Van Morrison returns to East Belfast to launch his first ever tourist trail

Van Morrison in partnership with us, the Connswater Community Greenway has launched a self-guided trail in east Belfast in the Hollow, an area which featured in his well-known song Brown Eyed Girl.

The Mystic of the East - Van Morrison Trail connects the places that inspired Van in east Belfast with the lyrics from some of the famous singer’s most celebrated songs.

On Friday 21st August 2014,  when Van returns to perform at Orangefield High School, as part of the EastSide Arts Festival, Van enthusiasts are in for a real treat as they can now discover more about the place that Belfast’s most outstanding musical genius calls home through the self guided trail.

(Van Morrison down in The Hollow launching the Mystic of the East trail)

Speaking at the launch of the trail down in The Hollow Van said,

“The Hollow, Orangefield, Hyndford Street, Cyprus Avenue, North Road, St Donard’s Church, the Connswater River, all bring back happy memories of my years in the East."

The trail, developed as part of the Connswater Community Greenway project, is a 3.5km journey through those “ancient streets” where Van grew up. The self-guided trail incorporates many of the places that are referenced in Van’s lyrics and music and the accompanying trail map allows visitors to listen to 12 song extracts at various key locations using QR codes. This added feature requires a QR reader, which can be downloaded for free from your app store to your phone or device. 

George Jones, former Monarchs band member and friend said,

“Reading the trail takes me back to times spent with Van in Orangefield by the Beechie River. It’s great the way the trail and the songs capture those memories and the landmarks that were an integral part of our childhood.”

Belfast undoubtedly owes much to Van Morrison and the Connswater Community Greenway Team is delighted to be able to recognise and celebrate his contribution to the city and the area. Programme Manager Wendy Langham said,

“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.”   

You can get your copy of the trail in a number of ways; pick one up at the CCG office, send an A5 stamped addressed envelope to Connswater Community Greenway, Avalon House, 278-280 Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 1HE or download from

Let us know what you think of the trail on Facebook or by tweeting us @ConnswaterCG