Mark RuddsChristopher SomervilleTom Cooper
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Little Hills with Big Views

Posted on September 19, 2017 @ 11:49 AM in Walking

A chance for you to experience mountain top views and spectacular scenery without too much of a climb!  You don't always have to summit the highest peaks to see the best sights; there are lots of exciting little hills with big views across Northern Ireland waiting for you to explore. Here are our top short walks (under 5 miles) with fantastic views.

Slievenaslat Trail, Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down

2.7 miles circular

Castlewellan Forest Park

Located in Castlewellan Forest Park in the foothills of the spectacular Mourne Mountains, climb through the forest at your own pace enjoying a series of viewpoints offering panoramic views of the Mournes, Castlewellan Castle & lake as well as the surrounding drumlin landscape of Co Down. There is a steep section at the start of this walk but what goes up must come down and it is definitely worth it!  The route takes place on hilly woodland trails and includes steps in sections.

Cloughmore Stone, Rostrevor, Co. Down

0.4 miles linear (one way)

Cloughmore Stone

Located 230m above sea level the walk to Cloughmore Stone provides spectacular views of the surrounding forest and over Carlingford Lough. The area has been declared a National Nature Reserve and more recently an Area of Special Scientific Interest. The trail is moderate with a short steep uphill section - a great one to encourage the kids on for a first climb! 

Avish to Eagles Hill, Co. Derry~Londonderry

3.1 miles circular

Manannan Mac Lir

A refreshing walk along the cliff top overlooking Benone Beach, Lough Foyle and the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal. This walk begins from Gortmore Point where the sculpture of Manannan Mac Lir, a sea God originating from this area can be viewed. The trail follows cliff top and trails through open field and quiet country lanes.

Viewpoint Trail, Glenariff Forest Park, Co. Antrim

0.6 miles circular


Image of Glenariff by Tim Gaston on Twitter: @tgaston42

This short walk through woodland and stunning gardens offers spectacular views across 1 of the 9 Glens of Antrim. Located in the heart of the Glens of Antrim there are lots of places to explore in Glenariff Forest Park including a series of spectacular waterfalls. This walk follows forest paths which are steep in places.

Scrabo Hill, Newtownards, Co. Down

2.3 miles circular

Scrabo Hill

Built in 1857 Scrabo Tower is one of Ireland's best known landmarks. The views from the top of Scrabo hill over Strangford Lough and North Down are some of the finest in the country. Follow the trail as it descends into the disused sandstone quaries which provided building stone since Anglo-Norman times. The old quarries have major geological importance and have been designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest. The walk follows tarmac and off road paths which are steep in places.

Magho Cliffs Walk, Lough Navar Forest, Co. Fermanagh

1.3 miles linear (one way)

Lough Navar Forest Park

Part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, this walk takes you across the tops of the Magho Cliffs which offer great panoramic views of the surrounding area. The walk returns along the cliff top path twisting and winding its way through the woodland. The trail is made of compact gravel with steps and cross drains in places.

Divis Summit Trail, Belfast, Co. Antrim

3 miles circular

Divis Mountain

Offering spectacular panoramaic views over Belfast, Divis is the highest summit in the Belfast Hills. The walk which takes place on stone pitching is designed to maintain the condition of the mountain slope while providing public access. There is lots to explore in this location including the Ridge trail and stopping by the Long Barn Cafe managed by the National Trust for a cup of coffee after your walk.

Latest comment posted by Ronnie Irvine on September 24, 2017 @ 9:15 AM

Nice selection, Jane. Some Tyrone/Derry ones? Slieve Gallion summit, Mullaghmore, Crockmore & Crockbrack, Maybe a little higher but all have fairly short walks to the tops if required. ....and ... Read more >

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

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