Do you have any suggestions for walks in Northern Ireland with stunning views?

Do you have any suggestions for walks in Northern Ireland with...

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Posted Fri 24 Sep 2021 10:46 AM
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Tue 12 Oct 2021 12:26 PM Visits: 506
Absolutely! Walking is a great way to explore the area you’re visiting, and Northern Ireland is full of fun hikes with some truly astonishing views. With so many to choose from, we’ve compiled some of our favourite hikes to get you started.

Beginning in Belfast, Cave Hill walk is an absolute must if you’re visiting the capital. Known as Belfast’s “sleeping giant”, this craggy hill’s most famous feature, Napoleon’s Nose, is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Start the hike at Belfast Castle and follow the green marked arrows all the way through woodland, past a large bowl-like crater known as the Devil’s Punchbowl, all the way to the top. Panoramic views of Belfast await your arrival!

Next up is the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail in County Fermanagh, which is located around 16km outside of Enniskillen town and offers stunning views of Cuilcagh Mountain. The marked boardwalk path will take you around three hours to complete and has breathtaking views of the surrounding lowlands with the mountainside in the background. Aptly nicknamed The Stairway to Heaven, the trail boasts 450 steps that will take you to the summit, with amazing views from the top.

Have your pick of hiking adventures at Castle Ward in County Down. There are lots of walking trails here, passing by historic landmarks or through wildlife hotspots. Choose the Castle Trail which leads you around Audley Castle, built back in the 15th century. Be sure to climb to the top for some stunning panoramic views of the entire estate and Castle Ward Bay! Castle Ward Farm Trail is another standout route that is ideal for spotting wildlife, as it passes through the old stone garden and Castle Ward Farmyard. The farmyard was also a filming location for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

For a more relaxing walk, still with picturesque views, Downhill Demesne Walking Trail is a stunning route that takes you past one of the island of Ireland’s most photographed spots, the 18th century Mussenden Temple. With beautiful coastal views along the cliffs, the walk is perfect for mixing blasts of sea air with quiet moments in the sheltered apple orchard within the demesne’s historic walled garden. Boasting gravel and grass paths, this trail only has a few steep steps and is an easy 3.2km scenic route.

Fancy more of a challenge? Northern Ireland’s highest peak is Slieve Donard. At around 850m, the mountain is the highest peak in the Mourne Mountains, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Northern Ireland. With mainly forest and mountain paths, this route takes about five hours return and can be steep in places. On a clear day, the views from the summit will stretch as far as the Isle of Man, Wicklow, Donegal, Wales and even Scotland!

Do any of our community members have a favourite walking spot in Northern Ireland? 
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Posted Mon 27 Sep 2021 2:28 PM
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Thank you Georgina for those excellent suggestions!  I am delighted to add another amazing walk to your list, probably my favourite in this area, where I must admit we are spoilt for choice!

It is an off-road section of the Causeway Coast Way, stretching for 7.3 km between the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Dunseverick Castle to the east: https://www.walkni.com/walks/causeway-coast-way/  The grassy path takes you along the top of the cliff and is probably the best way to fully appreciate the unique rock strata and formations that make this part of the coastline so special.  The cliff path can be accessed from either point but make sure to explore the Giant's Causeway, consisting of clusters of hexagonal stones that disappear into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean when you visit.

The cliff path is accessed by the Shepherd's Steps that take you up past a rock formation known as The Organ and from there the path heads east, taking in beautiful scenery as you pass a series of precipitous coves.  One of these coves is known as Port na Spaniagh and contains the wreck of The Girona, one of the ships from the Spanish Armada fleet. Some of its salvaged treasure can be seen at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.  The path undulates round to the highest point at Hamilton's Seat, some 300 feet above sea level and on to the scant remains of Dunseverick Castle.  On a clear day you can clearly see Scotland and some of its islands.

If you wish to do the walk in one direction only then there is a Causeway Rambler bus stop at both the Giant's Causeway and Dunseverick Castle so you can hop on the bus and have a relaxing return journey.  The number of the bus is 172/402 and you can get the timetable at: https://www.translink.co.uk 

To find our more about the Causeway Coast and Glens please take a look at our web site: https://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com 

Best regards,
Anne


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