Andrea HarrowerTim RickerbyDuane Fitzsimons
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Walks to Clear Your Head

Posted on January 25, 2016 @ 3:56 PM in Walking

Are you in need of blowing the cobwebs away?!  Check out these fantastic walks along stunning coastline, sandy beaches and hill tops with panoramic views that are sure to clear your head.  Perfect for a winter stroll:

Slemish, Co. Antrim – 1.2 miles
The site of the St Patrick’s slavery, where he spent 6 years herding livestock for Mulchi, the local chieftain you can be up and down the mountain taking in jaw-dropping views within the hour. After following a grassy track to the base of the mountain, walkers can then pick and choose their own path over rocky terrain to the summit, some 1437 feet above sea level. This short ascent is reasonably strenuous however your efforts are more than rewarded with fabulous views which are sure to re-energise any tired legs. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Irish Hares in the surrounding plains and bird lovers will enjoy spotting any number of Wheatears, Ravens and Buzzards hovering above.

Slemish

Slievenaslat Trail, Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down – 2.7 miles
This steep climb through the forest to the summit of Slievenaslat (272 metres) is most definitely worth it for the iconic views of the Mourne Mountains.  Take in the panoramic views of Northern Ireland’s highest mountain range and surrounding drumlin landscape of Co Down.  If that hasn’t tired you out then there are lots of other walks to choose from with a walk trail network totalling 7.5 miles throughout the forest park.

Slievenslat

Whitepark Bay, Co. Antrim  - 1.4 miles (one way)
There’s nothing better than a blustery walk on a beach to blow the cobwebs away during the winter months. This spectacular sandy beach which forms a white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim Coast is in a secluded location meaning that even on a busy day there is plenty of room for quiet relaxation.

White Park Bay

Divis & Black Mountain, Belfast, Co. Antrim  - 4.2 miles
The 4.2 mile circular Divis Ridge trail located in the Belfast Hills offers spectacular skyline views over Belfast as well as the Mourne Mountains, Scotland and the Isle of Man. At an elevation of 478m (1,568ft.) it is the highest point in the Belfast Hills (increasing your chances of spotting some snow!) however the walk itself is on relatively flat paths on tarmac, boardwalk and stone pitched gravel. 

Divis Ridge Trail

Roe Valley Country Park, Co. Derry~Londonderry – 2 to 7 miles 
The Roe Valley Country Park offers a variety of routes along the River Roe or Red River (from the Irish ‘Abhain Ruadh’). This 7 mile walking trail circles both banks of Red River, which originates amidst the peat bogs of the Sperrins Mountains, offering an explanation for its red colour. With the path running through an enchanting oak forest, combining legend with industrial and natural heritage, the park has great appeal. Winter sees the snow settle on the river’s banks and as walkers pass through the forest it is only the call of mallard ducks that breaks the silence. In winter, Roe Valley is a truly special place.

Roe Valley Country Park

Robbers Table, Co. Tyrone – 6.5 miles 
This is an excellent off-road, winter hill walk across rolling hills and frosty moorland. The highest point of this route opens up superb views of the Bluestack and Derryveagh Mounatins of Donegal to the west and the High Sperrins to the north east. As the route climbs south over Ballynatubbrit Mountain it passes Robbers Table, the site where supposed local seventeenth century Highwaymen (Rapparees as they were known) met up to divide their spoils after raiding the postal carriages that traversed this upland landscape.

Robbers Table

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

1 comment has been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Vivek sarawgi on January 31, 2016 @ 7:36 PM

Slemish is always a wonderful experience, We have taken many visitors to it, highly recommended. Divis and Black mountain is another National Trust gem. I love it the dog loves it, what more can I say.

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