10 Beloved Hikes In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is not just famous for its leprechauns and pots of gold, they also offer amazing hiking paths with the most magnificent views.
In fact, if there was a rating system for hiking trails, Northern Ireland could earn an easy five out of five.
So, if you find the time to visit the country, here are the top 10 hiking trails of Northern Ireland that you cannot miss out on!
1. Slieve Donard
Starting off hard and fast, we have a route spanning 5.6 miles up towards the tallest peak in all of Northern Ireland.
This entire journey will take up to five hours and while that might seem intimidating, the views are seriously worth the trip.
At the highest point, you get the clearest view of the surrounding landscape such that on days with clear skies, the horizon you can perceive extends all the way out to Scotlands, Wales and the Isle of Man!
2. Central Mourne Mountains
Now, the next trail is one of the longer ones standing at 9.9 miles but it is not as intensive as the distance makes it sound.
It is a circular hike up the granite mountain.
It also has a relatively high peak so you can be sure to get an eyeful of scenery at the summit.
Furthermore, as it is a mountain that is by no means small, there are multiple routes that can be found in this single place. So, going by your own personal preference and capabilities, you can opt for the route that best suits you.
3. Causeway Coastal Walk
If you are someone who enjoys looking at natural structures and admiring the intricacies involved in every design, you will love this place.
The best architect is none other than nature itself.
In the Causeway Coast, you will be able to view the naturally arranged polygonal basalt columns.
This particular spot attracts countless tourists to give it a visit.
The trek is also flexible in the sense that it caters to people of all different interests.
So, if you are just eager to reach the hot spot, the shortest route is only 2 miles long and if you are someone who prefers to delay your gratification, they have paths as long as 33 miles.
I bet you are thinking that there has been a lot of mentions of long routes that really test one’s fitness.
However, hiking never discriminates and even if you have little experience and are looking to bolster it, Carrick-a-Rede can help.
It is only 1.6 miles long so that means that those who are new to this can slowly ease into the experience of hiking.
Otherwise, it is also great for having some family fun time.
The route leads you to an island where you can relax on the beach or explore natural caves and if you are lucky, maybe even spot some wildlife.
5. Tollymore Forest
When you hear that the place is forest, a lot of thoughts might run across your mind. Scary, isolated, to name some.
However, the Tollymore Forest is far from scary.
One can easily see why when they venture into the area.
You would expect forests to just be lush greenery, but the variety that can be found here is astounding.
Furthermore, the views are simply breathtaking.
The views are of the Mournes and woodland terrain.
You might even be able to observe some wildlife in their natural habitat.
6. Slieve Gullion
We have woodlands, beaches, and more in this list.
Now, we bring to you a place with a story to tell.
Perked atop the hill, you can find the Slievenacapple and even have a first-hand look at carvings made by Finn MacCool, an Irish giant.
Now that is something you don’t see or hear about every day.
However, we do need to inform you that the route is not easy and is an intensive 10 miles.
Furthermore, the area was made from a volcano so, yes there is one nearby.
So, this is for the adventurous ones!
7. Rostrevor and Kilbroney Forest
Visit the small town of Rostrevor which is the starting point of many different routes.
Depending on your fancy and energy at the time, you can opt for hikes as short as 0.5 miles to hikes as long as 5 miles.
It is entirely up to you.
Most people who come by this area will definitely go to the base of Cloughmore Stone to leave their legacy behind by engraving their names onto the rock as proof.
8. Rathlin Island
While this may not be a hill trail, it deserves a spot on this list.
The island basically looks like it came out of a photograph.
The island offers an unparalleled view of both Northern Irish and Scottish coasts.
There is also a striking lighthouse and Church Brae that you can find there.
Last but definitely not least, it is home to flocks of puffins who are the main allure that draws in tourists.
9. The Sperrins
If your favourite part of hiking is to conquer as many mountains as possible, you have come to the right place.
The Sperrins holds the record of having the most range of mountains in Northern Ireland.
Furthermore, for the history fanatic, you do not want to miss out on the Eastern Beaghmore Stone Circles that follow the orbit of the sun, moon and stars.
10. Divis Ridge Trail
This is probably the trail that gives you the widest expanse of view.
As you travel along the route, not only will you be graced with the presence of heathers during the summer period, you can even simply turn your head to enjoy a full view of the city of Belfast.
If you are not into the city portion, the trail also has its fair amount of wildlife for some wildlife watching.
The best part?
Even during the winter period, the place remains magical as the heathers are replaced by a beautiful blanket of white.
Go Hiking In Northern Ireland
Thus, if you are ever in Northern Ireland, do give the places on this list a try!
The views they offer are definitely worth your time, and you might even see some wildlife in their natural habitat.