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Quality Walk

Clandeboye Way – Helen’s Bay to Whitespots Country Park

The Clandeboye Way is a great off road walk through a variety of landscapes with lots to see along the way. Of historical interest is Helen's Tower and the old Leadmines at Whitespots Country Park. The path leads through old laneways, some farm tracks and woodland paths.

Please note - this walk involves crossing the main Bangor to Belfast dual carriageway.




8 miles

OS Map

Sheet 15

Nearest Town

Helens Bay near Crawfordsburn

Route Shape


Route Type



Laneways, tracks, woodland paths

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Clandeboye Estate, Helens Tower, Leadmines

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Other Area

Route Description

The walk starts from Helen’s Bay Railway Station. Take the underpass beneath the railway line to Clandeboye Avenue. Turn left onto this old laneway. Keep walking until you come across a gate leading onto a metalled path.

Continue along this for approximately a mile until passing under another bridge at Ballyrobert Road. After this bridge you will reach the main Belfast to Bangor dual carriageway.

Cross the dual carriage way and turn left, walk for a few metres and look for a small path on your right - this leads back onto Clandebye Avenue.

After approximately 1 mile the path leaves the Avenue and continues along a farm lane to Ballysallagh Road.

From here the path circles round Blackwood Golf Course eventually exiting on the Crawfordsburn Road near Ballyleidy Sawmill.

Turn right and cross the road. At the corner re enter Clandeboye Estate to your left at the back of the Sawmill. This leads uphill to Helen’s Tower for scenic views of the Co Down landscape on a good day.

From here the walk continues for another 10-15 minutes to an old metal stile. This leads into Whitespots Country Park. Continuing through the park past the leadmines will eventually lead to the Somme Heritage Centre and a large car park. This is the end of the walk.

From here either retrace you steps back to Helen’s Bay or catch a bus on the main Bangor to Newtownards Road.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

The walk starts from the car park at Helen’s Bay Railway Station. Take the underpass beneath the railway line to start in Clandeboye Avenue.


Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept under close control

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Disabled toilets - At Helen's Bay Car Park
Disabled parking


There is a car park at the start and finish although parking is limited at the railway station in Helens Bay. Toilets and refreshements can only be found at the start and finish of the walk in Helen’s Bay and in the Somme Heritage Centre (beside Whitespots Country Park). The Somme Centre has limited opening hours so it is worth phoning beforehand - 028 9182 3202



Publication Availability


Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

Ian Hart 13 July, 2019 @ 13:59

A delightful walk. An occasional waymark would have helped. We actually had no difficulty finding our way from Helen's Bay to Helen's Tower, but failed to find the way on to White spots / Somme.

Alessandra 6 July, 2019 @ 09:40

I loved the walk. I got lost from Helens tower to the car park but a golfer gave me the right indication to get to the car park.

Janet Dunn 26 April, 2019 @ 16:03

Have just completed this walk beginning at Helens Bay Railway Station but we were surprised to find virtually no way markers. Otherwise lovely walk.. Rating 4 stars due to lack of signage. We relied on the kind golfers to point us in the right direction..

jimbegley57@gmail.com 15 September, 2018 @ 11:51

Have walked this path a few times with my dog. He really enjoys the different woodlands. For the novice it not really that well signposted but mountain bikers have marked it with 'blue' markings and this is helpful. Do watch crossing the roads

Pauline 18 February, 2018 @ 13:34

We walked this with 4 children ( ages 4-14) and bought the family and friends ticket with translink which covers 2 adults and 4 children all day for £22. This enabled us to travel to Helen's Bay by train and get a bus at the Somme Centre. It was a great walk but quite mucky in places so do wear sensible footwear.

There is a lack of signage to tell you which way to go so thankfully we met a farmer and a cyclist who pointed us in the right direction. When you come to the farmers lane turn right and go to end, at the road go straight across to continue on. At Helens tower you can see the golf course keep this on your left hand side and walk downhill towards the leadmines.

It took us roughly 4 hours bearing in mind we had a 4 year old with us and stopped for a picnic. We would do it again though

Grace 11 February, 2017 @ 16:52

We started this walk from the Somme Museum which was the reason why we were in the area. We wanted a walk but more particularly we wanted to visit Helen's Tower which is part of the Somme story. We would have had some difficulty in finding the tower had we not met a kind lady who directed us. However we got completely lost on the way back and literally walked round in circles.

What would have been a very enjoyable walk was spoiled by a total lack of way marking.

Hannan Evans 8 February, 2015 @ 14:32

We found this walk last year only for some reason.we walk our dog there and marvel at the scenery and feeling that we are in a different place.it's awesome!our dog loves the freedom to explore and we love going off track even if we do end up covered in mud.we laugh as we walk near the wall that we are extras in Game of Thrones!!we have such wonderful heritage and scenery in Northern Ireland

Betty Armstrong 6 September, 2014 @ 17:40

This is a lovely walk with varied scenery and terrain. The reason for four and not five stars is the lack of waymarks. As we are from North Down the section from Helens's Bay to Helen's Tower is know to us but the lack of waymarks from then on leads to some confusion as to which direction to take from the tower. It says on the WalkNI website that these were to have been installed in 2008 It is now 2014 and no sigh of them. Pity!

www.sportscarclothing.com 25 May, 2014 @ 19:27

This is one of the best walks in North Down but better the opposite direction. I get bus from Bangor station to Conlig, walk up through the Golf Course and end up at Helen's Bay station. I then jump on train into Bangor for a well earned coffee and sit down.

glenn carter 8 January, 2014 @ 14:13

I did this walk for the 1st time and found it a real delight, can't wait to come back to N.Ireland to do this one again and many more. Would recommend highly.

Susan 5 August, 2012 @ 18:43

I jogged the first 3 miles of this route today in warm summer sunshine, which took me part-way round Blackwood golf course. This is such a lovely route, so peaceful, yet so close to Belfast & Bangor. You'll need to bring the directions & PDF map with you as signposts are non-existent. Armed with those, navigation is straightforward. Quite nettly in places but that's the time of year. Looking forward to exploring the rest of the route soon.

5-star rating but for some reason it won't let me select it!

David Watson 17 October, 2009 @ 20:38

I did this lovely walk with a friend on a rainy, muddy August day. It was superb. A hidden secret. Navigation was a problem and my OS map unusable. So we were lucky to find other local walkers. It would be great if an extension could be found to take us to Newtownards. We ended there, soaked but happy. And, as non car owners, public transport on a Sunday is difficult. Love the route!

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