'Discovering Britain' walks extended to Northern Ireland


The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) has expanded its prestigious series of geographical walks to include Northern Ireland.

Three self-guided walks in County Down have just been published on the Discovering Britain website and offer opportunities to explore the county’s varied landscapes and fascinating history.

The walks are suitable for locals who want to find out more about what’s on their doorstep as well as visitors exploring the region.

The 3 ½ mile walk around the Killard peninsula at the mouth of Strangford Lough uncovers a very special place with a unique geography. The commentary reveals how the forces of ice and water have created the stunning scenery that you see today from sandy bays and rocky foreshores to lush meadows and crumbling cliffs.

The 4 ½ mile walk along the banks of the Quoile and into Downpatrick looks at the natural characteristics of the river and surrounding landscape. Walkers discover how the river has influenced human settlement and activity throughout history and how prehistoric settlers, Viking invaders, Celtic monks, English aristocrats, industrial traders and modern pilgrims each left their mark.

The 3 mile walk in the foothills of Slieve Donard passes through dense forest, mountain moorland and river glen. Along the way is evidence of how the natural resources of the area – rock, soil, trees and water have been exploited by humans throughout history.

The walks were researched and written by Dr Verity Peet, who lives on the Lecale peninsula. “Until I researched these walks, I’d never realised that there was so much physical evidence of the past all around us. Now I see my favourite walking haunts in a whole new light.”

The walks are free to download as a printable booklet or audio guide from www.discoveringbritain.org

RGS-IBG Director, Dr Rita Gardner, says: “We are delighted to expand our successful series of ‘Discovering Britain’ walks to include Northern Ireland. These three walks in County Down are just the start and we will be adding more in due course.”

County Down Walks