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Six Beautiful Walks to Help You Stay Active

30 Aug
Emma Fallon photo


Emma Fallon

Care Services Co-Ordinator for the Southern Trust

I live in rural Armagh surrounded by beautiful green fields, the blossom of the hawthorn and our pet pheasant Rupert! One of my favourite walks is at Derrymore House which is nestled between Newry and Camlough. Derrymore was established in 1770 with a beautiful, thatched cottage and acres of luscious parkland. It is now owned by the National Trust who have embraced the longstanding history of Derrymore and its outstanding beauty.

There are several walks around this beautiful parkland, from casual strolls to discovering our local Quaker Hall. The area is pet friendly and even has a specific play area for dogs! The grounds are well maintained and overlook Bessbrook and Newry.

I usually finish off my trip to Derrymore with a hot chocolate from our local coffee trailer and sometimes a well-deserved traybake- don’t tell Rupert!

Derrymore 1
Lauren Mann


Lauren Mann

Care Services Co-Ordinator for the Belfast and South Eastern Trust

I live in Bangor in County Down and enjoy walking along the local beach in Ballyholme and going out on my paddleboard when the weather permits! Ballyholme beach has a free car park with toilet facilities and a coffee and ice cream van at peak times.

Whether you want a short or long walk, there is a footpath to follow with benches located intermittently to allow for a well-earned rest.

Bangor 1
Bangor 2
Bangor 3
Tracey Montague


Tracey Montague

Care Services Co-Ordinator for the Belfast Trust

The Waterworks is situated in North Belfast and is a lovely place to walk. The park is split into two levels – the lower pond and the upper pond. The photos of my walk are of the upper pond. You can gain easy access to the upper pond via entrances on the Cavehill Road or at Westland Gardens. There is no car park at the Waterworks however there is lots of on-street parking available.

The circumference of the pond is approximately 1 mile, however there are many places to sit and rest en route. The terrain is very easy to walk – it is completely flat, and the walkway is well maintained.

The pond attracts much wildlife – you will see many birds including swans, geese and ducks. The Waterworks provides a lovely opportunity to get out and enjoy some of nature’s best on your doorstep.

Belfast 4
Belfast 6
Ursula Digney


Ursula Digney

Care Services Co-Ordinator for the South Eastern Trust

I live in a beautiful fishing village called Ardglass in County Down. The village is surrounded by lovely beach walks at Ballyhornan, Killard and Kilclief. The nearby Killough Ropewalk is a gentle walk with lots of seats and beautiful scenery.

In 2008 I had spinal surgery and as part of my longterm recovery I walk every day. I enjoy a varied landscape and drinking in the nature around me.

Here I am sharing some photos of a recent walk at Castlewellan Forest Park. There is a charge for admission and there is a car park with toilet facilities and a place to get coffee- although I love a picnic!

Whether it’s a maze walk, botanical gardens, a short or long walk you would like, there is a footpath to follow with benches located intermittently for a rest.

Castlewellan 1
Castlewellan 2
Castlewellan 3
Martina Virtue


Martina Virtue

Care Services Co-Ordinator for the Western Trust

I live in Fermanagh and am spoilt for choice when it comes to getting outdoors for a nice walk. Lough Navar Forest is always a favourite spot, particularly the Blackslee Waterfall walking route. This forms part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark and is approximately 6km in length. The route winds its way through the forest and although hilly in places with some stony paths, if you’re not in a hurry or hoping to beat a personal best it is a wonderful place to get your daily dose of fresh air and to soak up the beautiful scenery.

And there is the reward of seeing the waterfall near the end of the walk! Entry to Lough Navar Forest is free and there is car parking and plenty of picnic spots available. Furry friends are welcome too!

Blackslee Waterfall
Lexi at Blackslee
Kyle Farley


Kyle Farley

Care Services Co-Ordinator for the Belfast and South Eastern Trust, Cardiac

One of my favourite places to walk and spend the day with the family is Wallace Park in Lisburn. I had always known Wallace Park for its football pitches and tennis courts but through delivering NICHS walking groups at the park I was able to explore its full offering. I have now completely fallen in love with Wallace Park and it’s top of our list for picnics and family days out.

My kids love the duck pond and well-equipped playpark which helps burn up their energy! For me however, it’s the immaculate grounds, the trees and flowers beds, along with the well laid out tarmac paths which offer walkers, runners and strollers so many different routes and beautiful surroundings which make Wallace Park so special.

Finishing a walk at the band stand with a well deserved coffee and ice cream (for the kids of course!) is just lovely. Wallace Park offers free car parking, accessible toilet facilities and is close to Lisburn town centre. So, if you’re in the Lisburn area or looking for a morning or afternoon out, try Wallace Park!

Wallace Park Band Stand
Wallace Park Duck pond
Wallace Park walk