10 Hidden Walking Gems in Northern Ireland
On a sunny day in Northern Ireland or weekend for that matter people flock to the most well-known and well-loved walks. However, overcrowding can lead to all sorts of environmental damage at our most favourite beauty spots. To help you ‘Get into Nature’ whilst also protecting it and maintaining social distancing why not avoid the hustle and bustle by discovering some of our favourite hidden gem walks in Northern Ireland listed below.
Lough Navar Forest Park, Blackslee Waterfall Walk.
Take the perfect selfie in front of Blackslee Waterfall located halfway round this four-mile walk through the oldest part of Lough Navar Forest. You will also come across an interesting willow sculpture, the ‘Cloud Viewer’, on the last section of this walk near the waterfall.
Glenmore Scenic Walk
This short 1.2 mile walk is perfect for a summer stroll offering panoramic views from a lookout point over the hills and wider countryside of Co. Tyrone. This walk runs along the path of the Glen but you can choose a higher level path which will take you to a look-out point.
An easy introduction to the Mourne Mountains this walk gives you the feeling of a day in the mountains whilst following gentle gradients and making use of distinct tracks and paths. The Blue Lough is the perfect place for a quiet picnic with beautiful views.
This waterfall is so spectacular it is surprising how many people still do not know about its existence. This short walk up through a magical green glen of moss and ferns is made even more special by the soundtrack of birdsong which fills the air. The perfect starter to a day in the Antrim Glens.
A fantastic 1.5 mile all ability trail for those visiting Co. Fermanagh. This freshwater lough boasts a rich history and includes boardwalk sections, allowing you to get a closer glimpse into the lough depths and wildlife. This beautiful, peaceful walk takes in open water, reedbeds and small pockets of wet woodland.
Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny
While everyone heads to the summit of Cave Hill to check out the spectacular views of the city take in the same spectacular views from the Castlereagh Hills. This three-mile walk follows an enchanting glen and features some lovely waterfalls. Those who wish to extend this walk can follow the Connswater Community Greenway (https://walkni.com/walks/connswater-community-greenway/ through the heart of East Belfast.
A hidden gem in the city this short one mile walk explores an area of floodplain, now managed as an award winning urban nature reserve this location is an oasis for wildlife and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
This walk on the hills above the Glenshane Pass gives access to historic Carntogher Mountain and offers views across Lough Foyle to Errigal and Muckish in Donegal, Sawel and the high Sperrins, and south-eat to the Mournes and Slieve Gullion. This area is rich in mythology and archaeological heritage featuring several monuments still visible in the landscape.
This five-mile walk to Blackhead Lighthouse has recently reopened with a refurbished walkway built at the bottom of the cliffs. The path is lined by interesting wildlife habitats including grassland, woodland (known locally as the ‘Magic Forest’) and a rocky shoreline. The Lough itself is an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) famed for its bird population.
We would love to see where and how you ‘Get into Nature’ around Northern Ireland. Tag us on social media using….#GetIntoNature #WalkNI #MyNINature #HiddenGems #MyNI
Images courtesy of Walk NI.