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Quality Walk


Aside from its natural beauty, Slemish's value as a heritage site is entirely bound up with its association with Saint Patrick. In local tradition, the mountain was the site of the saint's slavery, where he spent 6 years herding livestock for Mulchi, the local chieftain.




1.2 miles

OS Map

Sheet 9

Nearest Town

Nearest village Buckna

Route Shape


Route Type



Steep rocky track

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Look out for Wheater, Irish hare, Buzzard & Ravens

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Antrim Coast & Glens

Route Description

This route begins at Slemish Car Park about 15 minutes drive from the village of Broughshane. After following a grassy track to the base of the mountain, walkers can then pick and choose their own path over rocky terrain to the summit, some 1437 feet above sea level. This short ascent is reasonably strenuous however your efforts are more than rewarded with fabulous views which are sure to re-energise any tired legs.

For a gentler descent, walk across the grassy summit in a southerly direction and hike down the south face of Slemish. You can then traverse back across the south western side of the mountain before picking up the route back to the car park. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Irish Hares in the surrounding plains and bird lovers will enjoy spotting any number of Wheatears, Ravens and Buzzards hovering above.

Despite being only 1.2 miles in length this rocky ramble should take around an hour to complete, leaving plenty of time to take in the jaw-dropping views. 

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Follow the brown signs from Ballymena


Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Disabled toilets
Disabled parking


Car parking, picnic tables, toilets and information centre.


Ballymena Walks.

Publication Availability

Contact Ballymena Town Hall Museum & Arts Centre, 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, Co Antrim, BT43 5EJ. Tel: (028) 2563 5900 or email: tourist.information@ballymena.gov.uk.

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

NI EXPLORER 21 November, 2018 @ 11:24

A brilliant short walk with spectacular sunset views. Check out our recent adventure up >> https://niexplorer.com/latest/slemish

Rowland Driskell 22 October, 2016 @ 23:35

I was inspired and exhilarated by the experience of hiking to the top of Mount Slemish.

Neil Baird 20 August, 2012 @ 14:17

Using a number of different trails up and down, you can make Slemish as challenging or as easy as you like. Fantastic views on a clear day as far as the Sperrins.

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