel Skinner
Connswater Community Greenway has launched a Van Morrison themed tourist trail in east Belfast. The trail connects the places that inspired the young Van with the lyrics from some of his most celebrated songs.
The singer was on hand to officially launch the self-guided 3.5km trail in the Hollow, which features in his classic song Brown Eyed Girl. The Connswater River forms in the Hollow, where the Knock and Loop rivers meet, and it flows through east Belfast, and down to the sea at Belfast Lough.
Speaking at the launch, Van said: “The Hollow, Orangefield, Hyndford Street, Cyprus Avenue, North Road, St Donard’s Church, and the Connswater River all bring back happy memories of my years in the East.”
The trail was developed as part of the Connswater Community Greenway project, which received funding from the Big Lottery Fund. The self-guided trail includes many of the places that are mentioned in Van’s lyrics and using a mobile phone app, the trail map allows visitors to listen to 12 song extracts at key points along the route.
Wendy Langham, Connswater Community Greenway project programme manager, said they were delighted to recognise Van’s contribution to the area. “Many people ask us for information about Van’s music and his links to east Belfast. It is great that we now have The Van Morrison Trail to give to his fans which we know will be extremely popular with visitors and residents alike,” she said.
Download a copy of the trail map from www.communitygreenway.co.uk/vanmorrisontrail