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Mourne Wall Challenge

A highly challenging route taking in 7 of the 10 highest mountains in the Mournes and Northern Ireland, by following the historic Mourne wall. Group numbers of no higher than 12 should attempt this route in one go, due to erosion issues around the fragile Mourne wall.




22 miles

OS Map


Nearest Town


Route Shape


Route Type



Single file mountain track

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

Slieve Binnian, Slieve Muck, Carn Mountain, Slieve Loughshannagh, Slieve Meelbeg, Slieve Meelmore, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Donard.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Route Description

From Carricklittle car park, take the track northwards for 1 km and cross the Mourne Wall using the stile provided. Follow the Mourne Wall to the north west and ascend Slieve Binnian (747m). The wall rises steeply on the rugged slopes of Slieve Binnian, but it is an obvious line to follow almost all the way to the summit. There is a break when the wall runs into a bare face of granite, and before this point you should bear right and aim for a notch in the top of the mountain. Going all the way to the summit involves easy scrambling to summit the tors and taking care on the rock. The reward is a fine panorama of the surrounding mountains. In clear weather it's possible to see the Isle of Man out to sea and the Wicklow Mountains beyond Dublin.

Continue following the Mourne Wall in a south westerly direction, descending steeply to Wee Binnian and across Moolieve. Continue the descent following the Mourne Wall to Silent Valley Mountain Park. A network of paths lead west across to the other side of the park. You can cut across at this point and travel west to regain the wall or continue following the wall south until the wall ends at the junction of Head Road and the entrance to Silent Valley Park. Continue in a westerly direction along Head Road for 1km and regain the wall where it meets Head Road after the forested area to the north ends. Continue along the wall in a northerly direction for 1.5 km where the wall takes a sharp westerly turn. After 500m, there is a junction of two walls, follow the wall to the north east to ascend Slievenaglogh. Descend Slievenaglogh following the Mourne Wall in a north westerly direction, crossing the Bann Road and steeply ascending towards Slieve Muck (674m). At the summit of Slieve Muck, take the northerly fork in the Mourne Wall. Continue east along this route to the summit of Carn Mountain (588m). Follow the Mourne Wall, passing Lough Shannagh on the right. Continue following the Mourne Wall to traverse the summits of Slieve Loughshannagh (619m) and Slieve Meelbeg (708m), up to the summit of Slieve Meelmore (687m). Continue to descend steeply following the wall in a south easterly direction, cross Pollaphuca and ascend Slieve Bearnagh (739m). Continue following the Mourne Wall in a north easterly direction to descend into Hare’s Gap. From Hare’s Gap ascend Slievenaglogh (586m). Continue following the wall in an east to south easterly direction to ascend Slieve Commedagh. Excellent views of Newcastle, Donard Wood and the Glen River can be enjoyed here. Continue east along the wall to ascend the highest mountain in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard (853m). The summit provides spectacular views of the coast and as far afield as Belfast, 30 miles north, and Dublin, 55 miles to the south. Continue descending along the Mourne Wall in a southerly direction where the Bog of Donard spreads out before you. Continue along the Mourne Wall skirting past Chimney Rock Mountain to the east and Rocky Mountain to the west. From the north east side of Rocky Mountain, the wall trends south east towards Long Seefin. From here the 90 degree turn in the wall will lead you towards Annalong Wood. Continue following the wall for 500m, to meet a minor untarred road. Follow this road in a south easterly direction to meet the Head Road at Rourkes Park. Follow the Head Road in a westerly direction for 1.5km back to Carricklittle car park.

Please be aware that this walking route passes through areas of open land such as hillside, working farmland and working forests. Livestock may be present, ground conditions may be uneven or wet underfoot and all forestry signage should be adhered to. Please refer to the ‘Walk Safely’ information that can be found at the link below.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

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 are allowed. Dogs must be kept on leads

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5


Car park available at Carricklittle and Silent Valley (charge applicable at Silent Valley).
Coffee shop open 11.00am-6.30pm every day June, July, August, weekends and Bank Holidays during April, May, September.
Visitors Centre and toilet facilities available at Silent Valley.



Publication Availability


Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

David Murphy 21 July, 2019 @ 23:37

Completed the walk over two days, views are breath taking and well worth the aches and pains for the next two days.

Fairly difficult I thought in places and would consider taking longer next year.

Weather was awful on day one and visablity was 20 metres or so. But next day was just amazing.

Colin McWilliams 1 July, 2019 @ 15:30

Did this walk alone on the 28th June 2019.

Agree with everyone here. Very difficult to complete in one day. Started at 6:25am and got back to car around 9:30pm. Light just starting to fade. Found Slieve Muck, the rise up Commedagh, and the long walk after Donard were the most difficult. Brought 3 Litres of water but this was just enough to reach the waterpipe.

David Hill 13 January, 2019 @ 23:28

Did this walk in competition in 1970 as an eighteen year old. I was 12th in the all Ireland cross country that year so very fit, so I decided to run at the front with guys who were supposed to be mo7ntain guides. We ended up getting lost and did an extra 4 miles. Going up Slieve Donald I hit the wall for the first time. I had drag myself up the rest of the way and was then in agony coming down back to the end. Having said that it was the mikes before the ‘wall’ were the most glorious of my life, a real sense of free and energy. I could barely walk for the next 3 days but I did manage to get 2nd and 3rd in the NI school athletic championships 1500 & 800 a week later. How mad and foolish is youth

Kevin Woods 4 July, 2018 @ 10:16

Did the Mourne wall challenge yesterday (3 July 2017). Took 13 hours. A big challenge was the heat (I know, careful what you wish for!). I carried 8 litres of water, which was a killer to carry up binnion, but glad I did given the heat on the day. The water pipe at comedagh wasn't producing.

The walk itself was stunningly beautiful, conditions unimaginably perfect. I used an entire bottle of suncream, applying every hour and got away without sunburn.

Binnion with the weight was tough and as others have said, slieve muck is the big challenge of the day. From there the paths become more defined and the climbs are shorter, although more numerous. I was completely shattered climbing donard but wanted to finish.

The walk from donard all the way back to carrick little car park along the wall and then the road is very tough, it seems to go on forever.

The mournes are such a treasure!

Kevin Smith 1 July, 2018 @ 11:45

Did this walk 3 years on the trot in late 70's/early 80's with a very dear friend. I totally concur with previous comments that it is a very challenging walk. Best we could do was 12 hours. However as others have noted, the stunning views made it all wothwhile

Kevin Smith 30 June, 2018 @ 13:58

Did this walk 3 years on the trot in late 70's/early 80's with a very dear friend. I totally concur with previous comments that it is a very challenging walk. Best we could do was 12 hours. However as others have noted, the stunning views made it all wothwhile

Pete 4 June, 2018 @ 20:36

Did this walk on Saturday 02nd June on my own, followed the wall from Binnian going clockwise. As I was travelling solo I took quite a bit if kit (18kg 100L rucksack) as I wanted to be prepared for all circumstances. This did slow me down a bit.

I was lucky and got fantastic weather the whole way round. This is a great walk and the whole way round has got fantastic views of the Mournes. The most challenging two bits for me were the Binnian descent down the wall and the Slieve Muck ascent where its hands and feet for a bit to traverse a fairly steep rocky bit. Other than that it is pretty straightforward.

There is a great spot to refill water as you ascend Commedagh, Water comes from a pipe and its timed perfectly given you still have Donard to summit and the long walk back to Carrick little,

Up again soon taking some friends round so it can't have been too bad :-)

Gareth 19 July, 2017 @ 15:08

Completed this walk on Tuesday. The sun was beating down relentlessly all day, it was a scorcher! The views along the way are in my opinion unparalleled in Ireland, the mournes are a truly beautiful place.

All in all it took me 12hrs 15 minutes. I can only describe this challenge as extreme should you wish to complete it in a single day. I brought 5 litres of water, sandwiches, chocolate etc. The 5l were barely enough because of the heat. A good pair of waterproof Hiking boots are a necessity as there is plenty of bogland to traverse.

I'd strongly recommend this walk, but it's not for the faint hearted!

Andrew Trueman 18 June, 2017 @ 12:34

Tackled this challenge on Saturday 17th June 2017.

Without a doubt probably the toughest (both physically & mentally) challenge I've completed. Doing it alone and in tempartures of 22 degrees, increased the difficulty dramatically. Despite the aching blisters, bad sunburn and depleted body, it was an amazing day out. Not a cloud in sight. Well worth it! Not for the faint hearted!

Time taken: Approx 13 hours

Nicholas O'Neill 5 June, 2017 @ 11:07

Completed the wall on 3rd June 2017 in memory of my Father who completed it on the 3rd June 1979. Definitely an extreme physical challenge, and doing it alone meant it was a mental challenge at times also.

Weather was amazing with only one 10 mins of rain. Took 3.5l of water, 4 snickers bars, 3 bananas and 3 chicken baps. Just about enough but to be honest a bit more water and food would have been welcome. Glad I wore hiking boots as it’s very wet in places and a bit of scrambling is needed.

I definitely underestimated how difficult it would be...gruelling is the word, but despite the blisters, sore body and hunger it was an amazing adventure in a stunningly beautiful place...well worth every step.

Luke 10 August, 2016 @ 20:31

Just completed this walk today. We decided to tackle it over two days, camping about half way and I'm glad we did! The camping and cooking gear probably slowed us down some but I think it would have been a struggle to do in one day! Definitely only advise experienced walkers to attempt in one day, but the views are absolutely stunning and the walk is well worth the pain!

RYAN SCULLION 28 June, 2016 @ 14:19


Ciaran 28 June, 2016 @ 14:15

I completed a monumental 75km walk around the beautiful mourne mountains this weekend. 3 days walking and 2 nights camping. To say the weather was dreadful would be an understatement but by God what a beautiful piece of countryside.

Kasia 13 April, 2015 @ 14:19

I did the walk on Saturday. It was great experience. The weather was ok during the first half, and then I survived 3 hail storms. It took me 13 hours. Great views, definitely worth doing!

Philip Blair 20 August, 2013 @ 10:21

I did this walk on Sunday. Very tough going, did it in just over 9.5 hours. More info and photos here http://www.ni-wild.co.uk/forum/meets-places-trips-and-reviews/my-mourne-wall-walk-18813/msg48006/?topicseen#new

Hikersblog.co.uk 13 June, 2013 @ 21:14

Walked this as a group, stunning walk, tough challenge! Find a review here : http://www.hikersblog.co.uk/tag/mourne-wall/

Rusty Surginor 1 June, 2013 @ 23:26

Did this walk with 3 friends the other day. It was amazing. I cannot stress how difficult it is though. I completed 3 Marathons last year including the Mourne Mountain Marathon and I found completing this in one day the toughest physical challenge yet. Massively worth it though,

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