Meet the nominees WalkNI Awards 2022

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An introduction to the 2022 WalkNI Award nominees

The eagerly anticipated WalkNI Awards are back to celebrate the best walking trails in Northern Ireland. This year we are delighted that the awards are sponsored by Barista Bar who offer great tasting coffee, hot beverages and snacks close to Northern Ireland’s walking trails.

All those who vote in this year’s awards are in with a chance of winning one month of free hot beverages from Barista Bar and a £200 voucher to spend at the Slieve Donard Hotel.

Who wins? You decide! In this blog we share with you details of each category and the the nominees.

Click here to vote!

Best place to walk as a family
Northern Ireland offers walkers a fantastic variety of family friendly walking trails. From interactive sculpture trails and those with natural play opportunities to those offering buggy friendly access or space to run around. you are sure to find the perfect walk to suit your family for their next outdoor adventure.

Best NEW walking trail
New walks are always being developed across Northern Ireland both privately and by local councils and community groups. Keen to celebrate some of the newest trails to be opened in Northern Ireland this category celebrates trails that have increased walking opportunities for local communities in rural areas.

Best long distance walking trail
Northern Ireland has a wealth of walking opportunities for those wishing to take on a long distance walking challenge. But which trail is the best?

We expect this to be a close competition!!!

Whether you are a local resident or enjoy visiting the area regularly the following categories focus in on specific walking locations around Northern Ireland:

Top walking trail in Fermanagh and Omagh
When it comes to walking in Fermanagh and Omagh you may think it will just be lots of walks around Loughs but this area has a wide variety of walks from forest parks and clifftop trails to rural country strolls and summit trails there is something for everyone…but which one is your favourite?!

Top walking trail in Co. Down
County Down offers walkers a wide variety of walks from sandy strolls beside the sea and mountain climbs to forest and tranquil river walks.

Top walking trail in Belfast
Whether you live in Belfast, are visiting the city to go shopping or staying a few days for a mini break there are plenty of walking opportunities just a stones throw from the city centre.

Top walking trail in Mid Ulster
Offering many hidden gem walks Mid Ulster as with the others offers a variety of both short and longer walker trails to suit a variety of people. But which is your favourite?!

Favourite place to walk with your dog
Will there be a new winning walk this year or will Murlough National Nature Reserve hang onto its title once again?! With more of us working from home and welcoming a new four legged family member into our households, finding the ‘pawfect’ trail is the more important than ever! We are keen to find out whether dog walkers in Northern Ireland prefer walking on the beach, in the forest or perhaps just sticking to more familiar trails locally.

Best summit/hilltop view
The view from the summit of any walk should be a worthwhile reward for the effort you put into the uphill climb!

Best section of the International Appalachian Trail Ulster-Ireland
The IAT Ulster-Ireland has recently undergone significant capital work development which has included the installation of new signage, waymarkers and trail development. This trail which begins at the iconic cliffs of Slieve League in Donegal crosses into Northern Ireland and picks up the Ulster Way through the Sperrins, Causeway Coast and Antrim Hills to its final destination Larne. With strong links to the International Appalachian Trail in North America and countries around the world this trail has a rich heritage and history to explore. We are keen to know what your favourite section of this iconic trail is.

  • Slieve League Pilgrims Path
  • Lough Eske Nature Trail
  • Bessy Bell
  • Gortin Glen Forest Park
  • Eagle’s Rock – Moydamlaght Forest
  • Binevenagh with diversion to Manannán Mac Lir: Sea god statue
  • Giant’s Causeway to White Park Bay
  • Glenariff Forest Park
  • Scawt Hill

Best section of the Ulster Way
The Ulster Way is Northern Ireland’s longest walking trail taking in each country and offering walkers a variety of walking environments to explore from coastal walks to mountains this trail has it all! Many have explored this trail in its entirety as part of a fundraising walk or personal challenge, while others have explored short sections of the trail. Whatever way you have explored the trail we are keen to find out what your favourite section is.

  • Lecale Way
  • Mourne Way
  • Rostrevor to Newry
  • Ring of Gullion Way
  • Newry Canal Way
  • Scarva to Aughnacloy
  • Sliabh Beagh Way
  • Lisnaskea to Florence Court
  • Florence Court to Belcoo
  • Belcoo to Belleek including Lough Navar Forest option
  • Belleek to Lough Bradan
  • Lough Bradan to Gortin
  • Gortin to Moneyneany
  • Moneyneany to Dungiven
  • Dungiven to Castlerock incorporating North Sperrins Way
  • Castlerock to Portstewart
  • Causeway Coast Way
  • Moyle Way
  • Ballycastle to Glenarm
  • Glenarm to Ballynure incorporating Antrim Hills Way
  • Ballynure to Belfast
  • Lagan Towpath
  • Belfast to Holywood
  • North Down Coastal Path
  • Groomsport to Strangford

Best Barista Bar serving hot drinks close to the trails
If like us, you eagerly anticipate a pre/post-walk coffee when out walking then this is category is for you! We have been working closely with our sponsor Barista Bar to pick some of our top walks with great tasting Barista Bar coffee stops nearby. But which is the best?! Check out our coffee and trails blog to find out more about the nominees in this category.

Click here to vote!

Voting closes at 11.59pm on Thursday 3rd March 2022. The winners will be announced in March 2022. T&C’s apply.