Last month we managed to squeeze in a few different walks here in Northern Ireland. Some of these, you can spend maybe an hour walking around and others you can spend longer as it will take more time to walk around or you may find yourself snapping away at the beautiful scenery. They are great walks for getting out of the house and taking in some beautiful views and fresh country air. I have provided the websites for each location so you can check them out for yourselves also. These are perfect if you are looking for somewhere different to walk or if you ever plan to visit Northern Ireland in the future. There are many other walks that I have taken or plan to take but these are just the last few that I have walked recently.
Castlewellan Forest Park
This is a stunning lake side walk in Castlewellan, about 4.3 km long and is a loop walk, my favourite type of walk. Beautiful surroundings and you will find many walks in Northern Ireland tend to revolve around a castle. Here you can find Castlewellan Castle. There is also a large maze that you can enjoy just before you commence the walk (accessible from the car park).
Silent Valley Reservoir
Here you can take a beautiful walk around Northern Ireland’s largest reservoir, where the water is used to supply most of Co Down and Belfast. Set in the Mourne Mountains, it offers breathtaking views and also a walk to Ben Crom Dam that’s about 10km round trip.
Gosford Forest Park
Located in Markethill, this is a fantastic woodland area with lots of walkways, trees and wildlife. This forest park is great if you’re after a quiet space to get away from everything and also boasts picnic benches and food trucks in the carpark if you’re looking a bite to eat or grab a coffee for your walk. You could spend hours in this park, especially in summer time and it always brings back good memories of my childhood. We had so many picnics here as children and I always remember running around the treks and admiring the flower gardens (sadly these are no longer there). Gosford Forest Castle can be seen here also, although at present it is cordoned off for maintenance.
Hillsborough Forest Park
I have to admit, this is one of my favourite parks of late. It’s a beautiful walk in Hillsborough taking you around the lake. You can see Hillsborough Fort here and a fun fact, this was the first home of the Hill family, where the town’s name derives from. You can also see Hillsborough Castle from the park, where I really look forward to visiting one day. The park also has some wooded areas, a play park and large animal art works that are pretty spectacular.
This park is close to where I am living at the moment in Banbridge. It’s a small park with a walk way around a beautiful pond filled with lots of wildlife. It wouldn’t take you long at all to complete the loop but you will find yourself stopping to stare at the natural beauty of this place. It’s a very simple walk with a play park for the kids and lots of ducks. This also brings back many memories of coming here as a kid to feed the ducks. You can grab a coffee after in the quaint village of Scarva.
This is a great walk if you’re looking for something easy with no hills or obstacles. It’s almost a 5km loop with a newly built leisure centre and cafe at the beginning or end of your walk. It’s beautiful to see the water and trees whilst walking along a normal walkway with no leaves or debris and funny enough, it’s located in Craigavon.
I hope you enjoy seeing the walks that I have taken over the last few weeks. They are all unique in their own way and offer a place that’s perfect for clearing your mind and taking in some fresh country Northern Irish air.
Take care and keep walking!