PORTGLENONE FOREST - BLUEBELL TRAIL
BLUEBELL TRAIL - PORTGLENONE FOREST
We missed out last year…we weren’t missing out again this year.
After being sent/tagged in all your photos, it looked like Portglenone Forest was one of the top places to see bluebells in Northern Ireland.
HOW TO GET TO PORTGLENONE FOREST
Just 40 minutes from Belfast, 40 minutes from the Causeway Coast and 60 minutes from Derry~Londonderry, Portglenone forest is very easily found.
Simply head in the direction of Ballymena first, then as you get close, the road signs will direct you to the towns west of the city - Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone.
Once in Portglenone, you’ll find it hard to miss the brown signs to the Forest.
FACILITIES AT PORTGLENONE FOREST
✅ Car park - £4 pay & display ticket machine on site. We visited during the week, so there were plenty of spaces. No doubt, on a sunny weekend or bank holiday it’s a different picture!
✅ Picnic benches with BBQ plate
✅ Rubbish bins
✅ Walking trail map
✅ Dogs allowed HOWEVER they must be kept under control at all times. All parts of the bluebell plant (and many other Spring flowers) are poisonous to dogs if ingested - causing vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and disorientation. If your dog’s off the lead, make sure they’re in sight at all times and easily reachable.
PORTGLENONE FOREST BLUEBELL TRAIL
Head over to the corner of the car park (opposite end of where the toilets are) and you’ll see the walking trails map…
You’ll find it hard to get lost, but along the way you’ll spot the markers…
The forest is beautifully green at the minute, so even when the bluebells are gone in late spring, you won’t be disappointed.
And after just a few minutes walking, the first sight of bluebells…
Keep an eye out for natural paths, heading away from the main route…
They’ll bring you right into the middle of the bluebells, so you’re surrounded!
In the pic above, it might look like Scout has ventured off-piste, but she’s actually on one of the natural paths on the first hill….
Bluebells take a long time to initially grow, plus it’s actually illegal to damage them or pick them (read our article on the Best Places to See Bluebells in Northern Ireland) - so avoid any temptation to walk off the path for a pic.
About halfway round, you’ll hear the sound of water through the trees. This is where Portglenone Forest meets the River Bann.
…and just before that little turn-off to the jetty, is one of the best views in the forest.
As you continue the route back to the car park, you’ll see more bursts of bluebells.
There are a few small hills along the way, so if you’re a 5 month old German Shepherd, catch your breath for 5 minutes first…
Oh and there are lots of other colours to see too!
Looking pretty, Scout. 💋
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