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OUT & ABOUT Walking trails

Surrounded by a choice of scenic walks, of varying lengths and terrain, there’s something for the leisurely stroller and the more avid walker.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite local walking trails in the County Down area, ranging from beautiful forest walks to scenic coastal paths. There's also options for more strenuous hikes in the Mourne Mountains, which is less than an hour’s drive away.

Clandeboye way icon

Clandeboye Way

The Clandeboye Way is a captivating walking trail connecting Helen's Bay railway station to Whitespots Country Park. Strolling through woodlands, laneways, and farm tracks, this route unveils historical gems like Helen's Tower and the old Leadmines.

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Distance from hotel 3.2 miles / 7 minute drive
Walking distance 8 miles
Terrain Laneways, tracks, woodland paths. Please note: this walk involves crossing the main Bangor to Belfast dual carriageway.
Points of interest Helen’s Tower, Leadmines
aerial view of helens tower, woodland setting, purple sky

James Huish Photography

Clandeboye way icon

Cairn Wood

Cairn Wood is a well-marked forest walk through a mix of mature conifers and young trees. Enjoy serene surroundings and panoramic views of Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, the coast of Antrim and even Scotland on a clear day. If you’re lucky you might spot the elusive red squirrel!

Distance from hotel 1.7 miles / 3 minute drive
Walking distance 2 miles
Terrain Easy walking on forest tracks
Points of interest Views of Bangor and beyond
a footpath in a cairn wood forest park
Crawfordsburn country park icon

Crawfordsburn Country Park

Crawfordsburn Country Park is a tranquil, oceanfront park featuring wildflower meadows, wooded nature trails and two beautiful beaches overlooking Belfast Lough. Take your pick from a range of trails: Coastal walk (3.8 miles), Glen walk (1.5 miles), or Meadow walk (2 miles). It's also a great spot for a picnic.

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Courtesy of Tourism Ireland

Helens bay walking trail liane radcliffe

Coastal walk

A beautiful walk through the meadow and along the coastal path of Crawfordsburn and Helen’s Bay beaches. Pass the wartime fort at Grey Point and finish at Sea Park.

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Distance from hotel 3.1 miles / 7 minute drive
Walking distance 1.9 miles (one way)
Terrain Gravel and tarmac paths
Points of interest Crawfordsburn beach, Helen's Bay beach, and Grey Point Fort
Glen walk

Glen walk

A woodland and riverside walk with views of the incredible Lanyon’s Viaduct.

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Distance from hotel 3.1 miles / 7 minute drive
Walking distance 1.5 miles
Terrain Gently undulating off road paths
Points of interest Lanyon’s Viaduct
Meadow walk

Meadow walk

A gentle walk through the wildflower meadow, areas of mature woodland, and a coastal stretch.

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Distance from hotel 3.1 miles / 7 minute drive
Walking distance 2 miles
Terrain Off road paths
Points of interest Wildflower meadow
Hill

Scrabo Hill

Experience breathtaking views of Strangford Lough and North Down on the summit of Scrabo Hill and the iconic Scrabo Tower. With construction of the tower dating back to 1857, it's no surprise it has become one of Ireland's most well-known landmarks.

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Distance from hotel 4.3 miles / 10 minute drive
Walking distance 2.3 miles
Terrain Off road paths, steep
Points of interest Scrabo Tower
scrabo tower on the top of a hill, cloudy sky
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Mount Stewart

Discover the stunning beauty of Mount Stewart, a National Trust property filled with perfectly-manicured gardens and an elegant neo-classical house. Take a leisurely stroll around the scenic lake or wander through the mature woodlands. Please keep in mind that there is a National Trust entrance fee for these walks.

mount stewart house and landscaped gardens
Mount stewart lake walking trail tourism ireland

Lake walk

A beautiful circular walk takes you around the lake of the majestic Mount Stewart. This lake walk is stunning throughout the year during all seasons.

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Distance from hotel 8.4 miles / 15 minute drive
Walking distance 0.6 miles
Terrain Level access lake and gardens
Points of interest Mount Stewart House
Mount stewart red walking trail tourism ireland

Red trail

The main circular walk on Mount Stewart estate which loops through a mixture of the demesne woodland and farmland. Look out for the ruins of a folly, water features and an abundance of wildlife.

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Distance from hotel 8.4 miles / 15 minute drive
Walking distance 1.5 miles
Terrain Woodland floor and gravel
Points of interest Temple of the Winds
Mount stewart red squirrel walking trail tourism ireland

Red squirrel trail

A wildlife walk that winds around the lake, formal and informal gardens and woodlands. Keep an eye out for the elusive red squirrels that have made Rhododendron Hill their home.

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Distance from hotel 8.4 miles / 15 minute drive
Walking distance 1 mile
Terrain Mostly level access on gravel
Points of interest Sunk Garden, Italian Garden, Lily Wood, Mount Stewart House
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Killynether Wood

This woodland trail at Killynether Wood offers a moderate hike along forest paths, leading to a breathtaking viewpoint before descending through mature woodland.

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Distance from hotel 5.3 miles / 12 minute drive
Walking distance 1 mile
Terrain Off road paths
Points of interest Panoramic views of Strangford Lough
green tree in forest park at killynether woods

Liane Radcliffe Photography

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