& KILBRONEY FOREST
Is there a more appropriately named place in all of Ireland? If you can resist taking a photo while there, hats off to you.
With superb views, a fairly straightforward* route, a great post-adventure coffee spot AND even a car park halfway up if time's not on your side...this place is a must for everyone.
*You'll notice in these pics below we are on bikes - but whether you walk or cycle, the route is straightforward with just a basic level of fitness needed.
HOW TO GET THERE
Kodak Corner is found in Kilbroney Forest Park, just outside Rostrevor village in County Down. If you’re heading from Belfast or Dublin, set your sights on getting to Newry. From here, make your way to Warrenpoint (about 15 mins drive) and you’ll see the brown signs to Rostrevor/Kilbroney from there (a further 10 minutes drive).
Tip: Leave enough time to stop and take in the views as you come out of Warrenpoint. Looking out along Carlingford Lough in the pic below, (without getting political) to the right are the hills of County Louth in the Republic of Ireland, while to the left are the hills of Slieve Martin, Slievemeen and Slieveban, in Northern Ireland's County Down. And just sticking its nose out there is Kodak Corner, perched just on the edge.
KILBRONEY FOREST PARK & PARKING
Camping, caravanning, a great café, public toilets/changing, picnic areas, sports facilities and superb single-track mountain bike trails. Add to that the brilliant walking routes for all ages and it’s easy to see why this place is so popular.
Once you’re off the main road and into the Forest Park grounds, you’ll essentially have three choices for parking:
Option 1 is the bottom car park - mostly used by caravans and campers, essentially an over-spill area for the main car park.
Option 2 is just a little further up on the left – the main car park, which is also where you’ll find the café, facilities, playground, picnic area and mountain bike centre.
Option 3 is to carry on up into the forest to the upper car park – if time isn’t on your side and Kodak Corner is your objective for the day, use this one as it'll save you 30 mins and a fairly steep walk from the main car park.
If time IS on your side though – use one of the bottom car parks and explore the great forest trails the whole way up.
HOW TO GET TO KODAK CORNER
At the top end of the upper car park, you'll see a sign which highlights the walking trails. For Kodak Corner, you'll want to follow the main path round to the right, over the little bridge. After a few minutes' walk take the next left up the steep-ish, stony path...
While those on bikes tend to take a trail off to the right (about halfway up the steep stony path), walkers are in for a bonus view by just continuing straight up the hill.
Cloughmore/Cloghmor is the huge, lonesome granite stone that sits 300m up into the forest - said to be left there 10,000 years ago at the end of the ice age! Well worth a stop and snap.
A few pics from previous visits…
...and this superb shot from James Martin on Instagram, looking back towards Rostrevor and Warrenpoint!
To get to Kodak Corner from here, it's just another 10-15 minutes walk. With your back to the Stone and the Carlingford hills across the water in front, head over to your left and you’ll see the sloping treeline in the pic below.
Take one of the worn-down walking paths across and you’ll join up with a stony biking trail which leads through the trees.
A five minute walk through the forest and this is your reward...
Bring a picnic! Just remember to keep the path clear for others - especially those on bikes.
And LEAVE NO TRACE. Bring your litter home (or back to the bin at the car park) :)
** Earn brownie points by picking up any litter you spot - keep this place beautiful! **
WANT MORE ROUTES TO EXPLORE ?
Check out the super-handy interactive walking and cycling maps on OutdoorNI.com
If you continue on to the top of Slieve Martin, or follow the red or black biking routes like we did, the views go on for days...
AND NOW, EASY AS 1-2-3
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