Follow the sun with these epic walks in Northern Ireland

Discover Northern Ireland round-up the best spots for a sunrise stroll

With a dramatic coastline, cityscape and peaks that outline its immense beauty, Northern Ireland’s landscape is picturesque during rain, snow or sunshine. However, there is something magical watching the sky come to life during dawn or dusk, the colours become vivid and the skyline makes for the perfect picture – it’s not called golden hour for nothing.

Discover Northern Ireland have put together some of the most spectacular spots to watch the sunrise and sunset in Northern Ireland.  The adventure awaits, just don’t forget to bring your camera!

Divis, County Antrim

There are a few loops marked out at Divis, all providing panoramic views of Belfast. Try them for sunset and sunrise where golden hour highlights the trees and beautiful surroundings of black mountain. Stop and take a breath, looking over to Cavehill on your left and the Mournes which can be seen on you right. A gorgeous view of the cityscape below

Cavehill, County Antrim

Arguably one of the most famous walks in Northern Ireland, it’s easy to see why when you reach the top of Napoleons Nose. Overlooking Belfast Harbour down to the coastline to Whitehead and Kilroot Power station, you can also see across to Holywood, Scrabo Tower and the Mournes. A truly mesmerising view of the city and beyond.

Lagan Tow Path, County Antrim

Starting at Stranmillis Village, the Lagan Tow Path follows the River Lagan all the way to Lisburn, crossing Mary Peters Track, Lady Dixon Park, Hilden Brewery and Belvoir Golf Club. A relaxing and scenic walk along the river for all ages.

Bangor Coastal Path, County Down

Bangor Marina is situated on the south shore of Belfast Lough, close the Irish Sea cruising routes. The marina has become well known since it opened for providing a safe berth in the centre of Bangor, a highly attractive town with many places to visit.

The picturesque seaside town of Bangor, has a beautiful walk along the coast that brings you to Holywood. With lots of inlets and coves to watch the sunset this is the perfect place to bring a picnic or a bag of fish and chips and watch the world go by.

Slieve Binnian, Mourne Mountains, County Down

The Mourne Mountains are stunning in itself but it could be argued Slieve Binnian is the most beautiful, not to mention photographed. Walking up through the Mournes watch the beautiful colours light up the surroundings, you won’t be disappointed when you reach the top overlooking Silent Valley, a hike well worth climbing all before breakfast.

Lough Navar Forest, County Fermanagh

Lough Navar forest rises to the top of the Magho cliffs at a height of 1,000 ft. Here, there are spectacular views over Lower Lough Erne, Donegal Bay, the Blue Stack and Sperrin Mountains.

With views of Lough Erne, Donegal Bay and the Sperrin Mountains, it’s safe to say this is one of the most picturesque views any time of day, but sunset is a must. They say the hardest climbs have the best views and although there are around 380 steps the view is well worth it. Bring a picnic for a well-earned break and watch the sunset in one of the most beautiful spots on Northern Ireland. If the hike is too much you can also cheat and drive to the viewing point at the top.

The small car park is located on Lough shore road, 25 minutes from Enniskillen.

Sawel Mountain, County Tyrone

Why not hike the highest peak in the Sperrin mountains? Watch the sunrise over Foyle Estuary, Lough Neagh and view the Mournes from underneath. Start the day right taking in the beautiful sunrise.

Pack a picnic for a well-earned break at the top or stop in one the nearby surrounding towns for breakfast.

Mussenden Temple, County Londonderry

Benone beach is stunning whether its sunrise or sunset but with the hills of Donegal in its midst, Mussenden Temple and the dramatic coastline this can make for the most perfect picture. An easy walk, even the most avid photographers and sunset chasers will be impressed by its beauty.

Slieve Gullion, County Armagh

The Ring of Gullion is not only packed with Irish Mythology but a gorgeous spot to watch the sunrise, not only offering views over three of the counties, Armagh, Down and on a clear day Antrim, you can also see Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains in the distance if you are lucky!

Before you do venture out please remember to stay safe and follow government guidelines on COVID restrictions. These can be found on the NI Direct website. 

A few tips to follow include:

  1. Check your symptoms before you travel
  2. Check facilities like toilets and car parks are open before you travel
  3. Please respect and protect our outdoor spaces (while enjoying these places please remember to put any litter into the bins provided and leave no trace)
  4. Watch out for more pedestrians and cyclists on the road
  5. Remember to take a face covering and hand sanitiser

For more information on the walks available, other great places to visit and for things to see and do – check out  www.discovernorthernireland.com.

Love Belfast
Belfast guide to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concerts, events, hotels, entertainment, special offers, news, gossip, travel, festivals and culture. http://lovebelfast.co.uk

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