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.


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Walk Route

Ballyroney Lackan Bog Walk

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  • 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.

    Derek Flack at 4:42 pm
  • County Down

    Distance 3.8 miles

    OS Map Sheet 29

    Terrain Rough lanes and road.


    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J24432 36746

    Route Type Hill, Lakeland

    Route Description

    Park as suggested walking for few minutes along the Lackan Road towards Ballyroney. Look out for the wooden sign ‘The Green Road’ which points into the first lane on the right. Continue along this agricultural lane until you meet a wooden gate and stile. Crossing the stile follow the 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.

    Cross the field towards another stile at Dickson’s Hill Road. Turn left into Dickson’s Hill Road and continue to its junction with the Dromara Road. Turn left and walk with due care and attention to the next road on the left ‘High Road’. This is a narrow road beside a house on the left just before Ballyroney Lake. Follow the road as it skirts around Lackan Bog to its junction with the Lackan Road and take left to return to the starting point.

    Point of Interest

    ‘Green Road Footpath’ – lovely walk across Lackan Bog ASSI and views over Annahinchigo and Ballyroney Lakes.

    Getting to the start

    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).

    Public transport

    Translink –

    Dog Policy

    Dogs are allowed. Must be under control at all times.


    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. Location: Church Hill Road, Drumballyroney, Rathfriland, Co. Down BT34 5PH T: 028 4062 3322 Visits: Available for pre-booked groups only. For booking T: 4062 0232