Dominic LyttlePeter LennonTim Rickerby
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Colourful Walks In Northern Ireland

Posted on February 25, 2019 @ 4:47 PM in Walking

As Northern Ireland's parks, gardens and forests awaken from their chilly winter slumber, walks come to life with breath-taking displays of colourful blooms. In this blog we share some of our favourite colourful walks in Northern Ireland.


Image courtesy of Tyrone & Sperrins Destination

Dazzling Daffodils

Britain’s classic yellow spring flower -  the daffodil makes an appearance across many walks across Northern Ireland from February through to May. One of the biggest displays of Daffodils can be found in Barnett Demesne, Belfast, Co. Antrim. This blanket of yellow flowers in full blooms adds a cheery smile to walkers as they explore the Demesne and nearby Lagan Towpath.

Barnett Demesne
Image courtesy of Tyrone & Sperrins Destination

Magnificent Magnolias

The pink and white Magnolias of Springhill House, Co. Derry~Londonderry are proof that Magnolia is more than just a well renowned neutral paint colour. Discover these flowering trees around the middle of March when they burst into bloom, creating a striking display of colour. There are a few different varieties however, the one that always sparks interest it the one beside the visitor reception which gives off a sweet scent like white chocolate when it comes into flower.

Magnolias
Image Credit: Picture by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

Glorious Gardens

The World Class Gardens at Mount Stewart, Co. Down burst into colour from early March through to late summer. Universally renowned for the 'extraordinary scope of its plant collections and the originality of its features. Spend an afternoon walking around the lake and exploring the formal and oriental gardens. The unique climate of Mount Stewart on the Ards Peninsula means you may be surprised by the tropical plants that are able to grow there.

Another fantastic place to explore the glorious colours of spring is Montalto Estate, Co. Down. Who open up their seasonal gardens to the public throughout the year. Speak to the expert garden team about top tips for recreating the stunning planted gardens at home. The Estate also features a spectacular structures for children of all ages.

Montalto Estate

Multi-Colour Magnificence

Colour is starting to bloom at The Argory, Co. Armagh with the rampant blue trailing wisteria, blazing yellow Kerria and not forgetting the foxgloves and cowslips along the boardwalk. There’s always something new to discover.

The Argory
Image Courtesy of the National Trust

Spectacular Sorrel

Wood Sorrel with felty green shamrock like leaves, carpets shady woodland floors and sometimes invades mossy tree trunks. Look out for it in Davagh Forest Park, Co. Tyrone and in Belmore Forest, Co. Fermanagh. 

Wood Sorrel
Image Credit: Picture by Ronnie Irvine Photography

Rich Rhododendrons

Daffodils in the garden are not the only thing that catch the eye of walkers to Rowallane Gardens, Co. Down. March heralds the start of rhododendron season. Come and explore these magnificent gardens full of colour and scent throughout the Spring. Enjoy a walk around the garden before stopping for a cup of coffee in the cafe.

Rhododendrons
Image Credit: Picture by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

Colourful Cliffs

Rare plants are always worth looking for, in the right place, and are more likely to be seen by those who walk or look where others seldom do. The cliffs of Binevenagh, Co. Derry~Londonderry and Sallagh Braes, Co. Antrim (usually in May) have rare spring flowering alpines not found elsewhere in Northern Ireland. Cushions of Moss Campion dotted with pink flowers adorn the cliffs of Binevenagh in May.

Moss Campion
Image Credit: Picture by Ronnie Irvine Photography

Breath-Taking Bluebells

After the quiet of winter, woodlands begin to get a little louder from early March. Birdsong can be heard, frogs spotted and plenty of spring flowers in abundance. One of the most spectacular sites in Spring is the carpet of intense blue flowers that transform our woodlands. It is not suprising that the bluebell is one of the nation's best-loved wild flowers. Crawfordburn Countrypark, Co. Down is just one of many forest across Northern Ireland with a spectacular display. Other forests including Caslte Ward, Co. Down and Carnmoney Hill, Co. Antrim. 

Crawfordsburn Country Park

Don't forget to share your colourful walks with us of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WalkNI

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

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