WalkNI.com Your definitive guide to walking in Northern Ireland
Quality Walk

Hen, Cock and Pigeon Rock

A circular route in the western Mournes giving a taster of views that can be experienced in the region. The walker will ascend Hen, Cock and Pigeon Rock Mountains using open mountain terrain before descending through a valley to the starting car park.

County

Down

Distance

5.9 miles

OS Map

29

Nearest Town

Hilltown

Route Shape

Circular

Route Type

Mountain

Terrain

Loose surface tracks, open mount

Grid Reference (Start)

J233277

Grid Reference (End)

J233277

Point of Interest

Hen Mountain, Cock Mountain, Pigeon Rock Mountain

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Mournes

Route Description

Leave Sandbank Car Park and cross the Sandbank Road to Hen track, directly opposite. Follow Hen track up to the gate. After the stone wall follow the well worn track cross country to ascend Hen Mountain. From here there is no constructed path on the route until the Hen Track is rejoined later at the Rowan Tree River. At the summit, explore the impressive collection of tors popular with rock climbers. From the south tor descend south east before starting the steeper ascent up Cock Mountain. Ascend Cock Mountain from where there are impressive views of Spelga Dam Reservoir to the east. Descend Cock Mountain in a south south easterly direction to flatter ground which can be boggy, before ascending Pigeon Rock Mountain to meet Batts Wall at its summit. Follow Batts Wall initially in a south easterly direction and then in a south westerly direction to the col between Pigeon Rock Mountain and Slievemoughanmore, where you will meet the upper stretch of the Rowan Tree River. Follow the river to join Hen track. Follow the track back to Sandbank Road Car Park. 

Getting to the Start (by Car)

The walk starts at the Sandbank Road Car Park. To get here follow the Kilkeel Road out of Hilltown for 2.9 km, turn right at the Sandbank Road crossroads and continue for 1.4 km, Hen car park is on the right hand side.

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Facilities

Car park and picnic facilities available at Sandbank Road Car Park

Publication

N/A

Publication Availability

N/A

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

★★★☆☆
Kaspars 13 July, 2017 @ 09:26

cant actually rate this walk, but you have to change info about dogs. You can't take dogs there.

★★★★★
tom 7 May, 2016 @ 16:28

we decided to do this walk to avoid some of the more popular trails. Its a reasonable day hike but not difficult. due to the time of the year i felt it was quite wet in places, i was glad i had waterproof boots. Hen mountain is simple, the climb to cock mountain is a little more steep but very enjoyable, and the climb to pigeon rock is easy going, with a v simple walk back down to the carpark. It was very windy on the day we did it so we didnt hang around the peaks for long. Barely saw another soul all day. Great views of spelga dam and the back of the high mournes.

★★★★☆
Christopher Johnston 22 April, 2016 @ 23:08

Took this walk on what was an unusually warm and sunny day in April. I did the walk anti clockwise as it seemed a little easier this way. Some of the best views in the mournes . Beautifully peaceful walk only slightly spoiled by two mini buses from some walkers driving up the path. Thoroughly recommend this walk.

★★★★★
Eóin McMahon 22 March, 2016 @ 09:17

My two boys (11 and 13), my partner and I walked to Hen Mountain from the Kilkeel Road. We had to cross the river (which I just found out is the Bann) and a fence to go up that way. We curved around to the west side and up that way. It is relatively easy walk, but it was lovely up there. The feeling on top of the rock peaks was amazing and we had great views. It was difficult to find a map or a guide to indicate how to climb it and I was unaware until today that there is a car park. It is a nice short climb that reminds me of Weathertop from Lord of the Rings!

★★★★★
Roy 21 April, 2015 @ 11:26

I did this walk for the first time at Easter when the weather was nice and it was simply breath taking the view from Hen Mountain is as good as that from any of the Other. Bring a good Camera as you'll get some great pics from the Hen.

★★★★★
Diana 23 March, 2015 @ 12:56

I first did this walk over 20 years ago and revisited yesterday on a glorious March day. We only had a few hours to walk so this was ideal. The views were incredible, we could clearly see Bearnagh, Binnian and Donard in all their glory and as far as Cave Hill in Belfast. Sat on the tors on Cock Mountain enjoying the sun on our faces. Wonderful!

★★★★★
Claire 18 January, 2015 @ 21:10

Walked this route today with a couple of friends after hearing good reviews. It did not disappoint, absolutely stunning scenery, especially with the recent snowfall. Highly recommend, enjoy!

★★★★★
David 26 July, 2014 @ 21:46

Another fascinating aspect of the Mournes. Pigeon is interesting to explore. It was the hottest day of the year so far and the ascent of Cock Mountain brought into sharp focus that I need to get fitter... The more gentle ascent of Pigeon was a great summit, with a fantastic view of surrounding peaks.

★★★★★
Ciaron 9 November, 2013 @ 23:09

I'm always pleased to do this walk. Walked this route this morning with 2 novices and they loved it. You should do all the tors on Cock Mountain. Amazing slabs of granite. Ground is always wet between mountains so do wear boots. Walk along Rowan River is nice, we even saw a fish in it. We also saw a Red Kite today.

★★★★☆
Lara 9 September, 2013 @ 12:34

Pigeon is quite quick to climb, and impressive views from the top. Cock mountain is a lot steeper with no real path, so it was a bit more a challenge but lovely views of spelga from the top. The walk from there to the top of Pigeon Rock is pretty gradual. Me and my partner went up yesterday and though it rained a bit, was still a lovely day, even making friends with some wildish horses!

Add Your Rating

Know a good walk that is not included on the site?

Suggest a Walk >