Ulster Way A 625 mile (1000km) circular walking route in Northern Ireland

2014 – A Year of New Walks

Dec
17
2014

2014 was a great year for walking in Northern Ireland with a whole host of new walks launched as well as some old favourites being reopened after much needed repairs.  With the year coming to an end we’ve put together a list of new walks (all opened within the last year) for you to enjoy over Christmas and New Year!   

Annesley Garden Walk, Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down
Beginning at Castlewellan Lake this 2.2 mile trail journeys through the Annesley Gardens, National Arborteum and takes in a variety of Lakes and Ponds within the forest opening up a treasure trove of plants, trees and secluded spots in this real life ‘secret garden’. 

Glenariff Waterfall Walk, Glenariff Forest Park, Co. Antrim
Reopened in 2014 after severe weather caused its closure for almost a year walkers can once again enjoy the beauty of the fabulous Glenariff Waterfall Walk.  Opened 80 years ago, the unique Waterfall Walkway, has been significantly upgraded along its 3 mile length which passes through a National Nature Reserve. 

Castle Coole, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Located on the edge of Enniskillen, this estate featuring an 18th-century mansion showcases magnificent vistas and beautiful parklands with a number of short looped walks ranging from 0.5 – 2.5 miles.  Enjoy stunning views from the shores of Lough Coole, which form part of an original carriage drive dating from the 18th century, and now features a new trail extension launched in Nov 2014. 

Slievenaslat Trail, Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down
Launched in November 2014 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. 

Portrush to Bushmills, Co. Antrim
This 6.6 mile linear walk from Portrush via Portballintrae to Bushmills is part of the Causeway Coast Way and features beautiful coastal scenery including beach, cliff and castle.  Beginning from picturesque Portrush Harbour the waymarked way passes Ramore Head and onto Whiterocks.   Here you will be able to walk the new off-road section including a brand new oak footbridge of the Causeway Coast Way recently created along the cliff top above the famous white chalk cliffs. 

Tobar Mhuire, Crossgar, Co. Down
Set in sixty acres of woodland in the village of Crossgar, a 3km walking and cycling trail was launched in Tobar Mhuire in June 2014. Home of Crossgar’s Passionist Community visitors can explore the estate’s natural heritage on this new sustainable trail.  

Divis & Black Mountain, Belfast, Co. Antrim
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 however the walk itself is on relatively flat paths on tarmac, boardwalk and stone pitched gravel.  The Ridge Trail is one of four trails on Divis and the Black Mountain.

Bunkers Hill, Castlewellan, Co. Down 
Less than one mile away from Castlewellan Forest Park, Bunkers Hill has been given a new lease of life with the launch of a brand new 1.2 mile walking and family cycling trail.  The trail climbs steadily to afford walkers 3 stunning views of Slieve Croob and surrounding countryside, Dundrum Bay and Mourne Mountains. 

Visit the walks section on WalkNI.com for free downloadable route descriptions and maps over 250 spectacular walks to inspire you to get outdoors in 2015.