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This mountainous walk climbs from the coastal town of Newcastle to the summit of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in Northern Ireland.
Situated in the wild and rugged Mourne Mountains, Slieve Donard is a fine mountain that towers above the east coast of County Down, offering spectacular views across the Irish Sea towards mainland Britain.
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The walk is popular with everyone from experienced hillwalkers to charity challengers trying to complete the 4 Peaks Challenge (summiting the highest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and although Slieve Donard rises to a thigh burning height of 850 metres, it’s within the capabilities of most hillwalkers.
You’ll start with a section of Scots pine forest then climb alongside the Glen River before meeting the Mourne Wall, which leads all the way to the summit of Slieve Donard. Descend via the same route, slapping yourself on the back for bagging a country high point and soaking in stunning views across mountains and sea.
This route was voted 66th in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
TOG VERDICT: Everything you want in a mountain walk – thick forests, sparkling rivers, wild peaks, stunning sea views and the highest point of an entire country.