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Ballyroney (Lackan Bog ASSI) Walk

The small hamlet of Ballyroney is located on the banks of the Upper River Bann between Dromara and Rathfriland, County Down. Patrick Bronte, father of the famous literary sisters, was born in the nearby townland of Imdel in 1777. Captain Mayne Reid - a successful 19th century writer of adventure stories was born in Ballyroney in 1818.

Here the Upper River Bann wends it way around farmed drumlin hills set in a lowland basin of extensive birch and moss on its journey from the Mourne Mountains to Lough Neagh. The Mournes form a beautiful back drop to the area. Ballyroney Lake supports a variety of wintering waterfowl including mute swan, whooper swan, mallard, teal, tufted duck and coot.

The walk crosses Lackan Bog via - 'The Green Road' - an old bog rampart (a raised path across a bog) and asserted public footpath which runs for approx. 1 mile across the bog from Lackan Road to Dickson's Hill Road/ Dodd's Hill and provides great views over this bog habitat. The special and fragile nature of this habitat is reflected in its designation as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). Formerly a raised bog, but now completely cut over, Lackan Bog represents one of the largest single blocks of lowland peat left in County Down. It is one of the most important sites in Ireland for dragonflies. 13 out of 22 Irish species have been spotted in the bog. The best time to see them is between March and October.





5.6 miles

OS Map

Sheet 29

Nearest Town


Route Shape


Route Type

Hill, Lakeland


Rough lanes and road

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

'Green Road Footpath' - lovely walk across Lackan Bog ASSI and views over Annahinchigo and Ballyroney Lakes.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Other Area

Route Description

Option 1


Park as suggested walking for few minutes along the Lackan Road - towards Ballyroney looking out for a wooden footpath sign reading 'The Green Road' pointing into the first lane on the R. Continue along this agricultural lane until you meet a wooden gate and stile. Once over the stile you are entering the bog habitat and will follow a raised bog rampart across the bog. Turf was cut by hand from the bog in the past and this path was used as means of getting access to the bog. Please keep to the waymarked path. The bog rampart can be very uneven and potholed with animal burrowing, watch your step! Follow the rampart to its end at an agricultural field - crossing the field towards another stile at Dickson's Hill Road. Here, you can either retrace your steps to the starting point or extend the walk as follows:


Option 2


Turn L into the Dickson’s Hill Road and continue to its junction with the Dromara Road. Take L into this main road walking with due care and attention and look out for the next road on the L the 'High Road' – this is a narrow road beside a house on the L just before Ballyroney Lake. Follow this 3rd class road as it skirts Lackan Bog to its junction with the Lackan Road and take L to return to the starting point (walk of approx. 3 miles in total).


Option 3

Sections of this walk at Annahinchigo Lake include open fields used for grazing cattle - From the parking place at the Lackan Road, at the X-road - take the Crabtree Hill road and climb the hill looking for the a footpath sign on L – beside a cottage. The route follows this lane down towards the lake. Continue to meet a stile – climb over - and walk along R field boundary towards Annahinchigo/Hunshigo Lake. Look on R for a stile leading past a cottage on the lake shore and short enclosed section of path with a further 2 stiles to climb. The 3rd stile leads into a large open field which runs down to the lakeshore. Continue through this field, near the lakeshore and after a short distance look for a stile in the fence line to the R. If you come to the gate at the farmyard you have passed the stile and will need to retrace your steps to the stile. Pass through this stile which opens in a V - walking away from the lake shore keeping near the R field boundary through 2 open fields. Continue along the field boundary until you will reach a wooden field gate and stile leading into a bog rampart. Continue until this section of path meets a surfaced lane. Take a L into the lane (away from the old house). Keep to this lane, following way marks, until you reach the Crabtree Rd. Take a L into the Crabtree Rd and continue to its junction with the Bannfield Rd. Take a R into Bannfield Rd and (ignoring Tirkelly Rd on the L) continue along Bannside Rd which runs north to Ballyroney. This road climbs a hill and then follows the River Bann. Continue to its junction with the Dromara Road. Turn R into the Dromara Road and stay on this road through Ballyroney using the public footpath where available - exercise care walking along this road. Pass by Ballyroney Lake and take R into the 2nd Road on the right, Dicksons Hill Rd. Continue along this road and look out for the finger post reading 'Green Road Footpath' pointing across an open field. Pass through the stile here and cross field to the next stile which leads onto the 'Green Road'. Please keep to the waymarked path. The bog rampart can be very uneven and potholed with animal burrowing, watch your step! Follow the path to the Lackan Rd and on meeting this road turn L to return to the starting point

If you would like to report any problems with the route please contact the Countryside Officer at Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council on 028 4066 0617,



Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

The village of Ballyroney is located between Rathfriland and Dromara off the B7. At Ballyroney take Lackan Road (signed for Castlewellan). Continue for approx. 1.5 miles to first X-roads (Lackan/Flush and Crabtree Roads). Park with consideration on grass verge at side of Lackan Road before X-roads. Coming from Ballyroney Crabtree Road is the road to the right (up the hill).


Dogs are allowed. Must be under control at all times. See link below for advice on dogs and livestock.


Shops and facilities in Rathfriland approx. 1.5 mile to the SW. Small shop at Ballyward approx. 2.5 miles from parking place

Surrounding area (not on walk route):

Brontë Homeland
You can easily follow the story of Patrick Brontë and his family through the buildings that survive within the Brontë Homeland. The Brontë Homeland Drive starts at Drumballyroney Church and School near Rathfriland, ten miles south of Banbridge. It is well signposted along the 10-mile route.
Drumballyroney Church and School (Church Hill Road)
Together Drumballyroney Church and School are known as the Brontë Interpretive Centre. The church were Patrick first preached and the school house where he taught have been restored and now include displays about the Brontë family.


Church Hill Road, Drumballyroney, Rathfriland, Co. Down BT34 5PH

T: 028 4062 3322
Available for pre-booked groups only. For booking T: 4062 0232


Ballyroney : 3 Walk Combinations (info. sheet)

Publication Availability

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Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
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Ratings and Comments

Derek Flack 25 August, 2018 @ 16:39

Did the walk described in Option 3 with some adaptation. This is a superb walk encompassing a variety of landscapes. Annahinchigo Lough is very attractive and hosts large numbers of birds. Views of the Mournes and the rolling countryside of County Down dominate the backdrop for most of the walk, but there is also an opportunity to get up close to the River Bann. As I had the dog with me, I was reluctant to negotiate the busy Dromara Road and at the end of Bannside Road, we doubled back by Bannfield and Crabtree Roads to the start. There was no traffic whatsoever on any of the three roads mentioned above. Although there a few smallish hills to negotiate, the walk is very easy.

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