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Quality Walk

Central Mournes

A circular route in the central Mournes taking in sites such as Annalong Wood, Slievelamagan, Ben Crom Reservoir, Cove Mountain and Annalong Valley, with views over the Irish Sea and to the Isle of Man.

County

Down

Distance

9.9 miles

OS Map

29

Nearest Town

Hilltown

Route Shape

Circular

Route Type

Mountain

Terrain

Unsurfaced mountain paths

Grid Reference (Start)

J345219

Grid Reference (End)

J345219

Point of Interest

Annalong Wood, Blue Lough, Slievelamagan, Cove Mountain, Slieve Beg, Annalong River

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Mournes

Route Description

From Carricklittle car park, take the track leading up towards the mountains for 1km and cross the Mourne Wall using the stile/gate provided. Continue along the flat path for 1.8km keeping the Annalong Wood on your right. At the end of the wood, continue along the main path ascending towards the craggy outcrop of Percy Bysshe. This was used for bombing practice from off-shore ships during World War II. The path forks before this craggy outcrop, you should bear left passing the Blue Lough (on the right). Continue for another 500m to reach the col between Slieve Binnian and Slievelamagan (704m). You will see the path coming off Binnian on your left and a path leading up Slievelamagan on your right. Take this path to the right and continue to the col between Slievelamagan and Cove mountain. From here follow the path over Cove Mountain along the top of the crags. Continue along this path northwards to Slieve Beg passing the Devil's Coach Road. Care should be taken here, especially in windy conditions. At the col between Slieve Beg and Slieve Commedagh, where the path meets the Brandy Pad, you should continue cross-country in a southerly direction for 250m to pick up the path that follows the Annalong River. Continue down this path for 3.25km, until you reach the wall at the northern end of the Annalong Wood. Follow the wall up to where it meets the main Carricklittle track again and retrace your steps back to the car park.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Carricklittle car park is a stop on the Mourne Rambler bus route, please see the download on this page for timetable details.

Getting to the Start (by Car)

The walk starts at Carricklittle car park. To get here follow the Moneydarragh Road out of Annalong for 1.3 km, continue straight on at the crossroads on the Oldtown Road for 2.4 km, Carricklittle car park is at the end of the Oldtown Road.

Dogs

Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept on leads

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Facilities

Car park available at Carricklittle.

Publication

N/A

Publication Availability

N/A

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

★★★★★
stephen Bunting 30 January, 2017 @ 13:17

This is an excellent walk as you get to see all the peaks from inside the mournes, although its not for the inexperienced. I have done most of the walks in the mournes from WalkNI and we found this very trying, the trails are unclear with some very steep drops to the sides of narrow paths, some cross country with no clear paths at all. Dont attempt this if you are not confident as you are very isolated. It took us just under 7.5 hours to do 15km with a few stops for food. I was convinced Id taken a wrong path because it took so long, but our GPS later showed we followed the map almost perfectly. Be prepared

★★★★★
Stevie G 13 July, 2016 @ 21:21

I walked this on 12 July 2016 for the first time. A great day all round weather wise allowing fantastic vistas and views, especially from Slieve Lamagan and moving round Cove. I am not unfit, but cannot say fit, and at the end I was sore and tired. I misread the instructions assuming it was take the Devil's Coach road, but realised this could not be true on seeing it! I did not pass over to the Brandy Pad but rather took a cross country route down by the river after retracing some steps. Going up Slieve Lamagan was tough enough, but did it in about 2 hours, took 30 minutes for lunch another 2.5 hours from there at a steady pace. This is a great day out and a great walk giving a different view of the Mournes from inside.

★★★★★
David 26 July, 2014 @ 21:54

I have walked many times in the Mournes, I am not sure any of them matched this walk for views. Helped by a cloudless sky... Brilliant walk.

★★★★★
tom 6 September, 2013 @ 22:34

From an inexperienced mountain walker and someone currently not very fit:

its not a difficult walk by any means. Id say this would take 5-6 hrs at a leisurely pace if you are fit. i wasnt so i struggled a little. very nice scenery at the top of lamagan. chose your day carefully if u want a view from the summit of lamagan, it gets clouded over a lot. i would have preferred poles to get over the devils crossroads section but the rest was ok. the path up lamagan was nonexistent, and the "path" that joins up with the annalong river we found very hard to find. ive only done the brandy pad before this in the mournes and like i say i wish id had poles to do this, particularly coming down as im not so sturdy on descents. very worthwhile though.

★★★★★
Eamonn 3 May, 2013 @ 10:36

A nice gentle start along the Annalong wood towards Slievelamagan. Take in the Blue lough on the right just after Percy Bisseys, a crater filled area caused by shelling practice during the second world war, shell fragments can still be found. Head on up Slievelamagan to the summit, one or two stops should get you there. Beautiful panoramic views and a nice cluster of summit rocks to enjoy lunch from, especially on windy days. Follow the obvious paths over the next few summits, not too strenuous and then start the descent to the Annalong river valley. It can be very wet along the banks and the peaty soil can be hard going on wetter days. The valley is a perfect lunch break spot, plenty of flat grassy areas to make camp if staying longer. 5 or 6 hours depending on stops and fitness levels. Recommended for adults and older children. Sensible clothing, footwear and wet gear a must. :-)

★★★★★
John Neeson 28 February, 2012 @ 16:15

did this walk at the weekend as a relative amateur having only been in the mournes a few times before. it took about 5 hours in total, 2 hours from the car park to the top of slievelamagan which is a fairly steep climb with no obvious track for most of the way but is achievable taking it one section at a time. and then 3 hours back down the valley including a stop for lunch. some brilliant views from the top of Slievelamagan looking in all directions. if you are thinking about it just do it, you wont regret it.

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