Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best walks

We've consulted the experts to bring you the best Northern Ireland has to offer - the places, the food, the music, the craic.

Linda Stewart is environment correspondent with the Belfast Telegraph, covering environment, conservation, agriculture, planning, transport and road safety. She compiles our Weekend Magazine's Walk This Way column.

What is Tele Recommends?

Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best walks, she recommends...

Correl Glen, Co Fermanagh

The wooded glen climbs through the stunning landscape of west Fermanagh to a spot that commands spectacular panoramic views. This short nature trail sets off opposite the Falls Bridge car park, climbing through the shady wooded ravine cut by the Sillees River up onto heath where a seat overlooks the reserve. The Glen and neighbouring Monawilkin are host to many species of butterfly and dragonfly, so you might catch a glimpse of the silver-washed fritillary butterfly, the largest butterfly in Ireland, or the rare holly blue that flies in May.

www.walkni.com/walks/215/correl-glen

Slieve Donard, Commedagh and Bearnagh

This challenging walk takes in three of the four highest peaks in the Mourne Mountains and is strenuous — but worth it. The route also takes in the Brandy Pad, the well trodden and infamous smugglers track. A tough climb will reward you with spectacular views of the Irish Sea and the heart of the high Mournes. Slieve Donard is named after St Domangart, who lived as a hermit on the mountain and was a disciple of St Patrick.

www.walkni.com/walks/575/|slieve-donard-commedagh-and-bearnagh

The Newry Canal

The long-distance traffic-free route meanders 20 miles from the Point of Whitecoat, ||just south of Portadown, to Victoria Locks at the sea south of Newry, using the restored towpath of the old Newry Canal, which was once trodden by the horses that pulled the canal boats, known as lighters. With its flat, level surface it's also great for families.

www.walkni.com/walks/13/|newry-canal-way

Divis to Dixon Link

This continuous 10-mile |waymarked trail is right on Belfast's doorstep, cutting a trail from the summit of Divis Mountain down through Colin Glen and into Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park. Walkers will be rewarded with views over Lough Neagh, the Sperrins, Belfast, Belfast Lough from Carrickfergus to the Copeland Islands and beyond to Scotland, and Holyhead in Wales.

www.walkni.com/walks/571/divis-to-dixon-link

Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne

Downhill Estate has to be one of the most wild and dramatic headlands in a region that has more than its fair share. Not only is it the home of Mussenden Temple, but this walk combines stunning views over the coast with open windswept clifftop walks. The landscaped estate reflects the vivid personality of its creator, Earl Bishop Fredrick Hervey, one of the most colourful characters of the 18th century.

www.walkni.com/walks/112/mussenden-temple-|downhill-demesne

Disagree with these choices?

Give us your view by leaving a comment below...

 

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Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best historical buildings 

Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best places to write

Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best summer activities for kids

Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best health spas 

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