Antrim Hills Way

Featuring expansive panoramas and challenging climbs, this walk traverses cliffs, moorland and country tracks before leading to Slemish Mountain. Crossing some of the most scenic upland areas in the Antrim Glens, this walk provides uninterrupted views over many miles of Northern Ireland. Mountain walkers will love the challenge of the steep climbs to an exposed landscape, negotiating ground cover of heather, tussocky grasses and reeds and jumping over streams and damp bogs.

Technical sheet
No. 29801216
A Larne walk posted on 09/01/23 by Walk NI. Update : 10/01/23
Author's time Author's time : 3 days
Distance Distance : 36.76 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 973 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 721 m
Highest point Highest point : 472 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 5 m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Larne
Starting point Starting point : N 54.969018° / W 5.955654°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.882547° / W 6.104079°
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Step by step walk

This walk needs several days, please find the details below.

Glenarm to Linford - Antrim Hills Way

For this 1rst section of the Antrim Hills Way, enjoy fine views open out to Slemish as you reach Black Hill and some coastal views improve as you progress afterward, with the hills of Scotland and the rocky outcrops of the Maidens, or Hulin Rocks, all clearly visible out to sea

Linford to Greenmount Hill Farm & Agricultural College - Antrim Hills Way

For this 2nd section of the Antrim Hills Way, enjoy views of cliffs of Agnew’s Hill and long views open out along the Glenwherry Valley, with the windfarm at the top of Elliot’s Hill before going past Donaghy's Bridge and reach Greenmount Hill Farm & Agricultural College. For safety reasons dogs are not allowed even if on a lead.

Greenmount Hill Farm & Agricultural College to Slemish - Antrim Hills Way

This final section of the Antrim Hills Way,
For safety reasons dogs are not allowed even if on a lead.

Useful Information

Note : The route is in place through permission of landowners. It is mostly off-road through fields which are usually grazed by sheep or cows. For safety reasons dogs are not allowed even if on a lead. Bulls can be present at certain times of the year. Hills are exposed and mostly covered in heather or tussocky grasses. Good footwear and advance preparation are strongly advised.

First section
Start : The information panel in Glenarm’s Coast Road car park

Parking : Glenarm’s Coast Road car park at the departure and Linford car park at the arrival.

Public transport : Translink Journey Planner

Terrain : Please be aware that this walking route passes through areas of open land such as hillside, working farmland and working forests. Livestock and bulls can be present at certain times of the year, ground conditions may be uneven or wet underfoot and all forestry signage should be adhered to.

Facilities : Toilets, Visitors Centre, Shop are at Glenarm.

Second section
Start : The Linford car park and view point

Parking : Linford car park at the departure and CAFRE (College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise) car park at the arrival.

Public transport : Translink Journey Planner

Terrain : Please be aware that this walking route passes through areas of open land such as hillside, working farmland and working forests. Livestock and bulls can be present at certain times of the year, ground conditions may be uneven or wet underfoot and all forestry signage should be adhered to.

Note : Dogs are strictly not allowed, even when on a lead. Cattle can feel threatened by dogs.

Third Section
Start : Greenmount Hill Farm car park

Parking : Greenmount Hill Farm car park at the departure and the Slemish car park at the arrival.

Public transport : Translink Journey Planner

Facilities : Toilets are at Slemish car park.

Terrain : Please be aware that this walking route passes through areas of open land such as hillside, working farmland and working forests. Livestock and bulls can be present at certain times of the year, ground conditions may be uneven or wet underfoot and all forestry signage should be adhered to.

Note : Dogs are strictly not allowed, even when on a lead. Cattle can feel threatened by dogs.

Find more information about the logistic of this walk at Walk NI here.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Spectacular views of Slemish and the coastline.

First section

History of Glenarm : The village of Glenarm was established around the time of the Normans. In the twelfth century it was granted a royal decree by King John, making it the oldest chartered village in Ulster. Modern visitors can still explore the 800-acre forest park that once formed part of Glenarm Castle estate.

(A) St Patrick’s Church : This attractive, eighteenth-century building is the oldest Gothic-style church in Ireland.

(B) Toberwine Street : This widens into Altmore Street, with its rows of stately Georgian houses and a stone archway that allows entry to Glenarm Forest Park.

(C) Black Hill : The 381m-high trig pillar makes a great vantage point, with the outlines of the Belfast Hills, the Mourne Mountains and the Sperrins decorating the horizon all around. It’s a wonderful view and a good spot for a break, as you relax in the knowledge that the most significant climb of the day is now behind you. The coastal views improve as you progress, with the hills of Scotland and the rocky outcrops of the Maidens, or Hulin Rocks, all clearly visible out to sea. It’s an expansive panorama, and one that stays with you for the duration of the day.

(D) Top of Ballycoos : It’s worth pausing for a moment to examine the two prominent mounds near Linford car park, which are thought to be Neolithic burial sites dating from around 4000 BC.

Second Section
History of the coastal cliffs : The coastal cliffs of all the hills on this route are a legacy of the last ice age. The most striking formation is Sallagh Braes, a semi-circular basalt escarpment that was created when glaciers cut into unstable slopes and caused a massive land slip. The cliffs of this natural amphitheatre are now some 100m high and 2km long.

(A) On the top of Agnew’s Hill : At 474m this is the highest point of the route, and an opportunity to survey your surroundings once again. From Black Hill in the north to Slemish in the west, almost the entire Antrim Hills Way is visible from here.

History of Agnew’s Hill : In 1595, the peak now known as Agnew’s Hill was marked on maps as ‘Benwellerorie’. Rory Ogue McQuillan was a prominent clan leader, and the name was an anglicisation of Binn Mhaol Ruairí , meaning ‘Rory’s bare peak’. The modern name honours the Agnew family, who came to prominence after the decline of the McQuillans in the seventeenth century.

Third Section
(A) Panorama Douglas Top : From here a new panorama is suddenly revealed, with the unmistakable profile of Slemish now visible to the northeast. This mountain owes its distinctive shape to the fact that it is an old volcanic plug, and was once constrained within the crater of a volcano.

History about Hill : During the Tertiary period, this region was subject to two million years of intense volcanic activity. The remains of numerous extinct volcanoes dot the Antrim plateau, including Scawt Hill and Slemish. Both these mountains are made of dolerite, formed from hardened magma. Nearby formations such as the Giant’s Causeway also bear testament to the amount of lava that flowed.

Other walks in the area

Tourist office
distance 10.86 km Vertical gain +414 m Vertical drop -145 m Durée 4h15 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Larne

For this 1rst section of the Antrim Hills Way, enjoy fine views open out to Slemish as you reach Black Hill and some coastal views improve as you progress afterward, with the hills of Scotland and the rocky outcrops of the Maidens, or Hulin Rocks, all clearly visible out to sea

Tourist office
distance 15.33 km Vertical gain +298 m Vertical drop -362 m Durée 5h15 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Larne

For this 2nd section of the Antrim Hills Way, enjoy views of cliffs of Agnew’s Hill and long views open out along the Glenwherry Valley, with the windfarm at the top of Elliot’s Hill before going past Donaghy's Bridge and reach Greenmount Hill Farm & Agricultural College. For safety reasons dogs are not allowed even if on a lead.

Tourist office
distance 10.57 km Vertical gain +261 m Vertical drop -214 m Durée 3h45 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Ballymena

This final section of the Antrim Hills Way,
For safety reasons dogs are not allowed even if on a lead.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.

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