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Slieve Donard

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Slieve Donard

Slieve Donard is the highest peak in the Mountains of Mourne at 850 metres (2789 feet). It was named after St Donard who was appointed a guardian of the mountain by St Patrick. On a clear day the views are breathtaking across to the Isle of Man and to Donegal, Wicklow, Wales and even Scotland. The track is mainly forest and path and is a tough but rewarding climb to the top.

Cars can be left in Donard Park and a path taken towards the mountain following the Glen River until a bridge crossing when you cross to the other side of the bank. The journey continues upwards through the trees of birch and Scots Pine towards the mountain until the path changes to rough track. Fog can descend very quickly here and it is advisable to walk with someone who knows the area well the first time you climb the mountain. The river is followed for another 2 kilometers aiming for the saddle between Donard and Commedagh.

The path continues upwards to the saddle and the Mourne Wall. The track is followed to the left of the wall and a final steep climb to the summit of Slieve Donard where the views are your reward. The descent is back the same way, avoiding the hazardous Eagle rocks.  The Mourne Mountains are where St Patrick is said to have banished snakes from Ireland and are also the inspiration for the famous song by Percy French and even worked their magic for C. S. Lewis who wrote the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe after seeing them. 






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