Slieve Donard is the best mountain within the province of Ulster and County Down. Slieve Donard has a summit of 850m. Thus far Slieve Donard has been considered one of our favorite peaks, as a result of nice combination of attractive woodlands, waterfalls, stone partitions that run alongside the mountain and views that may take your breath away. Walkingni.com have a terrific map exhibiting the route on their web site, here’s a hyperlink to the map. The route up Slieve Donard is kind of simple to comply with however if in case you have any reservations search to get a information that will help you.
Attending to Slieve Donard
We drove straight to Slieve Donard after summiting County Armagh’s highest level, Slieve Gullion earlier that morning. The beginning of the hike up Slieve Donard begins within the seaside city of Newcastle.
Once we arrived in Newcastle the automotive park was full, so after doing a couple of laps within the automotive we noticed an overflow carpark in a subject simply behind and to the correct of the principle automotive park. A classic automotive present was simply beginning with some beautiful minis as we have been leaving to hike up Slieve Donard.
We parked beside a stunning large tree which was the place we had a picnic after our hike later that day.
The beginning of our hike up Slieve Donard
We instantaneously knew that there was going to be a giant crowd on the hike, as we might see floods of individuals forward of us on the path. It’s so good to see so many households getting exterior and having fun with the good outdoor. That is the primary mountain that we met so many individuals on whereas doing the County Excessive factors (32 peak problem)
From the carpark, we walked uphill into Donard Forrest, which was superb. It was stuffed with Mature bushes which supplied good shade from the solar. We stored proper of the Glen river after which we turned left onto a gravel forest monitor throughout the primary bridge, from right here we instantly turned proper onto a cobbly monitor which ran on the left facet of the river. It was so peaceable strolling alongside the river and waterfalls. As soon as the monitor disappeared we adopted a well-worn footpath southwest beside the river to hitch a second forest monitor. If unsure whereas strolling by the wooded space preserve strolling uphill following the trail beside the river.
The forest was lined in a skinny layer of fog however the solar was beginning to break by. Whereas strolling up the hill out of Donard Wooden it felt like we have been strolling by a scene out of the Lord of the Rings film. We proceed climbing up out of Slieve Donard scrambling over rocky areas whereas nonetheless strolling parallel to the Glen River. As we walked out of Donard Wooden we bought our first glimpse of Slive Donard mountain nevertheless it was solely the underside part of the mountain as the height was nonetheless lined in fog, however we nonetheless knew it was a giant one.
About 100m after the highest image was taken the fog cleared and we might see the size of the mountain that we have been about to climb. We continued strolling alongside parallel to the Glen river however the wooded space was now on our right-hand facet. The footpath was in wonderful situation with stepping stones in all of the boggy locations and river crossings.
After we left the final part of woodland we might see that we have been strolling in direction of the tip of a valley and that the Mourne mountain path swept as much as the left to fulfill a Col between Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh. We continued strolling up alongside the valley ascending barely the entire time nevertheless it simply felt like a pleasing uphill stroll at this stage. We might see the hike was about to get a lot more durable because the path adopted a really steep part on the finish of the valley that walks up over the Col between the 2 mountains.
We finally crossed the river that now we have been following, at this level it was solely a small stream. This was the primary level of the hike that it grew to become a steep hill. The footing of the trail was wonderful, each vertical step appeared to have a wonderfully positioned stone to type a secure place to position your toes. The ascent from the valley to the Col regarded worse than it really was and we hiked to the passing in quarter-hour.
This was our first glimpse of the wall that runs up excessive of the Mourne mountains, if we’re being trustworthy we didn’t do a lot analysis on this hike beforehand, however whenever you see this wall and also you don’t count on it to be as large as it’s, we have been simply amazed at its scale at such an elevated top. Simply as we reached the wall, Ourlittlehiker was beginning to nod off and we all know now from beforehand stopping on different mountains when she is like this, that it will possibly upset her and disrupt her sleep. We nonetheless felt in good strolling type, so we took a left on the wall and continued up the towards Donard’s peak, however the sight of Slieve Donard up over us was very daunting.
I think about there haven’t been many sleeping infants up on Slieve Donard, she was having such an excellent sleep whereas her Mammy and Daddy have been sweating buckets however loving the problem and views forward of us. At this stage, the climate was getting very heat but when the wall was not there we would want our coats as the upper we walked the colder and stronger the wind grew to become. It was a tough pull up the ultimate part of the mountain however we finally bought a view of the Carn on prime of Slieve Donard and it appears to be like superb. The cairn is constructed up on prime of the wall on a raised platform.
At this stage of the hike we have been beginning to get barely drained however Ourlittlehiker was nonetheless asleep. We have been beginning to get a small little bit of consideration from different folks desirous to see the newborn within the bag and sadly, they woke her up. This gave us a chance to take a couple of further images and have a small break and a fast snack. We have been amazed that so many individuals have been on prime of the mountain, we often see 2-3 folks on prime of most different mountains however there will need to have been over a 100 folks up on the summit and perhaps double that have been nonetheless strolling up the mountain.
We didn’t keep lengthy on the prime because it was very windy up there and at this stage, we have been contemplating climbing one other peak (this didn’t occur). On the way in which down the steep mountainside, we refrained from the trail because it was slippy so we walked down on the grass zig-zagging to assist our poor shakey knees.
We shortly descended again towards the saddle between the 2 mountains however we noticed numerous folks with trainers falling from dashing and having poor footwear on. The descent from the saddle all the way down to the highest of the valley was lots simpler as the massive stepping stone supplied good footing for our drained legs. At this stage of the descent, we’re nonetheless contemplating climbing Slieve Foye, the dearth of lodging has us barely frightened.
We seen that we misplaced considered one of Ourlittlehikers spare climbing coats on the way in which as much as the height of Slieve Donard, we taught we misplaced it on the finish of the woodland so we have been preserving a eager eye out for her coat. We noticed her coat properly positioned on a rock precisely the place we taught we misplaced it. We have been so comfortable we discovered the coat because it was a gift from a really beneficiant good friend.
Once we reached the underside, and the tip of the hike, the overflow automotive park that we left empty was now full. We had a small picnic after we bought again to the automotive, we left Ourlittlehiker in her climbing bag after we all ate our lunch. She loves simply sitting there consuming and looking out round, it additionally helps us preserve her secure from randomly operating after canine and cats.
Whereas consuming our picnic on the grass carpark, we tried to get lodging close to the following mountain however each resort and Airbnb was booked prematurely for the financial institution vacation weekend, so we determined to cease dashing and drive residence after this mountain. After our picnic, we modified out of our climbing gear and went for a stroll across the Automobile present, Ourlittlehiker liked all of the vehicles and the noise they have been all making.
Our Verdict on Slive Donard, Co Down Highest level
After strolling 3/4 of the excessive factors in every county of Eire we have been properly used to strolling on our personal and being on prime of all of the mountains on our personal. It was a little bit of a shock to the system after we noticed the massive crowds strolling as much as the highest of Slieve Donard.
We liked this hike, the footing on the way in which to the highest of the mountain is excellent and the trail was very busy. The mountain path could be very steep in sure sections however whenever you attain the highest of the mountain the views are superb and properly value onerous pull. This has been our favorite hike to date out of the 32 counties excessive factors.
Recommendation for climbing Slieve Donard
- It is rather steep so carry good climbing boots.
- We hiked it on a financial institution vacation, go on a weekday if you wish to keep away from the crowds.
- Carry a number of water as this hike will take over 4 hours.