It’s a Dog’s life in Northern Ireland this Winter

January 9, 2013

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GET a new leash of life and make the next walk with your dog a little different this winter by discovering some of Northern Ireland’s most scenic locations together. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll around the edge of a lake, a refreshing walk along the coastline or a more adventurous hike through a stunning forest park, there are plenty of options to suit everyone and you’d be barking mad to miss out. Here’s just a small selection of some of our wonderful trails.

A winter morning is arguably the best time to walk the Lagan Towpath as the mist hovers just above Belfast’s main river. The towpath starts in Stranmillis, just minutes away from Belfast City Centre, and sets off along the river and canal systems through a variety of wetland, riverside meadows and mixed woodland. After passing through Lagan Meadows and over Shaw’s Bridge this section of the towpath finishes at Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park, one of Belfast’s most popular parks.

The Slieve Gullion walk is 9.5 miles and located within the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Beauty. Rising to 573m, Slieve Gullion is the centrepiece of the volcanic landscape and is a Special Area of Conservation. The Ring of Gullion and Slieve Gullion have rich associations with Irish legends and myths.



Covering an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Tollymore Forest Park offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at nearby Newcastle. Tollymore has some very interesting features to look out for while on your walk including a barn dressed up to look like a church, stone cones on top of gate piers and gothic-style gate arches that all show the influence of the highly individualistic designer, Thomas Wright of Durham.



Castle Archdale Country Park offers a variety of walks on a 5 mile trail with lots to see as it goes along the shore passing the deer park enclosure, wildfowl ponds, wildflower meadow and butterfly garden. Winter is a great time of the year to explore this unique setting. Or alternatively rake a trip to the majestic 18th Century grounds of Castle Coole which offers a stunning landscape park as well as a surrounding wooded landscape park sloping down to Lough Coole, ideal for long walks with your pet.


Dungannon Park is a 70 acre oasis centred round an idyllic still-water lake and its magnificent scenery invites you to enjoy a leisurely walk along the park trail. High grounds offer the walker splendid views of the surrounding townlands and countryside with views of Lough Neagh on a clear day.

For a full list of over 200 quality walks in Northern Ireland just awaiting your discovery see Walking in Northern Ireland.

Why not combine your winter walk with an overnight stay in the local area with prices starting from £49 per room per night:


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