Ballysallagh Forest 'Cairn Wood'

Ballysallagh Forest 'Cairn Wood'

Rising to an altitude of 200m the woodland was once an outlier of the Clandeboye Estate and is important locally not only for its conservation value but also as a landscape feature in North Down.

The tree cover in the Forest Nature Reserve is mainly beech, with some oak, birch, alder, rowan and holly many of which are of scrub character. A few conifers occur, mostly Scots pine.

Open areas are predominantly grass/rush complex with bramble and at the highest elevations there is heathland with bilberry growing extensively.

There is a wide range of small song birds and many of the more common raptors frequent the area. Red squirrels are resident in the forest and may be seen in the wooded areas near the adjacent hill fort.

The wood offers a choice of 3 walks from the car park through the mixed woodland. A popular site for local dog walkers. These walks are situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversion and closure from time to time.



Opening Hours

Open all year



No charge


No Charge

Getting There

From Holywood: Take the Church Road to its junction with B170. Turn left onto the Ballymiscaw Road. At the end of the road turn right onto Whinney Hill. At the next junction turn left onto Craigantlet Road for approximately 0.75 mile to the forest car park.

Walk Trails

Linear, 8 miles

Clandeboye Way – Helen’s Bay to Whitespots Country Park. A woodland walk on a mix of old lanes and tracks.


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+44 (0) 28 4377 2240


Forest Service NI
Cairn Wood
Craigantlet Road

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