Slieve Donard (via Glen River)

(7 reviews)

Slieve Donard at 850m (2,789 ft) is the highest of the Mourne Mountains.

The views from the summit are extensive and on a clear day the Isle of Man, Wicklow, Donegal, Wales and Scotland may be seen, as well as the long stretch of Newcastle Beach.

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Slieve Donard (via Glen River)



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  • We’re experienced walkers/climbers but found this tough going in places. It’s quite steep in many places. took us 5 hours from start to finish. Proper boots are essential. A good path but found it very steep on the descent beside the wall.
    Go on a clear day for the fabulous views.

    Susan McClelland at 11:07 am
  • Was a very good climb, done it twice and it amazes me every time in winter… ask me again an i’ll sure do it again when I’m over… Ben Nevis i’ll do next but Slieve Donard camping on the flats is worth the over night as well, waking up to a frozen lake.

    Kenrick Duncan at 10:23 am
  • Really enjoyed this walk yesterday but don’t understand the quoted distance of 2.9 miles one way

    Our gps and fitbit both measured it at 7km

    Lovely walk even if it took us 7.5 hours for the round trip and we had planned An easy day

    Eamon and Elizabeth at 9:21 am
  • County Down

    Distance 2.9 (one way) miles

    OS Map Sheet 29

    Terrain Mainly forest and mountain paths

    Nearest Town Newcastle

    Route Shape Linear

    Grid Reference J375305

    Route Type Forest, Mountain

    Leave the car park in Donard Park heading towards the mountain and follow the Glen River uphill through old woodland of Scots Pine, Oak and Birch. At the first of 3 bridges, cross to the opposite bank.

    Continue uphill through the forest, above a deep cut riverbed, for about 400m until another bridge is reached. The riverbank overhangs along this section so extra care is needed.

    At this point cross back to the left hand side and resume journey uphill through the trees.

    At the next bridge continue across the forest road and onto the rough track heading up towards the mountains, with thick forest on right (fenced), until a gate and stile is reached.

    Cross the stile and follow the track above the river for about 2kms, heading towards the saddle between Donard and Commedagh.

    At this point, the path crosses the river and continues uphill to the ‘Saddle’ where it meets the Mourne Wall.

    At the Mourne Wall turn left and follow the wall steeply uphill towards the summit.

    From the summit return by the same route, staying close to the wall until the Saddle is reached again. The cliffs on the north side of Donard known as Eagle Rocks should be avoided by walkers since the approaches are steep.

    Return to Donard Park following the line of the Glen River.

    Views from summit

    Follow the one way system to the south end of Newcastle main street. Donard Car Park has ample parking.

    Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

    Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept on leads

    Toilets and parking in Donard Park. Refreshments in Newcastle.

    The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

    Disabled toilets
    Disabled parking

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.