How long will it take?
There is no way of giving one estimated time of how long it would take to walk the entire Ulster Way as this is dependent on a number of factors including your ability and speed. Other factors include the weather and whether or not you plan to walk the route in one go or take it in sections. Depending on your fitness level it is anticipated that it would take on average 3 weeks (based on an average of 20 miles walked per day) to walk the main sections.
I don’t have time to walk the whole thing, what sections should I pick?
The Ulster Way is made up of 26 sections and is ideal for a range of walkers from those looking to complete a long distance trail in one go as a ‘thru-hike’ to those only wanting to explore sections of the route over a week, multiple days or just one day.
If you don’t have time to walk the entire route, walking a section of the Ulster Way is encouraged.
To help you plan your time exploring the trail we have pulled together some of our top suggested itineraries depending on how long you want to walk for.
A list of suggested itineraries for sections of the route can be found here.
What if I only want to walk a short walk on the Ulster Way?
Check out our list of short walks (typically under 5 miles) either on or close to the Ulster Way here.
What gear should I bring?
We recommend that you carry everything you need including waterproof jacket and trousers, a complete change of clothing, first aid kit, map, compass, directions, food and water. The Ulster Way passes through a number of towns and villages so there are opportunities to stock up on supplies if needed. Some sections however are very rural, so planning ahead is essential. There may not always be paths on the route, which means sections can be muddy and go over uneven terrain, so a good pair of walking boots is essential.
Wherever you’re walking, we recommend wearing high visibility clothing to be safe.
Visit the Adventure Smart website for useful hints and tips on making sure you have the appropriate gear and the skills to keep you safe whilst enjoying the great outdoors.
Do I have to be super fit to do the Ulster Way?
The trail should be taken at a pace you are comfortable with. There are some strenuous sections along the route which require a good level of fitness as well as knowledge of walking through mountain and coastal environments. However, there are also lots of fantastic sections that can be enjoyed as short to medium walks, providing you have a basic level of fitness.
What is the weather going to be like?
Northern Ireland’s climate is oceanic, with quite cold, rainy winters and mild, relatively rainy summers. The spring and autumn are usually milder but can be windy and damp. For more detailed information on the weather, visit Climates to Travel.
Which direction should I walk the Ulster Way?
The Ulster Way can be explored clockwise, anticlockwise or in a random order of your choosing.
What services will I need?
You will find accommodation and food and drink services here.
In areas where the trail is more rurally located, shuttle services to and from your accommodation will be needed and if more information on the trail is required, walking providers can be booked – a full list of walking providers and shuttle services can be found here.
Wi-Fi, hot water, and other amenities will be available from the majority of accommodation along the route.
Are there shuttle buses or public transport that I can avail of?
Public transport along some sections of the trail is limited so you should plan how you will travel in advance of walking the trail.
We encourage you to use Translink Buses to shuttle between locations. Translink offer a fantastic shuttle service for walkers called the Causeway Rambler for those exploring the Causeway Coast & Glens section of the Ulster Way. To help plan we encourage you to download the Translink Journey Planner App: https://www.translink.co.uk/usingtranslink/OurApps/journeyplanner
Where public bus services are not available we encourage you to use local taxis and see if your accommodation provider offer a pick up and drop off service.
Where can I leave a review of a walk?
You can leave a review of the walk you completed on the walk listing pages on our sister website WalkNI.com
Is wild camping permitted along the Ulster Way?
Camping is only permitted at designated camping sites along the route.
How worried should I be about ticks and Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is uncommon but for through walkers, it is important to thoroughly check for tick bites at the end of a days walking, particularly if you have walked through woodland and heath areas. Long sleeved tops and full length trousers are advisable, as is insect repellant. For more information on how to safely remove ticks and symptoms of Lyme disease, visit NI Direct.
Who manages the land?
The Ulster Way is managed by each of the 11 councils within Northern Ireland which are: Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Mid Ulster District Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Belfast City Council. Lisburn City and Castlereagh Borough Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.