Fairhead An Bealach Runda Walk

(3 reviews)

Enjoy breath-taking views from the cliff edge of Fairhead on this ruggedly beautiful, wild and remote walk.  Expect stunning coastal views towards Ballycastle and Rathlin Island and look down on the picturesque Murlough Bay.  You’ll also pass historic loughs and open green farmland on one of the many walk options which are guaranteed to invigorate the senses.

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Fairhead An Bealach Runda Walk

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  • Today this was an easy grade and fun walk with stunning coastline views as we had no wind, no rain and clear skies. On previous occasions it was a medium grade, wet, windy- full exposure, no shelter and occasional fog.
    Regardless of the weather it is a fantastic route, rewarding and satisfying. Recommend sturdy walking boots with good ankle support, insect repellent, camera, binoculars. Always a great walking route

    Rhonda V at 10:56 pm
  • Absolutely stunning circular walk. Not fit the faint hearted if you don’t like heights. Watch the kids near the cliff edges!!! We were lucky to have a clear day with gorgeous views across to Raithlin and Scotland. We were also lucky to see some abseilers scaling the 100m cliffs below. Highly recommended walk.

    Sally at 6:33 pm
  • Fabulous views towards Rathlin, Donegal and Mull of Kintyre. Well sign-posted. Boggy in places as expected. Really blew the cobwebs away on this much needed walk

    Jacqueline McCarthy at 5:52 pm
  • County Antrim

    Distance 3.1 miles

    OS Map Sheet 5

    Terrain Uneven grasses, bog, farm track

    Nearest Town Ballycastle

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference D175426

    Route Type Coastal

    Route Description

    Includes stunning cliff top views, returning via open and uneven grassland (map advised) before passing the hamlet of Coolanlough and following minor roads keeping right at the junction to return to Fairhead Car Park.

    The iconic cliffs of Fairhead or Benmore tower above the famous Sea of Moyle where mythology states the Children of Lir, were put under an evil spell transforming them into swans to spend 900 years in exile from humanity. The great cliffs of Fairhead are composed of a rock called dolerite. This igneous rock was born out of volcanic activity some 60 million years ago. The upper half of the cliff is formed of gigantic columns which are up to 12 metres in diameter, some of which are separated from the rest of the cliff but still stand, despite their precarious nature.

    This walk begins at the farm car park (£3 per car) clearly signposted off the Fairhead Rd. The trailhead panel in the car park will offer you a number of route choices with loops from 1.5 – 3.4 miles. Be sure to take time to read the hidden interpretation information at each waymarker pointing out important sites of historic and geological interest along the way.

    Please be aware that sections of this walk are situated near a cliff edge and due care must be taken particularly during windy conditions and in poor visibility.  Weather conditions along the coast can change very quickly – so be prepared.  Although the walk is waymarked it is advised that you equip yourself with a map. The walking route passes through areas of open land and working farmland. Livestock may be present and ground conditions are often uneven, wet and mucky underfoot and as such walking boots are strongly recommended.  

    Point of Interest

    Views over Murlough Bay and towards Rathlin

    Getting to the start

    From Ballycastle, follow the A2, turning left at the junction onto Torr Rd, turn left again onto Fairhead Rd. The sign for Fairhead Car Park is clearly signed along this road on the left directing you to the access road to the farm where the car park is situated. Parking is £3.

    Public transport

    Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

    Dog Policy

    Dogs are not allowed. Please be aware of the presence of working farm dogs on the blue and turquoise routes.


    Numerous toilet facilities, cafés and shops are situated in Ballycastle 5 miles away.