Categories: Walking & Hiking

If you’re ready to conquer higher peaks, looking for your next big hiking challenge or have a bucket list that you’re itching to tick off, then look no further than the spectacular mountain ranges of Northern Ireland. 

We’ve got a 6-Peak Challenge, our very own 7 Wonders and any number of one-off climbs, hikes and mountain walks to heighten your senses.  

The 6-peak challenge in County Down 

This is the ultimate series of mountain walks in Northern Ireland - a testing three-day hike up six of the highest peaks in the Mournes over three days - including Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest summit at 853m (that’s 2,798 feet in old money). 

You’ll find this a challenging circular walk with some strenuous ascents that are certainly worth the hike. You’ll climb three of the four highest peaks, or slieves, on Day One - Bearnagh, Commedagh and Donard - so no pressure! Your rewards are wonderful views out to the Irish Sea and into the High Mournes. 

At the summit of Slieve Donard, expect - and get - extensive views where the mountains sweep down to the sea, as the Percy French song goes. See if you can spot the Isle of Man, Wicklow, Donegal, Wales and Scotland. 

The next day, your next fantastic circular walking route takes you along the famous hand-built Mourne Wall. Ascending the spectacular South and North Tors to the summit of Binnian (747m or 2,450ft) you will discover real gems. 

Like the striking panoramas of Silent Valley, Ben Crom Reservoirs, the Blue Lough and Annalong Forest. While below your feet is the 2.5-mile Binnian tunnel built between 1947 and 1951 by over 150 men led by candlelight to carry water from the Annalong valley to the Silent Valley Dam. 

The final day follows the Wall to the summits of Slieve Meelbeg (708m / 2322ft) and Slieve Meelmore (682 / 2,238ft). Experience stunning views of Lough Shannagh aka the ‘Lake of the Fox’ according to folklore. Situated beneath the mountain, it is the largest natural body of water in the Mourne Mountains.   

The Mournes at your own pace 

If the 6-peak challenge is a little, well, challenging, we have a collection of spectacular natural and man-made wonders that you can experience at your own pace. The Mourne Mountains of County Down are our highest and most dramatic mountain range. You’ll find this ring of 12 mountains are criss-crossed by an unrivalled network of paths and tracks with incredible opportunities to discover why this has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The Mourne Wall is a 22-mile (35.5km) stone wall enclosing 9,000 acres of land. Originally built to keep livestock out of the water catchment area of the Silent Valley Reservoir, it spans over 9,000 feet of ascent and connects 15 of the Mournes' highest peaks, including Slieve Donard. 

Built between 1904 and 1922, you will marvel at this remarkable structural feat. Below you, Silent Valley Mountain Park and reservoir is both practical and stunning. Nestled between the Mourne uplands, you can expect this man-made feature to live up to its name, with a peaceful silence creating a sense of solitude. 

Tackle the Causeway Coastal Route 

The Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim are justifiably famous for the Giant’s Causeway, where wonderful coastlines, natural beauty plus countless myths and legends collide in spectacular fashion. 

Comprising three designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nine famous glens, lush forest parks, secluded coastal tracks and numerous quaint fishing villages, you will adore exploring the rugged landscape on foot via the must-visit Causeway Coast Way. 

Off the coast is Rathlin Island, Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. Tens of thousands of seabirds, including guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and razorbills call Rathlin home.  

Strike out across the Sperrin Mountains 

Find and fall for the wild and untouched charms of the Sperrin Mountains, stretching along the borders of counties Tyrone and Londonderry. 

Spanning 40 miles, expect undulating hills covered in heather, quiet valleys, boggy uplands and a land teeming with wildlife. Add in over 90 sets of stone circles and many other intriguing, megalithic structures, you will find the Sperrins a walking wonder.  

So, fill your climbing boots! It’s all here waiting for you.