8 Hidden Walking Gems in Northern Ireland

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The secret is out! Get into Nature and discover somewhere new

Blackslee Waterfall image courtesy of Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

WalkNI has partnered up with MyNI to help promote their new campaign – ‘Get into Nature’.

The ‘Get into Nature’ campaign aims to encourage people across Northern Ireland to get out into nature, enjoy it without damaging it, do what they can to help protect it and to be prepared for all conditions and events that may occur when out and about. The campaign also wants to help visitors build their outdoor skills and to provide the information they need to enjoy the environment they are visiting.

On a sunny day in Northern Ireland or weekend for that matter people flock to the most well-known and well-loved walks. However, overcrowding can lead to all sorts of environmental damage at our most favourite beauty spots. To help you ‘Get into Nature’ whilst also protecting it and maintaining social distancing why not avoid the hustle and bustle by discovering some of our favourite hidden gem walks in Northern Ireland listed below.

Lough Navar Forest Park, Blackslee Waterfall Walk

Take the perfect selfie in front of Blackslee Waterfall located halfway round this four-mile walk through the oldest part of Lough Navar Forest. You will also come across an interesting willow sculpture, the ‘Cloud Viewer’, on the last section of this walk near the waterfall.

Glenmore Scenic Walk

This short 1.2 mile walk is perfect for a summer stroll offering panoramic views from a lookout point over the hills and wider countryside of Co. Tyrone. This walk runs along the path of the Glen but you can choose a higher level path which will take you to a look-out point.

Blue Lough

An easy introduction to the Mourne Mountains this walk gives you the feeling of a day in the mountains whilst following gentle gradients and making use of distinct tracks and paths. The Blue Lough is the perfect place for a quiet picnic with beautiful views.

Killyfole Lough

A fantastic 1.5 mile all ability trail for those visiting Co. Fermanagh. This freshwater lough boasts a rich history and includes boardwalk sections, allowing you to get a closer glimpse into the lough depths and wildlife. This beautiful, peaceful walk takes in open water, reedbeds and small pockets of wet woodland.

Lecale Way

A spectacular section of the Ulster Way (https://walkni.com/ulsterway/) is a beautiful long distance trail extending along the rocky shores of Strangford Lough. Explore this walk in sections as you explore tower houses, castles, beaches and a wealth of wildlife.

Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny

While everyone heads to the summit of Cave Hill to check out the spectacular views of the city take in the same spectacular views from the Castlereagh Hills. This three-mile walk follows an enchanting glen and features some lovely waterfalls. Those who wish to extend this walk can follow the Connswater Community Greenway (https://walkni.com/walks/connswater-community-greenway/  through the heart of East Belfast.

Bog Meadows

A hidden gem in the city this short one mile walk explores an area of floodplain, now managed as an award winning urban nature reserve this location is an oasis for wildlife and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Carntogher Way

This walk on the hills above the Glenshane Pass gives access to historic Carntogher Mountain and offers views across Lough Foyle to Errigal and Muckish in Donegal, Sawel and the high Sperrins, and south-eat to the Mournes and Slieve Gullion. This area is rich in mythology and archaeological heritage featuring several monuments still visible in the landscape.

We would love to see where and how you ‘Get into Nature’ around Northern Ireland. Tag us on social media using #MyNI and #WalkNI

Over the next few weeks MyNI will be sharing useful hints and tips on how to make the best out of what nature has to offer. Whether you are an experienced walker or taking your first steps outdoors they will have something for all so be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay tuned for regular posts and updates.

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