Hillwalking in Northern Ireland

Hill walking in Northern Ireland is a delight. The region offers walkers of all abilities the opportunity to experience undisturbed and untouched scenery and wildlife. It can offer something for everybody, from serious ramblers and hill walkers to family friendly strolls.

There are several challenging or more laid back walks on offer all set in rolling open countryside. The views can be breath taking and it is easy to see why the countryside has inspired many great poets and authors to write about the landscape. Here are five of the best places for hill walking enthusiasts.

1.Moyle Way.

This walk will take you through a wonderful region, crammed with natural geology, folklore and history. Rivers, hills and ancient monuments add to the experience. A lot of the walk is through mature woodland and the hills are manageable. It is also possible to walk along the edges of deep valley gorges. The views are magnificent, on good days it is possible to gaze at the Mull of Kintyre and all the way to the coast. The trail ends at the impressive Glenariff Forest Park. Spectacular waterfalls await and they help to cap a truly memorable journey through unspoiled landscapes.

2. Croaghan.

This self-guided trail consists of rolling open hillsides and forest tracks. It can also be quite marshy in places and sturdy boots are needed. The challenge is well worth it though as some of the views cannot be bettered. The route is well signposted and is great for more laid back hill walkers who simply wish to see Ireland at its best.

3. The Milibern

This is a gentle walk across marshy open hillsides. It is also possible to add to the experience by visiting the Giants Causeway which is nearby or for the older hill walker a visit to the Old Bushmills distillery is possible. This presents the tired walker with the opportunity to obtain something to help them perk up later in the day. Irish whiskey is enjoyed the world over and is sure to be of interest to many a hill walker. These added interests make this walk one of the more popular for visitors.

4.Tollymore Forest Park

This region is both pleasant and slightly more challenging. It is primarily made up of woodland and is dominated by the Shimna River. The river can be crossed by using Boundary Bridge. The Drinns trail provides the opportunity for the walker to challenge themselves further if required. Tollymore Forest Park also has some great mountain biking routes – there are 5 routes that total 10 miles exactly called “The Tollymore 5″, so take your mountain bikes with you to experience these varying routes that can challenge any level from beginner to experienced biker.

5. Castlewellan Forest Park.

This area mainly consists of coniferous plantation and provides splendid views across open farmland. The Legananny Mountains provide a stunning backdrop and allows the hill walker the opportunity to obtain stunning photographic memories. The trail provides severe gradients and encompasses all types of terrain. Good sturdy walking boots are required as well as perseverance. The effort will be worth it though.

Northern Ireland is the ideal place for hill walkers to visit. You are never far from a town or village and it is easy to find suitable places in which to stay. Northern Ireland is relatively small and it is certainly possible to include several walks in your stay. Bring your walking boots and enjoy!

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