Top Mindful Walks in Northern Ireland

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Take time to immerse yourself in nature

There is strong scientific evidence that visiting a forest environment can have a positive impact on your wellbeing and forest bathing, which is known in Japan as shirin-yoku, helps to reduce stress by connecting with the forest through our senses of sight, hearing, taste and touch. Check out our top 8 walks to help refresh your body, mind and spirit this autumn in Northern Ireland.

Rowallane Garden
These garden and woodland trails are a real feast for your eyes revealing many shades of red, golden, purple, orange and brown. A morning or afternoon stroll around these trails is guaranteed to restore your mood and give you back your energy. Please note: This site is managed by the National Trust and booking is required at present due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Jenkin Forest and Lakes
This trail is perfect for those wanting to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest and tranquility of the lakes. Take a moment of mindfulness to soak in the atmosphere with all your senses. Climb to Jenkin Hill where you will be rewarded with stunning views of Jenkin Lough, cut across the boardwalk to see the blanket bog up close and rest a while at the picnic benches at Jenkin Lough.

Derrynoyd Wood Trail
Ideal for a stroll in peace and quiet, let your stresses drift way on this trail which follows forest tracks through native and coniferous woodland. The walk forms a loop and can be extended to take in another 0.9 miles of woodland, the Derrynoyd River Trail.

Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny
Follow the relaxing sounds of the stream as you leave the busy roads of the city behind and journey into the depths of the forest. The view from the top offers superb views over the city.

Castlewellan Forest Park, Annesley Garden Walk
Experience autumn colours from all over the world as you wander around the Annesley Garden Trail. Find a quiet spot under a the giant redwood – or multi-stemmed giant sequoia (to be precise) which stands within the walled garden. Before heading back to your car take a moment to be still among the vibrant colours that surround you during nature’s greatest show.

Belmore Forest, Pollnagollum Cave Walk
Immerse yourself in nature right in the heart of Fermanagh’s cave country. Take a short diversion along a gravel path to the viewing platform for Pollnagollum Cave. In the stillness you might also chance upon some of our native wildlife such as Irish hare, common buzzard and maybe a jay.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Woodland Trail
Another retreat from the city slow down and spend a few hours navigating your way through over 128 acres of meadows, woodland and gardens in this historic park. This trail through the woodland will awaken your senses, find a nice tree stump or bench to sit on for a while and take time to breathe in the fresh crisp autumn air.

Reubens Glen
Take a moment to slow down in Ruben’s Glen following this linear trail along a beautiful ancient coach road. Walk calmly and breathe deeply as you experience the sounds, scents and sights of nature. The route follows a small river through a wooded area and is an abundance of wildlife can be spotted on the forest floor and high up in the trees.

Share pictures from your mindful walk with us on social media using #WalkNI