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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Walk Route

Fairhead Loch Dubh Walk

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  • Breath-taking!

    Ashleigh Rigby at 12:57 pm
  • County Antrim

    Distance 1.5 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

    The Lough Dubh Walk (red loop), is a 1.5 mile circular walk taking in stunning clifftop views ending with a pleasant stroll past picturesque loughs and returning via farm tracks.

    From the carpark walk along the tarmacked road where you will come across the first point of interest to your left – Doonmore, a grassy summit rising 65 feet above the surrounding farmland where an interpretation panel will inform you of the history and geology of the site. Continuing along the tarmac path you will soon come to a stile with waymarkers on your right.  Cross the stile into open field, which can be very mucky in places and follow the waymarker posts cross country. After a gradual climb it won’t be long until the views of Ballycastle below open up to your left. Taking care following the waymarkers along the cliff edge, the ground undulating below, Rathlin Island will soon become clearly visible to the North. You are now at the closest part of Northern Ireland to the unique island with almost a bird’s eye view of the lighthouses and rocky shores. Not far from Rathlin, the Hebridean Islands of Islay, Jura, as well as the Mull of Kintyre on Scottish mainland echo of the ancient Kingdoms of Dál Riata (Dalriada) and the Ríthe Innse Gall (The Lords of The Isles). These Gaelic kings controlled this sea kingdom for 100’s of years, later becoming Lords of the North Coast and Glens of Antrim. This dynasty was known as Clann Domhnaill or The Mac Donnell Clan.

    After crossing the stile on the edge of Loch Dubh (Loughdoo) also known as The Black Lake you will leave the other routes following the red waymarkers east around the edge of the Loch to eventually meet the purple trail (Casan an Loch Walk).  Following quad and farm tracks you will make your way south into the farmyard which you must pass through to return back to the car park.  Please be aware that this is a working farmyard and machinery may be in operation.

    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.