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Since doing Duke of Edinburgh in school I’ve fallen in love with the Mourne Mountains and surrounding area. One of my favourite walks (so far!) has to be looping over Slieve Binnian. There are many routes that take you over the summit; however my preferred route starts at the Silent Valley car park. From here you walk alongside the reservoir to Ben Crom dam, then up the hillside to Slieve Binnian North Tor and Slieve Binnian Summit. After that you follow the Mourne Wall over Wee Binnian, looping back down to the car park.
The area is beautiful any time of the year; however a clear day is preferred to make the most of the views!
The walk is a mixture of flat road walking (along the reservoir) and track walking that can be steep in places. I’d therefore say that it is suited to those who like a challenge or those who have experienced hill walking before. The route is around 7 miles long and takes at least 4 hours to complete.
This walk is my favourite in the Mournes as it is less busy than the more popular summits such as Slieve Donard and has the most spectacular views of the Silent Valley and surrounding mountains.
Bring plenty of snacks (it’s not a proper hike if you don’t have at least one picnic) and water. Sun cream is a must on a sunny day as there is no shelter, we learnt this the hard way…
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