Columban Way (Comber to Newtownards)

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TYPEFirst section of a long-distance challenge walk which can be a walk in its own right with a bus option to return to start.
DISTANCE5 miles / 8 km
SURFACESMainly pavement and road walking, good compacted paths through the Country Park Section.
HEIGHT GAIN / LOSS400 feet climb
HAZARDS
  • Some walking on low traffic roads without pavements.

  • Route passes close to abandoned quarries.
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Columban Way (Newtownards – Crawfordsburn)

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TYPEMixed but largely off-road linear walk with some climb as short steep sections
DISTANCE7.6 miles / 12.2 km
SURFACESRoads, pavements, unmade, sometimes muddy paths and well-made tracks
HEIGHT GAIN / LOSS500 feet climb
HAZARDS
  • Some urban road walking and crossings
  • Mountain bikes and scramblers may be present around Whitespots
  • Three crossings over fast roads.
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Columban Way (Comber to Bangor)

The Columban Way forms part of the wider European ‘Via Columbani’. It traces the epic journey of St Columbanus, a 6th century monk, from his birthplace in Co. Carlow to Bangor Abbey and later across eight countries of Europe finishing in Bobbio, Italy. The Irish section of this walk is still very much a work in progress and in most places the exact route is still to be finalised. Ards and North Down Council has published a route on its website, but this uses two sections of paths not yet in existence.

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Navar Forest Drive Walklets

The 7 mile Navar Forest driving route is a pleasant outing in itself, but can be greatly enhanced by adding on a bit of walking. The Blackslee Waterfall Walk and the nearby superb Correl Glen Nature Reserve and Carrick Viewpoint Walk are each described in their own posts. This post pulls together other short options which might suit changeable weather or a less active party of travellers.

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