Walk up Slieve Donard from Newcastle
A straightforward walk to the summit of Northern Ireland’s highest mountain.
|4.8 km||838 m||4-5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Donard Park, Newcastle
Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.
No specific hazards other than those usually associated with high mountains.
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Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): BT33 0HL
Parking available at Donard Park
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Walk up Slieve Donard from Newcastle Route Map and GPX Download
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Walk up Slieve Donard from Newcastle Details
Slieve Donard, in the Mourne Mountains, is the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and is most often ascended via the Glen River path from the resort town of Newcastle. Slieve Donard literally translates as: Dónairt’s mountain in Irish. ‘Slieve’ being Irish for mountain and Saint Donard was a Christian missionary who based himself on the mountain. A famous feature of Slieve Donard and the Mournes is the Mourne Wall. The wall was built in the early 20th century in order to isolate the watershed from livestock, took 18 years to build and passes over a total of 15 summits.
Walk up Slieve Donard from Newcastle Route Details
The walk up Slieve Donard starts from the car park at Donard Park in Newcastle. Initially ascending through the forest of Donard Wood along the cascading Glen River where the going is steady and the path easy enough to follow.
The path eventually reaches the hillside, and continues in the same manner along the Glen River up to the col known as The Saddle. The track here has recently been paved and steps built in order to cope with the pressure of thousands of walkers who choose to ascend Sleive Donard annually.
From The Col, the final section is a steep pull up along the Mourne Wall to Slieve Donard’s summit. It’s clearly marked with a shelter in the form of a tower with a trig point on top as it was used for the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain in 1826 as a base to map Ireland. There are also a couple of large summit cairns, with the largest denoting the actual highest point. The route then descends the same way to the start.
More information can be found here.