Hiking Slemish is something I will never tire of. Slemish is one of many mountain ranges in Northern Ireland, but is probably the smallest. In fact it looks more like a big hill than a mountain.
Where is Slemish?
Slemish is on the Causeway coastal route and is based outside a small county Antrim Village of Broughshane, not far from the larger town of Ballymena.
My History of hiking Slemish
Each year, since I was three, we made it a family tradition to climb up Slemish, with the exception of 2005 (when I was in hospital), and 2010-12. The tradition of this trip would usually be in the week before we started school (end of August). We would leave quite early, taking a bottle of water, snacks and a change of clothes. Afterwards, we’d go to the Tower Centre (shopping centre) in Ballymena to get chips. Such a simple but fun family trip out.
Hikng Slemish can be done at any time of the year. Summer is nice, as the lavender is out, and you’ll have to dodge a view sheep grazing on the way up, but don’t be fooled by thinking that summer is the best season to climb – Northern Irish weather is typically unpredicatable.
Hiking Slemish isn’t much of a challenge, and you won’t need any specilaist equipment or footwear to do it in. It should take you no longer than 25-30 minutes to reach the top.
When you get there, you’ll get a wonderful view of the green fiels of Antrim – such a stunning view.
If you plan on hiking up Slemish as part of your trip to Northern Ireland, pack a wee picnic for the top, and spend your time admiring the scenery. Pack a rain jacket as a back up and a change of clothes for the bottom, as you’re likely to get yourself cover in muck on the way down.
From a practical point of view, there are plenty of car parking spaces, and toilet facilities, as well as picnic tables at the bottom. Just remember to clear away your rubbish, and keep Northern Ireland looking beautiful!