Knocklayde Mountain stands at 514 meters high and dominates the landscape surrounding Ballycastle on the north Antrim coast. It is the last of the rolling hills before the green terrain meets the sea and is in plain view of the surrounding countryside. Striking in appearance, Knockladye’s isolated exterior means it’s accessible for most walkers.
Photo by F. McCarry
Taking about 2 hours from bottom to top, the best route to the summit starts from Ballycastle Forest car park located just outside the town. From the roundabout at the harbour, follow the Glenshesk road, turn right onto the Dunamallaght Road, and follow the brown tourist signs to Ballycastle Forest.
From the car park, head straight up the gravel path, keeping left at a couple of junctions.
As you ascend, the path becomes less grit and more dirt.
The forest path leads to a farmers gate, which can be easily hopped over.
From here follow the stone wall. The ground is solid thanks to the resident sheep, but gets slightly boggy in places as you near the top.
There are at least 3 fake peaks so be warned you may not be at the top as soon as you think.
For the final ascent, you need to climb over a wire fence near the peak. This is ideally done at the stakes for support and to avoid damaging the fence. It’s not barbed, don’t worry.
The views from the top are amazing with an uninterrupted visual of Ballycastle, Rathlin island, and Scotland in the distance. It is believe that there is a neolithic passage tomb dating nearly 5000 years old at the peak of Knocklayde, but due to the thick covering of peat and grass there are no external signs. It is guessed to be over 3 meters tall and about 20 meters wide. The site has not been excavated so remains a hidden secret, and the steep mound provides a shaded place to stop and have a warm cup of tea.
Photo by F. McCarry
3 thoughts on “Knocklayde Mountain”
Great info for others who’d like to do the walk, hopefully I’ll get around to it soon and I’ll be following your instructions
I just completed the walk today and I would fully concur with with what Causeway girl posted about the staggering views of ballycastle, rathlin, scotland and to the left, Donegal.
Well worth the effort and to get the best view you would be better to do the walk on a bright, clear day. Great directions! 👍🏻👀
Brilliant thanks for this, will do this walk as soon as possible