Outdoors in Northern Ireland

Famed for its outstanding natural beauty, Northern Ireland’s landscape is remarkably diverse. The haunting scenery ranges from the peaceful Fermanagh lakeland and drumlin landscape of Strangford Lough, to the bizarrely shaped basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway and the wild granite peaks of the Mourne Mountains. With many miles of beautiful coastline, huge stretches of countryside and panoramic views, we have a wealth of treasures for all to enjoy.

Coastal adventures   

Northern Ireland offers a spectacular range of walks for the serious rambler and for those who just want to take a short stroll. On the north coast enjoy bracing walks and dramatic views at the Giant’s Causeway. Nearby, discover the historic ruins of Downhill Demesne, or stroll along the majestic sweeping arc of White Park Bay. Brave the elements and cross Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, or marvel at the bustling seabird colonies at Larrybane and the views beyond to Rathlin Island and the west coast of Scotland. On Rathlin Island enjoy inspirational views from the path through Ballyconagan.

Discover the tiny village of Glenoe near Larne with its spectacular waterfall, while the footpath along Skernaghan Point on the northern tip of Islandmagee leads to open headland, cliffs, coves and beautiful beaches.

The County Down coastline has much to offer, with rocky shore and heathland at Ballymacormick Point, and wildfowl, wading birds and gulls at Orlock Point. Strangford Lough, one of Europe’s key wildlife habitats offers bracing coastal walks, rock pools bursting with marine life and spectacular bird watching. Further south, the fragile 6,000 year old sand dunes of Murlough National Nature Reserve is an extraordinarily beautiful dune landscape with a network of paths and boardwalks – perfect for walking.   

Wild countryside   

Escape to some of the best ‘off-the-beaten track’ experiences. Just a stone’s throw from Belfast, the heathland rich Divis and the Black Mountain provide the stunning backdrop to the city’s skyline and a perfect haven for those in search of wild countryside. Other rural escapes in the Belfast area include the woodland paths of Collin Glen and the fine riverbank and meadows of Minnowburn, as well as the wonderful waterfalls at Lisnabreeny.

In mid-Ulster the woodland of Ballymoyer has the atmosphere and mystery of a fairy glen. While to the west of the region idyllic County Fermanagh is perfect walking country, boasting a kaleidoscope of tranquil landscapes to discover; including the woodland and wetlands of Crom on the serene shores of Lough Erne.

For a real walk on the wild side, our Mourne Mountain paths allow hikers to enjoy the dramatic scenery of Northern Ireland’s highest mountain, majestic Slieve Donard, as well as neighbouring Slieve Commedagh. Visitors to Ballyquintin Farm, on the Ards Peninsula, can enjoy stunning views of Strangford Lough and learn how this critical site is managed for wildlife and conservation.

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