Ways

Descriptions with maps, travel details, distances, physical difficulty of walks and other ways to explorer the great outdoors and have yourself a “Grand Day Out”

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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Woodburn Forest and the Knockagh Escarpment

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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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Carnmoney Hill Seashore Circuit

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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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