Author Archives: charlie

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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Woodburn Forest and the Knockagh Escarpment

Covid Care

Please continue to avoid hot-spots and exercise additional caution in places where the paths are narrow. Turn back if unsure, practice social distancing and step off paths if they are narrow when passing others.

Do not over-stretch yourself physically or explore beyond your comfort zone.

Maps and photos note: click or tap to see any maps or photographs below as a high resolution version.

Please reuse this map but first see: https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright

On arrival, you might think Woodburn Forest looks like just another Forest Service conifer plantation, but it is actually a reservoir catchment woodland controlled by Northern Ireland Water. It contains a descending chain of Victorian reservoirs (built 60 years before the Silent Valley), agricultural landscape history and an old (or ancient) roadway, which once ran to a beautiful glen, down through the Knockagh Escarpment past an ancient monastic site to Carrickfergus. Sadly this ‘Friar’s Glen’ is no longer publicly accessible, so instead this walk climbs to the Knockagh Monument on the high edge of the Escarpment with spectacular views over Belfast Lough, its settlements and surrounding hills.

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The Bleach Green Railway Viaducts and the “Loop”

(or it’s hard to get people out of Belfast)

Belfast Hills horseshoe from Redburn Country Park

Belfast is a city built at the end of a coastal inlet and surrounded by hills. Like many coastal cities, shipbuilding and sea travel feature large in its history and sense of identity. However, the surrounding hills, which played a key role in shaping its development, are strangely neglected.

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Carnmoney Hill Seashore Circuit

Covid Care

Please continue to avoid hot-spots and exercise additional caution in places where the paths are narrow. Turn back if unsure, practice social distancing and step off paths if they are narrow when passing others.

Do not over-stretch yourself physically or explore beyond your comfort zone.

Maps and photos note: click or tap to see any maps or photographs below as a high resolution version.

Please reuse this map but first see: https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright
TYPEUrban, woodland and greenway walk
DISTANCE11.3 miles / 18.2 km
part one6.8 miles / 11 km
part two4.5 miles / 7.2 km
SURFACESGenerally asphalt / concrete with sections on well made compacted paths. Short sections of mown grassy paths.
HEIGHT GAIN / LOSS1223 feet climb
HAZARDS400m section walking on a minor road – do not walk this in poor visibility. The area is urban in character so you will encounter people – please take normal precautions.

Where is the best view over Belfast? Some would say from the top of Cavehill, but I would suggest that the views south from Carnmoney Hill are much better, combining the panorama over the Lough and City with spectacular midground profile of Cavehill (which is of course invisible from Cavehill itself). On a clear day this fine walk allows you to judge for yourself!

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