Slieve Binnian

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Slieve Binnian is the third highest in the Mountains of Mourne in County Down, Northern Ireland. The Binnian massive runs north - south along the Silent Valley with high rocky tors at either end, together with granite stacks at Binnian's southern heights. If you were to ask Ulster walkers what their favourite mountain is, inevitably Binnian will be mentioned. In fact a popular hill-walking group calls themselves the 'Wee Binnians'. The route takes you south to north, putting SW winds at your back on the tops. It gives terrific views of the high Mournes and Ben Crom Reservoir as you progress, providing great photographic opportunities.

The walk starts on a firm farm track followed by a long climb on a narrow mountain track, using the Mourne Wall as a guide. The summit reveals fantastic shapes of weather-worn granite stacks, with 360-degree views. If you wish, the hill provides grassy nooks among the summit stacks, giving a sheltered spot for a peaceful flask of tea and sandwiches to refuel. From the summit the walk progresses along the wide ridge to the North Tor. The towers of granite passed en route are known as the Black Castles and Binnian Lough may be seen nestled in the side of the hill to the east. Walking a further 0.7km the impressive, towering, granite crags of the North Tor dominate. Skirting these opens up magnificent views of Slieve Bearnagh 727m, Commadagh 765m and Slieve Donard 850m.

The walk then descends to a col between Binnian and Slieve Lamagan to a well-trodden valley track under the Buzzards Roost to pass the Blue Lough. (if the day is clear and sunny the water can take on a deep blue reflection of the sky). Carry onward to the rocky promentory of Percy Bysshe, taking in views up the Analong Valley towards Cove Mountain and Slieve Beg. The walk concludes by way of a stile and on to the car park at the starting point.

Northern Ireland - East Northern Ireland - County Down - Mourne Mountains