15 Best Walks in Northern Ireland (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Northern Ireland (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Are you looking for the best walks in Northern Ireland?

If so, you have certainly come to the right place.

From stunning coastal trails to vibrant mountain hikes, this region of the United Kingdom has something for everyone.

No matter your fitness level or walking experience, there is sure to be a walk that will tantalize your senses and leave you feeling energized and inspired.

Here are fifteen of the best walks in Northern Ireland – guaranteed to make you feel free and alive!

1. Ballintoy, Carrick-A-Rede and Portbraddan, County Antrim

Carrick-a-Rede
Photo by Ian Taylor

If you’re looking for some of the best walks in Northern Ireland, then look no further than County Antrim.

This stunning region is dotted with breathtaking scenery and stunning coastal views.

Ballintoy, Carrick-a-Rede, and Portbraddan are some of the most beautiful spots to explore.

Ballintoy harbor is a picturesque bay surrounded by rugged cliffs, offering incredible views of the Irish coastline.

On a clear day, it’s possible to see Scotland in the distance.

The walk along this stretch of coastline is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have – as you take in the sights and sounds of nature around you, your worries will melt away.

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge offers an unforgettable experience as it spans 20 meters over a 60-foot-deep chasm between rocks on either side.

The bridge has been in use for hundreds of years, and it’s not for the faint-hearted – but trust us when we say that taking that first step onto the bridge is worth it for the breathtaking views that await you on the other side!

Finally, Portbraddan is a unique coastal village with its own charm and atmosphere.

Here you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along winding paths with stunning scenery all around – perfect if you want to get away from it all!

2. Slieve Binnian, County Down

Slieve Binnian
Photo by Terry Stewart

Leaving the coastal beauty of Ballintoy, Carrick-a-Rede, and Portbraddan behind, we journey further into Northern Ireland to uncover more breathtaking views.

The next stop on our list is Slieve Binnian in County Down.

This enchanting mountain is one of the most popular hikes in Northern Ireland, with a summit that overlooks a stunning landscape of rolling hills and lush greenery.

The hike up Slieve Binnian is an unforgettable experience for any outdoor enthusiast.

The path winds around the mountain’s slopes and takes you through forests, over streams, and along rocky paths.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the Mourne Mountains and Strangford Lough.

As you reach higher up the mountain, you will come across unique geological features such as granite tors, which are ancient rock formations that have been shaped by nature over time.

Once you reach the summit of Slieve Binnian, you will be rewarded with panoramic views from all directions as far as Scotland on a clear day!

Slieve Binnian is an amazing place for anyone looking for some freedom outdoors in Northern Ireland – a true haven for those seeking adventure and beautiful scenery.

This captivating mountain hike offers something different every time so it’s worth visiting again and again!

3. Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim

Track, Glenariff Forest Park
Photo by Rossographer

Glenariff Forest Park is a stunning natural landscape in Northern Ireland.

It offers breathtaking views of the nearby glens and hills, as well as the ocean beyond.

A park is a great place for a walk, with trails that wind through the forest and along the water’s edge.

You can expect to find plenty of wildlife here, from deer to otters, badgers, and more.

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The nature trails also offer plenty of opportunities for birdwatching.

The area has something for everyone – from short strolls to more challenging hikes.

There are numerous historic sites to explore too, including an old stone bridge, an ancient cairn, and an Iron Age fort.

All of these make Glenariff Forest Park one of the best places in Northern Ireland for walking, hiking, and enjoying nature at its finest.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, this is the perfect spot to get out and explore!

4. Donard Park To Slieve Donard

Donard Park to Slieve Donard is one of the best walks in Northern Ireland.

Located near Newcastle, this trail offers stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and a glimpse into the history of Northern Ireland.

The walk starts off in Donard Park, which provides an area for picnicking and relaxing before setting out.

From there, you’ll start a steep climb up to Slieve Donard, the highest peak in the Mournes.

Along the way, you’ll pass through fields of wildflowers and lush green forests. On clear days, you can see miles away across the Irish Sea.

As you reach higher altitudes, you’ll be treated to incredible views of valleys and more distant mountains.

The summit of Slieve Donard is a fitting reward for all your hard work.

Standing at 849 meters above sea level, it’s easy to feel like you’ve reached the top of the world here!

You’ll be surrounded by an awe-inspiring landscape with vistas that stretch far beyond what your eyes can take in from this vantage point.

From here, it’s just a short descent back down to Donard Park so that you can savor your accomplishment long after you’re done walking this spectacular trail.

5. Blue Lough

Blue Lough is an idyllic spot for a peaceful and stunning walk.

Located near the Mourne Mountains, the trail is perfect for any level of hiker.

The route takes you through rolling hills, vibrant meadows, and beautiful woodlands.

Along the way, you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and loughs.

The trail culminates at Blue Lough itself, giving you the perfect opportunity to take in its breathtaking beauty.

As you wander along the path, take time to savor the peace and quiet that comes with being immersed in nature.

Listen carefully for birdsong or spot wildlife along your journey.

Enjoy a picnic in one of the many meadows or take a dip in a pool at one of the waterfalls.

No matter how you spend your time here, Blue Lough is sure to leave an impression on you that will linger long after your walk has ended.

6. Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Boardwalk

Next on the list of Northern Ireland’s best walks is the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Boardwalk.

This stunning trail is situated in the Fermanagh and Omagh district, on the slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain, and is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

The walk offers breathtaking views of rolling hills, quaint villages, and the surrounding countryside, allowing you to soak up the beauty of nature at its best.

The boardwalk itself stretches for two miles and takes around two hours to complete.

This wooden path leads you through lush green landscapes and thick forests, taking you away from it all for a few hours.

Along the way, there are plenty of viewing points where you can take in panoramic views over Fermanagh Lakelands or stop for a picnic lunch.

There are also several benches along the route where you can sit back, relax and enjoy this stunning natural setting in all its glory.

7. Ulster Way

The Ulster Way is a spectacular 621-mile circular route through Northern Ireland, taking in some of the province’s most stunning scenery.

It’s the perfect way to explore the area and appreciate its diverse beauty.

From high mountain passes to tranquil forests, this walk takes in some of the best walking routes in Northern Ireland.

Along the way, you’ll pass through areas steeped in history and culture.

Visit quaint villages, ancient castles, and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes.

As you wind your way across stunning moorlands, immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of Northern Ireland.

Whether it be a gentle stroll or an exhilarating hike, there’s something for everyone on the Ulster Way.

Discover breathtaking views over Lough Neagh and Strangford Lough or explore wildflower meadows and remote hilltops – all while discovering more about this beautiful part of the world.

For those looking for adventure, challenge yourself with long-distance hikes – with plenty of rest stops along the way to enjoy local hospitality!

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The Ulster Way offers it all – so come explore and experience it for yourself!

8. Drumkeeragh Forest

Leaving the Ulster Way behind, a journey to Drumkeeragh Forest awaits.

Located in County Down, this enchanting forest is a wonderland of natural beauty and the perfect spot for a peaceful stroll or bike ride.

The tranquil atmosphere of Drumkeeragh offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The forest’s lush foliage creates an idyllic setting for those seeking tranquillity and relaxation.

The trails weave through towering trees, providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside while also offering glimpses into the forest’s diverse ecology.

From vibrant wildflowers to mysterious caves, there is something to explore at every turn.

The fresh mountain air and peaceful pathways are sure to rejuvenate even the most overworked souls.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk or an adventurous hike, Drumkeeragh Forest is sure to provide unforgettable experiences that will linger long after your visit has come to an end.

9. Cave Hill Country Park

Not far from Belfast, Cave Hill Country Park is a great place to explore.

From its summit, you can enjoy beautiful views of the city and beyond.

The park has many trails that lead through woodlands and along riversides, where you can see wildlife like deer, badgers, and foxes.

You’ll also find an abundance of wildflowers in the meadows and orchards.

Cave Hill is also home to many historic monuments.

These include Napoleon’s Nose, a dramatic basalt outcrop that stands atop the hill; as well as an ancient Iron Age fort and a standing stone circle which are believed to date back to 500 BC.

For those who prefer an easier stroll, there’s an accessible path around the lake at the base of the hill; it’s perfect for a leisurely wander with young children or elderly family members.

10. Giant’s Causeway

Leaving the captivating Cave Hill Country Park behind us, we now journey onward to one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic locations – Giant’s Causeway.

Located on the northeastern coast of the country, Giant’s Causeway is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

The basalt columns that make up the causeway were formed by ancient volcanic activity and stretch for over 40,000 interlocking hexagons.

As you explore this remarkable area, you’ll be able to take in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy a peaceful walk along the rugged coastline.

The site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and visitors are free to explore its stunning natural beauty.

It’s easy to see why it’s so popular with tourists – from its dramatic cliffs and hidden caves to its rare wildlife, there’s something for everyone here.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet stroll or an adventurous hike, Giant’s Causeway has something unique to offer everyone.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Northern Ireland, don’t miss out on visiting this incredible natural wonder!

11. View Of The Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains, in Northern Ireland, is a spectacular sight.

Standing at around 800 meters above sea level, the highest peak of Slieve Donard offers an awe-inspiring view of this beautiful region.

There’s no better way to experience these stunning vistas than by taking a walk in the area.

Visitors can take on a number of different routes that traverse the breathtaking landscape.

From easy strolls along the shoreline to more challenging hikes up mountain paths, there’s something for everyone.

With each step you take, you’ll be able to marvel at the beauty of the area.

You’ll be surrounded by lush green fields and rugged mountains that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The air is crisp and clean here and you won’t be able to help but feel invigorated by your surroundings.

No matter which routes you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience exploring this magnificent part of Northern Ireland.

Take your time and soak up every moment – it’s an opportunity like no other!

12. Hare’s Gap

Hare’s Gap is a stunning walk in Northern Ireland, nestled in the Mourne Mountains.

It’s an amazing experience for those seeking to explore the beauty of nature. With its fresh air and spectacular views, it provides the perfect opportunity to get away from it all.

The path starts at a car park on the side of Slieve Donard mountain, leading you along a heather-strewn hillside with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

The path follows a winding trail through lush valleys, culminating in a steep climb up to Hare’s Gap.

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From here you can take in the stunning panoramic view of County Down and beyond. Y

ou can also enjoy some refreshments at one of the local pubs or cafes before making your way back down again.

Hare’s Gap is an ideal walk for anyone looking for some peace and quiets away from the hustle and bustle of life.

It gives you an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate its beauty and tranquility.

So if you’re looking for an escape from it all, why not head out to Hare’s Gap? You won’t regret it!

13. Castle Ward Boundary Trail

The Castle Ward Boundary Trail is a great way to experience the beauty of Northern Ireland.

Located in the Strangford Lough region, it offers stunning views of the countryside, as well as plenty of wildlife to take in.

Along the trail, you’ll be able to explore ancient ruins, spot trees that are hundreds of years old, and find several hidden gems along the shoreline.

The trail is relatively flat and easy to follow with its well-marked route. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a longer hike if you’re feeling adventurous.

The trail starts at Castle Ward Estate, an 18th-century walled garden where you can also check out an impressive collection of sculptures.

From here, you make your way to Audley’s Castle and then up onto high cliffs overlooking Strangford Lough.

After this, you’ll pass through meadows full of wildflowers before arriving at Seaforde Gardens & Demesne—an area rich with birdsong and plenty of butterflies flitting around.

As you continue along the trail, you’ll come across some incredible vistas across Strangford Lough before reaching Portaferry Visitor Centre.

Here you can enjoy refreshments after your walk before heading back to Castle Ward Estate.

Whether it’s a casual stroll or an energetic hike, this is definitely one of the best walks in Northern Ireland!

14. Mount Stewart Lakewalk

The next stop on our tour of Northern Ireland’s beautiful walks is the Mount Stewart Lakewalk.

This delightful stroll takes you through the grounds of one of Northern Ireland’s most historic estates, and around a beautiful lake.

The walk starts in front of the main entrance to Mount Stewart House and takes you along a woodland path full of birdsong and lush foliage.

You’ll meander past a large natural pond, with plenty of benches to rest your feet and admire the beauty of this remarkable estate.

As you approach the lake, you’ll find yourself surrounded by tranquil waters and breathtaking views.

Take your time to explore the various pathways that surround it; each offering from here, take a leisurely stroll around the lake itself, soaking up its majestic beauty before heading back towards the house via another winding path filled with wildlife.

Don’t forget to look out for fallen leaves and branches along the way!

At the end of your journey, you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable experience full of nature’s best gifts – fresh air, natural sounds, and spectacular views.

15. Portstewart Strand

Portstewart Strand is an idyllic stretch of beach along the North Coast of Northern Ireland.

It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, or a more energetic hike over the dunes.

The flat sandy beach and ever-changing views make this an ideal place to while away the day.

The seaside town of Portstewart offers plenty to do, from taking a boat trip out to sea, visiting cafes and restaurants, or simply enjoying a few pints in one of its many pubs.

But it’s the strand itself that will have you captivated.

Its wide expanse of glistening sand and rolling waves are both calming and invigorating in equal measure.

Take your time exploring every corner of this wild beauty spot; you won’t regret it!

Best Walks in Northern Ireland – Final Thoughts

I hope this article has provided you with some great ideas for walks in Northern Ireland.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there’s something here to suit all tastes and abilities.

From the stunning coastal views of Portstewart Strand to the majestic summit of Slieve Donard, these walks offer something for everyone.

I’m sure you’ll find plenty of breathtaking sights, natural beauty, and adventure along the way.

If you’re planning on exploring Northern Ireland’s trails, make sure to do your research beforehand and be prepared with the necessary supplies and equipment.

With that said, all that’s left is for me to wish you a pleasant journey and happy trails!

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Northern Ireland?

Some easy walks in Northern Ireland are Darkley Forest Park, Cloughmore Stone, and Corrog Wood.

What are the best circular walks in Northern Ireland?

Some of the best circular walks in Northern Ireland are Giant’s Gate and Causeway Coast Circular, Cavehill Circular, and North Tor Circular.

What are some good family walks in Northern Ireland?

Some good family walks in Northern Ireland are Stormont Woodland Walk and Fitness Trail, Tully Castle Loughshore, and Narnia Trail Kilbroney Park.

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.