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?