Quality Walk

Hillsborough Forest - Lake Walk

Walks within the wall enclosed area of Large Park - part of the Hillsborough Demesne previously owned by the Marquis of Downshire




0.5, 1.5 miles

OS Map

Sheet 20

Nearest Town


Route Shape


Route Type

Forest, Woodland


Moderate, steep in places

Grid Reference (Start)


Grid Reference (End)


Point of Interest

The tree fringed lake attracts a wide variety of wildfowl, ancient rath

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Other Area

Route Description

Two red graded forest trails, allow the casual walker access around the lake and to the back of the forest past the Fox Fort rath. The adjacent Hillsborough Fort, managed by NI Environment Agency, is accessible from the lake path. Look out for the many species of resident and over wintering waterfowl, especially swans and several varieties of duck.

These walks are situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversion and closure from time to time.

Up to date information is available on the Forest Service web site - link below.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

The main A1 Belfast to Dublin road passes close by the village, with access signposted via the roundabout at the north end of the village and easy access over a bridge at the south end. The Forest entrance is located at the end of Park Street and this is signposted from the main road through the village.

Getting to the Start (on Foot)

Access to the forest for pedestrians by, either Park Street or through the grounds of Hillsborough Fort.


Dogs are allowed. All dogs should be kept under proper control. Dogs must not be allowed to foul on footpaths - please clear up and use the dog fould bins provided at the forest car park and at several points en route around the forest trails.


Car parking / picnic facilities / ice cream and confectionery is sold from a mobile van. Several cafes, restaurants and shops are located close by in the village. Public toilets with wheelchair access are available at Hillsborough Fort and in the village beside. The Lake is also a publicly owned fishery (stocked with rainbow trout). Fishing is by permit only, issued by DCAL Inland Fisheries.



Publication Availability


Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery