Your student guide to treks and trails across Northern Ireland in 2023
It’s the season of students once again! Discover walking trails near your university with WalkNI and our sponsor Barista Bar. Together we have curated a list of treks and trails near Belfast, Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry for students to wind down, discover their surroundings and grab a delicious Barista Bar along the way!
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Queens University & University of Ulster Belfast Campus
For those studying in the centre of Belfast you may be thinking the only place to walk would be around the city centre. But did you know there are lots of fantastic walks right next to or a short bus ride away from uni. Check out some of our favourite walks below:
The perfect location for Queens students looking to take a short walk between lectures. This 0.7-mile walk boasts a spectacular rose garden and palm house.
Discover Belfast’s links to its unique Titanic and maritime heritage following this trail from the Titanic Memorial Garden at Belfast City Hall to Titanic Quarter.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Titanic ARC Retail Shops)
Cave Hill Country Park
Those in search of epic city views can find them at the summit of Cave Hill. A challenging 3.8-mile walk, this circular route follows green waymarker arrows anti-clockwise from Belfast Castle. This walk came out as the best summit view point in Northern Ireland in the recent WalkNI Awards sponsored by Barista Bar.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Cavehill)
Divis & The Black Mountain Ridge Trail
While others may be heading to Cave Hill for the Birdseye view of Belfast. Enjoy 180-degree views across the city from the Divis Ridge Trail. You also have the option of heading the summit of Divis the highest point in the Belfast hills. The walk to these epic views is less steep than the trail to Cave Hill.
This 14.2-mile linear walk from Belfast to Lisburn is great for those looking to adventure further. It is possible to get the trail to Lisburn and walk the trail in reverse back to Belfast or visa versa. The trail takes you through a variety of wetland, riverside meadows and woodland.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Maxol Station Old Milltown Road)
Closest place to grab a Barista Bar coffee near campus: Elmwood SPAR
University of Ulster Coleraine Campus
For those heading to Coleraine when it comes to finding epic walks you are truly spoilt for choice. With both on site walks, beach walks and some epic cliff top trails you are in for a treat. We encourage you to make good use of the Translink Causeway Rambler Service which will take you to some of the best walking locations further along the Causeway Coast. Check out some of our favourite walks below:
The Campus Trail
Did you know there is a 2-mile circular trail through the university grounds?! Ideal for a break from studying or stretching your legs between lectures. The trail starts at the sports pavilion.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR UUC Coleraine)
Portstewart Strand Sand Dune & Estuary Trail
The closest beach to the university. Enjoy this 2.8-mile walk boasting golden sands and some of Ireland’s tallest sand dunes. For those who fancy a post walk dip in the sea this beach has been awarded a ‘European Blue Flag’ for water quality.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Portstewart)
Challenge yourself! Explore the Causeway Coast Way section of the International Appalachian (IAT) Ulster-Ireland
The Causeway Coast Way is a large section of both the Ulster Way and the International Appalachian Trail Ulster-Ireland. We highly recommend you taking time to explore this trail during your time at university. The IAT Ulster-Ireland is a 279-mile-long distance walking trail starting in West Donegal in the Republic of Ireland which continues into Northern Ireland passing through the Sperrin Mountains, the Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim before reaching its end point in Larne on the eastern coast.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Moyle Road)
Closest place to grab a Barista Bar coffee near campus: SPAR UUC Coleraine
University of Ulster Derry~Londonderry Campus
There are many fantastic trails in the city centre to enjoy, from the two bridges walk enjoyed by many locals to some hidden gems boasting waterfalls just a short drive or bus ride away from the city centre. You can also make good use of the train service to connect with the other fantastic trails including Benone Strand beach or even the trails listed above for the Coleraine Campus.
Lough Foyle Trail
This 5.2-mile linear walk from Ballykelly follows flat, off-road trails. This sheltered haven on the Atlantic Coast follows alongside a freshwater pond with the expanse of Lough Foyle viewed on the other side of the sea wall for the length of the walk. Depending on tide levels, you will see various waders and wildfowl (including Brent Geese in winter) feeding on the mudflats at the river mouth.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Limavady)
A stunning hidden gem close to the city this woodland is one of Northern Ireland’s rare and irreplaceable ancient woods. The wood is a treasure boasting great beauty and a precious wildlife habitat in the middle of an otherwise urban landscape.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Church Brae)
Muff Glen Forest Walk
This woodland walk straddles a valley alongside the Muff River. The forest provides a welcome retreat through the woods past a waterfall. The forest is accessible on foot via a loop path, with views of the waterfall at the southern end of the trail.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Eglinton)
Ness, Ervey and Burntollet Woodland Walk
A short drive from the city you will find three woodlands. Ness Wood is a steep wooded glen with riverside and woodland paths. Recent work has extended this walk along both sides of the Burntollet River joining Ness and Ervey Woods. Ness Country Park boasts a fantastic waterfall while Burntollet wood which sits adjacent to Ness in summertime, boasts 27 acres of gloriously coloured wildflowers.
(Pick up a Barista Bar coffee from SPAR Glenshane Road)
Hop on the train! Benone Strand
Just a short train ride along the Causeway Coast you will find on of Ireland’s longest beaches. A Blue Flag beach, Benone Strand is popular throughout the year for a variety of outdoor activities and events boasting great views along the North Coast, to Inishowen in Donegal and Scotland.
As always we love to see you out and about, so don’t forget to tag us in your treks and trails with your favourite Barista Bar Coffee in hand!
Follow @BaristaBarNI & @WalkNI and tag us in your Barista Bar coffee moments using #WalkNI #BaristaBarNI