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Six Epic Hikes In Northern Ireland

By James Fenton

April 3, 2019 at 2:13pm

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Nothing clears the head like a large dollop of fresh air and Northern Ireland has got it in spades.

When it comes to outstanding walking routes, visitors are absolutely spoiled with unblemished trails and breathtaking viewpoints dotted all over the region.

The following list of options are all just a short spin up from Dublin and are ideal for groups of friends looking to stretch their legs over a weekend.

Gather your pals, get your hiking boots on and embark on some of the most remarkable trails that Mother Nature has blessed us with.

Take your pick from the following:

1. Sperrins

Stretching over the border between Tyrone and Derry, the Sperrin Mountains offer a multitude of routes that will satisfy walkers of all levels.

There are numerous points of interest along the way including the picture-perfect Glenelly Valley and the Ballinderry River, both of which are perfect stopping points to capture that awe-inspiring Insta snap.

While the rugged landscape will keep the walkers happy, there are also a number of bike paths along the way for cycling enthusiasts.

More information here.

2. Cavehill Country Park

Cavehill, the first of the Belfast Mountains on our list, will be worth every step when you see the stunning views of the city from McArt’s Fort.

Take in the magnificent Devil’s Punchbowl before following the grass path to the top of the hill where you’ll definitely want to have your camera handy.

Car parking is available at Belfast Castle, around 15 minutes from the city centre.

3. Divis & Black Mountain

On the outskirts of Belfast, with stunning views over the city and the further reaches of Northern Ireland, lies one of the most spectacular walking routes in the region.

Divis & Black Mountain provides a beautiful backdrop to Belfast’s sprawling skyline and is the perfect example of countryside within the city.

The area is home to a host of wildlife and archaeological remains, and visitors can enjoy 12 miles of walking trails all while taking in 180 degree views along the city’s landscape.

More information can be found here.

(Fancy a pit stop?  The newly built Standing Stones Lodge nestled among these mountains offering accommodation as well as tasty food & drink options to keep you going on your hike!)

4. Mourne Mountains

Under two hours from Dublin, you’ll find some of the most stunning panoramas in the country.

A whole day can be spent exploring the nooks and crannies of this vast mountain range. Lose yourself in the magnificent Tollymore Forest, a regular setting for scenes on Game of Thrones®, before enjoying the tranquility of the Silent Valley.

If you’re feeling up to it, tackle Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest mountain. The behemoth stands out approximately 2,790 feet and the rewards are clear once you take in the outstanding views from the top.

More information can be found here.

5. The Gobbins

Part of the Causeway Coastal Route, The Gobbins is a nature lover’s dream.

Visitors can embark on a two and a half hour guided tour, taking in all the beautiful flora, fauna and wildlife as they pass.

There’ll be plenty to keep you on your toes as you come across suspension bridges and tunnels, just adding to the experience of one of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular walking routes.

More information can be found here.

6. North Down Coastal Path

Take a refreshing trip along the coast with this relatively flat route which extends from Holywood in the west to Orlock in the east.

Breathe in the cool air from the Irish Sea as you make your way along the coastline, enjoying fabulous views over Belfast Lough along the way.

The total distance of the route is around 25km, which gives plenty of scope for picking a trail that suits your needs. More information can be found here.

 

READ NEXT: Seven Thrilling Water Sports To Try In Northern Ireland

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Discover Northern Ireland prides itself on inspiring people to visit & explore Northern Ireland. With so many exciting things to see and do, you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to creating the perfect itinerary for you and your friends. From world-class events and award-winning food and stunning scenery, you’ll want to make sure Northern Ireland is top of your travel bucket list.
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