Aside from its natural beauty, Slemish’s value as a heritage site is entirely bound up with its association with Saint Patrick. In local tradition, the mountain was the site of the saint’s slavery, where he spent 6 years herding livestock for Mulchi, the local chieftain.

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  • Fantastic Hill Challenge for anyone visiting Northern Ireland and the Glens of Antrim area. Although I do recommend that you do some training in preparation of taking on this hill climb as it is literally a 70-80 degrees climb for 15-25 minutes, but when you get to the top you will experience some of the greatest panoramic views of Northern Ireland Countryside. I also recommend doing this as a St Patrick’s Day activity as it is an important site of Saint Patrick himself.

    Nicholas Davis at 3:44 pm
  • County Antrim

    Distance 1.2 miles

    OS Map Sheet 9

    Terrain Steep rocky track

    Nearest Town Nearest village Buckna

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference D21691 05557

    Route Type Mountain

    Route Description

    This route begins at Slemish Car Park about 15 minutes drive from the village of Broughshane. After following a grassy track to the base of the mountain, walkers can then pick and choose their own path over rocky terrain to the summit, some 1437 feet above sea level. This short ascent is reasonably strenuous however your efforts are more than rewarded with fabulous views which are sure to re-energise any tired legs.

    For a gentler descent, walk across the grassy summit in a southerly direction and hike down the south face of Slemish. You can then traverse back across the south western side of the mountain before picking up the route back to the car park. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Irish Hares in the surrounding plains and bird lovers will enjoy spotting any number of Wheatears, Ravens and Buzzards hovering above.

    Despite being only 1.2 miles in length this rocky ramble should take around an hour to complete, leaving plenty of time to take in the jaw-dropping views.

    Point of Interest

    Look out for Wheater, Irish hare, Buzzard & Ravens

    Getting to the start

    Follow the brown signs from Ballymena

    Public transport

    Translink –

    Dog Policy

    Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept on a lead.


    Car parking, picnic tables, toilets and information centre.

    The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

    – Disabled toilets
    – Disabled parking

    Accessibility Grade
    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.