Loughbrickland Walk (Whyte's Estate)

Enjoy a quiet stroll along woodland paths and country lane within this small, family owned estate located on the edge of the pretty village of Loughbrickland.

Technical sheet No. 30944324

A Banbridge walk posted on 20/02/23 by Walk NI. Last update : 16/03/23
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h55[?]
Distance Distance : 2.87 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 26 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 26 m
Highest point Highest point : 113 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 82 m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Banbridge
Starting point Starting point : N 54.318399° / W 6.306624°
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Loughbrickland Woodland


Start : The walk starts at the entrance to the Whyte Estate (Loughrickland House) at the junction of Scarva Street and the Old Newry Road, Loughbrickland. (BT32 3YP)

(D/A) The walk starts to the right of the avenue – just past the gate lodge. You will see a wooden fingerpost indicating the start of the walk. Enter the estate avenue on foot from the Scarva Street (B3) entrance. A short distance along the avenue a fingerpost marks the start of the walk to the right of the avenue, just beyond the gate lodge. This section of the route runs parallel to the Old Newry Road.

The walk travels through a woodland strip with glimpses of the parkland to the left. The surface can be uneven, look out for the sections of concrete – vestiges of an army training camp of up to 2000 troops which was based here during World War II.

(1) At the junction of the path – ignore the entrance to the Boundary Trail for now and follow the Woodland Trail up the hill (North-East) through the ash plantation and climb 2 sets of steps to Coolnacran Fort (A), a scheduled historic monument. Just beyond the steps you will be pass the original entrance to this ringfort or rath on the eastern downhill side of a drumlin. (B)

(2) Take time to explore the interior of the fort before following the yellow way mark posts out of the wood to an avenue and turn left (South-West) and walk towards a set of gates. Go through the gap beside the gates turn right onto the back avenue, away from the house and gardens which are strictly private. Walk towards the Coolnacran Road gates at the back entrance to the estate.

There is a choice of routes here with the turn to the left (way marked yellow) you can complete the Woodland Trail and leading back to the Scarva Street entrance after 800 m or so.

"Otherwise, the path to the right is the Boundary Trail (C) and follows an old ride that runs around the perimeter of the estate. As you approach Johnston’s Fort , the second scheduled historic monument along the trail, you will see the ‘Boundary Trail’ interpretative board to the right. Johnston’s Fort, a raised rath, with its elevated position, affords views down to Loughbrickland village and across the fields to the much larger Coolnacran Fort to the south west. This marks the mid-way point of the Boundary Trail. Steps have to be climbed to enter and leave the fort. On leaving Johnston’s Fort the trail drops down to run parallel with the Old Newry Road. Often the banks along the trail have good displays of primroses and dog violets in spring. This section, from the fort to the first gate off the Old Newry Road was improved in autumn 2014 with investment from the Down Rural Area Partnership under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013. As the trail re-enters the woodland stay on the upper path and look out for the veteran oak on the left estimated from its girth to be about 350 years old. On re-joining the Woodland Trail retrace your steps to Coolnacran Fort and follow the way markers to the back gates of the estate.''

(3) Walk along Scarva Street then take the Woodland Trail to the left and follow the way marked path to return to the starting point. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 87 m - Whyte Estate
1 : km 0.32 - alt. 93 m - Junction Boundary Trail
2 : km 1.23 - alt. 111 m - Coolnacran Fort
3 : km 2.31 - alt. 99 m - Woodland Trail - Boundary Trail
D/A : km 2.87 - alt. 87 m - Whyte Estate

Useful Information

Start : The walk starts at the entrance to the Whyte Estate (Loughrickland House) at the junction of Scarva Street and the Old Newry Road, Loughbrickland. (BT32 3YP)

Parking : Please park with due care and consideration along Scarva Street as the small car park next to the estate Gate Lodge is private and was provided by the owner to serve the gate lodge which is available for hire.

Terrain : Woodland trail and rough Lane. Please note the trail follows woodland trails and country lane and can be uneven and muddy and there are steps at a number of locations along the route. Suitable footwear is recommended.

Public Transport : Translink

Facilities : Public toilets located in Loughbrickland Park, Shops, garage, pub and food in village.

Dog Policy : Dogs should be under close control at all times. Please clean up after your dog.

Note :
Public access to the estate is by kind tolerance of the estate owner, Dr Whyte under an agreement between Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. If you have any problems with the trail please contact the Council’s Countryside Officer on 028 4066 0617.
Please respect the privacy of the owner and remain on the designated route as all other areas are private.

Find more information and walk ideas 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

(A) Coolnacran Ringfort : The current entrance to the fort is further along, near the interpretative board. With its peaceful location surrounded by trees Coolnacran Fort has an almost mystical feel. In spring bluebells transform this area of the walk. The interpretative board features an artistic impression of how the fort might have looked soon after its construction. The fort was nearly completely overgrown with laurels and the laurels were cleared with assistance from volunteers as part of the work to open up the woodland trail c. 2000. This first part of the project was provided with grant assistance from NIEA.

(B) The owner is carrying out laurel clearance and woodland management in the wood at the time of writing so the trail surroundings are changing with the clearance. You may see grey squirrels scampering from tree to tree here and hear the call of the rooks in spring. To the left of the avenue is a large rookery with reportedly 285 active nests.

(C) The Boundary Trail : The wide, tree lined lane that forms the Boundary Trail is an old ‘ride’ – a path made specially for use by the owners of the house and their guests for riding and exercising horses. Over the years this fell into disuse and much of it was impassable. In 2008, with the kind agreement of the owner of the estate, the former Banbridge District Council with assistance from Heritage Lottery funding and assistance with ground works from Probation Service for NI brought the ride back into use as the ‘Boundary Trail’ walk. This section of the trail follows a rough country lane terrain and the surface can be uneven, wet and muddy with rough crossing places, steps and gates.

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