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Ronan's Way

A rare opportunity to access some of the most stunning scenery in the Glens of Antrim on foot. Choose between four walking routes through a truly inspiring landscape featuring the Glendun River, farmland, woodland scrub and peatland for a true taste of the countryside and the famous Glens.  

County

Antrim

Distance

0.9 - 3.4 miles

OS Map

Sheet 5

Nearest Town

Cushendun

Route Shape

Circular

Route Type

Hill

Terrain

Grass, farm track, muddy in part

Grid Reference (Start)

D194310

Grid Reference (End)

D194310

Point of Interest

Breath taking views of the Irish countryside and beyond to the Mull of Kintyre.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Antrim Coast & Glens

Route Description

All of the walks on Ronan’s Way are located on the McAuley Farm, a stretch of land in memory of Ronan McAuley, a True Glens man who had a dream that more people would explore and enjoy Glendun and the exquisite views of the land that he called home.

Ronan’s Way is located on a working farm so please respect the family property, land and their ability to manage their farm on your visit, as this walk has only been made possible by their generosity.

Beginning at the carpark off the Glendun Rd you will find the trailhead panel and waymarker posts. Choose whichever walk you wish and follow the appropriate waymarkers.  Please note as this is working farmland livestock may be present and the ground is often very mucky underfoot so walking boots are strongly recommended.   A number of stiles are also present along all routes. As the walks are situated within a glen, steep sections are present on all walks however this makes for incredible views across the glen. A couple of benches are situated along the routes so you can sit back and enjoy a moment of contemplation as you spend time admiring the views.

A truly inspiring landscape, the four routes available offer walks for a range of abilities (although all with climbs).

From the carpark choose between the following routes all providing rare access to one of the stunning Nine Glens of Antrim, Glendun.

Green Loop, 0.9 miles - The shortest and lowest, loop this route takes you up to Sevagh House and back down through grassy field along the Glen river.

Yellow Loop, 1.2 miles - This route takes you up a steeper farm track for stunning views before descending to meet the Green Loop and return to the start.

Blue Loop, 2.3 miles – This route takes you up a steeper farm track to Con na gCu and then across to the old ‘Meadow’ of Fear na gCapall and over to Tipan House. 

Red Loop, 3.4 miles – This route allows the more adventurous to go right to the top of the Glen and take in the breath taking views of the Irish countryside and beyond to the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. 

The diversity of natural habitat (woodland, peatland, farmland and the river) in Glendun means that there is an abundance of wildlife to see.  You may be lucky to spot some of our most impressive mammals such as the otter, fox and pine marten.  There are lots of different bird species including siskins in the woodland, and grouse, skylarks and the occasional curfew higher up the mountain.  There are a number of birds of prey in the skies such as the merlin, hen harrier and buzzard.  There are also lots of wildflowers and insect species throughout the farm.

About Glendun

Glendun is the ‘Glen of the Brown River’, which gets its colour from the peat that has been washed into it upstream.  Although Glendun covers a large area it has a small population, with most of this in the villages of Cushendun and Knocknacarry.  Glenudun is one of the nine glens of Antrim, which were formed during the last ice age when glaciers carved out large U-shaped valleys in the Antrim Plateaur.  It’s fast flowing, cool, clean river is home to Atlantic salmon and trout. The salmon is revered fish in the Gaelic tradition as it holds great wisdom. 

Glendun also has number of fine examples of built heritage including Cushendun Village, Glendun Viaduct and the many old houses and ‘Clachans’ dotted throughout the Glen. 

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

From Cushendun Caravan Park head along the Glendun Rd passing under the viaduct and continue along the Glendun Rd for approximately 1.5 miles where you will see a concrete bridge crossing into a field with a driveway directly opposite the bridge. Drive over the bridge and the carpark is in this field on the McAuley family farmland. You will see the waymarkers and trailhead panel here to begin your walk.

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed.

Facilities

Public toilets, picnic area, playground, and restaurants are available in the nearby village of Cushendun.

Publication

None

Publication Availability

N/A

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

★★★★★
Tomas Fisher 21 October, 2018 @ 13:02

Great walk around ronans way in glendun, this walk was created by farmer John mccauley in memory of his son ronan,who often asked his dad to open up parts of their hillfarm to the public.

Ronan died in April this year from sudden death syndrome and his father has been working creating the path since his sons passing.

I had a great chat today with John when I met him on the path as he was working, I told him it was my sons birthday the day before and why I was walking.

There we stood, two fathers sharing our lives, one in grief one grieving, paths,tracks,climbs,hills but within it Al surrounded by the beauty of glendun.

Thanks john.

★★★★★
Lynn 26 September, 2018 @ 18:00

Absolutely beautiful and a fun adventure through the bog blanket. We had the place to ourselves on a Wednesday and completed the red loop. Gaiters and walking poles would have been helpful. Definitely wear good, waterproof hiking boots. Very grateful to the McAuley family for sharing their beautiful place.

★★★★★
Steff 20 August, 2018 @ 21:30

We walked the red route clockwise - which is almost certainly the best way in terms of signing. The way up was clear and easy to follow. The way down was less well signed, and looking back up, we wouldn't have had a clue towards the top if we'd gone that way, but gong down we could see white posts in the distance every now and then, so just aimed for them. It was a beautiful walk, with very varied terrain, and lovely views both within Glendun and beyond. We had decent walking boots and trekking poles, which made the going easier than some have said. I'd also copied the route over from the online version to my OS map, which helped a lot!

Thanks to Sarah for the comment on the car park - the first concrete bridge is not the correct one. When you get to the right one there's a finger post pointing to the car park and walk, and clear signs dotted around so you'll know it's the right place. The first bridge does just lead to a field.

★★★★☆
Sarah 27 July, 2018 @ 16:06

I walked the red route clockwise today. The ascent was beautiful, even more so as I got to the top and the mist moved away to reveal views towards the sea and back down into the glens. It is a challenging walk, especially on the descent, which could do with a few more markers to aim for as the scrub underfoot does not lend well to showing the path of those going before. I did get a bit lost going down but as long as you keep the fence to your left you will eventually make it back down to the path. There wasn't another person in sight, so it was just me and the sheep the whole way round!

A couple of things to note;

The directions are for leaving Cushendun caravan park and turning left away from the village.

The first field with a concrete bridge you come to is not the correct one-keep going another few hundred yards to the next.

This has been the driest summer Northern Ireland has had in over a decade and the route was still boggy in places-waterproof shoes are a must! A walking pole might also be a good idea.

Brigitte 13 May, 2018 @ 15:08

Traslation:

"We went the yellow route yesterday. A breathtaking landscape, the steep rise is rewarded manifold! We sat on the stones for a long time, absorbed the silence and watched the play of light and shadow of the clouds on the slopes.

Firm, especially waterproof shoes would have been an advantage (we found the site by accident, were not so well prepared), but even our wet feet could not diminish the enjoyment and joy of this unexpected gift!

I would have liked to meet Ronan McAuley in his lifetime, he must have been a special person, generous and visionary.

Many thanks to the McAuley family for leaving this nature and making it available to people!"

Original Comment:

Wir sind die gelbe Route gegangen gestern. Eine atemberaubende Landschaft, der steile Anstieg wird mannigfach belohnt!!! Wir haben lange auf den Steinen gesessen, die Stille in uns aufgenommen und das Licht- und Schattenspiel der Wolken auf den Hängen beobachtet.

Feste, vor allem wasserdichte Schuhe wären ein Vorteil gewesen (wir haben das Gelände durch Zufall gefunden, waren nicht so gut vorbereitet), doch selbst unsere nassen Füße konnten den Genuß und die Freude über dieses unverhoffte Geschenk nicht schmälern!

Gern hätte ich Ronan Mc Auley zu seinen Lebzeiten kennengelernt, er muss ein besonderer Mensch gewesen sein, großzügig und visionär.

Großen Dank an die Familie Mc Auley, dass sie diese Natur so belassen und den Menschen zur Verfügung stellen!

★★★★★
East Antrim Rambling Club 26 March, 2018 @ 18:49

Our club had a great walk on this Red trail yesterday. Thank you McAuley family for sharing Ronan's love of the land with us. I agree with previous review that the arrows need to be nailed back on in places. We measured the route at nearly five miles which was just perfect for us. The views are lovely and looking around we were wishing other families would be as generous as the McAuleys. Great parking too.

★★★★☆
Frances 29 January, 2018 @ 17:06

Our group of seven seasoned trekking enthusiasts completed the red and blue trail on 27 Jan 2018. Agree with earlier reviews, great location for a walk, beautiful views and a wonderful idea for a memorial walk. Full marks there and huge thanks to the family for sharing their memories and trail with us. We had a great day. The red trail is strenuous and steep and once you leave the path the terrain is heavy going under foot, especially if there has been heavy rain. Poles and full wet gear recommended regardless of the weather. The trail is not well signed at present and at times a little confusing but we could see attempts to improve this are underway. Luckily we had a map with us which helped to reassure our group. Looks like the weather has taken the signage off the posts. Suggest nailing these on and in the mean time, follow the fence as best you can. We will definitely be back and look forward to completing Ronan's Way again in the summer.

★★★★☆
Melanie 26 December, 2017 @ 15:28

Lovely place to brush away any turkey tiredness today. We took the red trail but got a little lost near the top so retreated back to let the blue signs bring us back. Thanks for this walk and we’ll be back in the summer to go ‘over the top’ ?? ?? ??

★★★☆☆
waller G 24 August, 2017 @ 21:43

Red trail: this was a good walk but had its downsides. The western side of the red trail is not well marked. The arrow points straight up but you should head right toward the fence on the upper slopes. I ended up far right of the marker. Also vandals may have taken the red arrows off some of the markers (Maybe arrows could be painted on?) You should stick to the fence on the way up and follow it until it turns left. There are great views up top and this feels a lot more than 3.4 miles, as you will put the work in. You will get wet and muddy, gaiters are recommended. Nice for this to be opened up for people to explore.

★★★★★
John Rayman 23 August, 2017 @ 13:44

The red route was one of the best walks of my life (I'm 72!). Stunning views, well worth the effort of the climb, falling in the bog (hree times), slipping into the stream (twice), but it had rained heavily overnight. Marvellous idea to create this fabulous amenity. Thank you.

★★★★☆
Kevin O'Hagan 18 June, 2017 @ 16:39

17th June - a new walk for the Glenravel Ramblers. Lovely walk, brilliant weather, great views. Only negative was the absence of a clear trail on the western descent of the Red Loop but it's early days yet.

A great lasting memorial to Ronan.

★★★★★
Paul Darragh 3 April, 2017 @ 14:05

Walked the red route at Ronan's way on Sunday 02.04.17

Weather was wonderful which added to the beauty and splendor of Glendun.

I felt honoured to have experienced such an enchanting location

★★★★☆
Rhonda Adams 4 March, 2017 @ 18:40

Thank you to this family for opening up their land! I hope many more landowners will follow their example so that more people can enjoy the wonderful countryside on foot. Followed Red Trail and it was muddy and very wet underfoot especially along the fence at the top of the hill but it has been a rainy week. Scenery was beautiful and I loved seeing the glen from a different perspective. The river was high and fast and looked stunning. Didn't see anyone else on the walk. Will definitely return in later spring and summer. Excellent car parking too.

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