Tardree Forest is one of Northern Ireland’s oldest forests and a superb place for a wild wander. As a family, it’s somewhere we love to visit on a Sunday afternoon to walk off the roast dinner and to spend a few tranquil hours roaming and exploring.
On arrival at the good-sized carpark there are various walking trail options to choose from and you can easily while away an entire afternoon playing among the trees whilst enjoying the peace and quiet. There are some beautiful views across Lough Neagh, the Belfast Hills and towards Slemish mountain too.
Tardree is the perfect place to visit if you want to slow right down, take a deep breath and immerse yourself in nature for a while. It has this sort of fairy-tale vibe that I just love, so when the kids run off to play hide n’ seek I like to find a fallen tree or boulder to perch on, pour a cuppa coffee for my husband and myself, lean back, close my eyes and listen to the birdsong and the laughter from the kids as they run wild and free in nature – it’s the kind of place that does your soul good if you know what I mean! It’s not somewhere I go for a strenuous hike, although there are definitely some trails where you could get a decent workout, with several steep uphill sections, but, for me it’s more the opportunity this beautiful forest offers to unwind that I appreciate, to get away from the stresses and worries of life and simply enjoy some quality time in nature. It’s truly glorious for this!
Getting there: Tardree Forest is located close to Templepatrick. From Templepatrick follow the signs for Parkgate. When in Parkgate, turn left onto Connor Road. After approximately 5km you will come to the forest carpark located on the right.
Remember: If the carpark is full, don’t park on roadsides as this is busy farmland and you could block farmers’ access. Simply, return another time. Also, respect the Leave No Trace policy and use bins provided or take your rubbish home with you – ‘Love this place, Leave no trace’.