Top 10 highest mountains in Northern Ireland

From the majestic Mournes to the spectacular Sperrins, these are the top ten highest mountains in Northern Ireland.

Known for its dramatic landscapes and stunning rural settings, the north of Ireland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re an adventurer looking to discover what the country has to offer, why not take on the highest mountains in Northern Ireland?

The most famous mountain range in the north, the Mourne Mountains, is home to some fantastic peaks offering panoramic views. With plenty of hiking routes to choose from, it is perfect for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.

However, major peaks can be found all over the country, from County Down to County Antrim, County Derry to County Tyrone, and County Fermanagh to County Armagh.

So, if you’re looking to get out in nature, take in some stunning views, and check out some of Northern Ireland’s best hiking trails, read on.

10. Cuilcagh, Co. Fermanagh – 2,182 ft (665 m)

Cuilcagh is the tenth highest mountain in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @thedukeofdungannon

Set on the border of County Fermanagh and County Cavan, Cuilcagh (pronounced cool-Ka) is the first spot on our list of highest mountains in Northern Ireland. This inland mountain offers a popular walking route known as the ‘Stairway to Heaven’.

Boasting dramatic views of the stunning Fermanagh countryside, this popular route welcomes hiking enthusiasts from all over Ireland and further afield.

9. Slieve Muck, Co. Down – 2,208 ft (670 m)

Slieve Muck is one of the highest mountains in Northern Ireland.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

The first Mourne Mountain on our list, Slieve Muck ranks as the ninth highest mountain in the north, coming in at 2,208 ft (670 m).

A lesser-known peak in the central Mournes compared to some of its neighbours, Slieve Muck sits along the Mourne Wall and offers stunning views of the dramatic mountain range that surrounds it.

8. Sawel Mountain, Co. Derry and Tyrone – 2,224 ft (678 m)

Sawel Mountain is the highest mountain outside of the Mournes.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

The highest mountain in Northern Ireland outside of County Down, Sawel Mountain in the Sperrins is the eighth highest mountain in Northern Ireland.

Set on the border between County Derry and County Tyrone, Sawel Mountain represents the shared highest point between two Irish counties.

Therefore, allowing those who take on the hike to claim the achievement of having reached the highest point of two Irish counties in one go!

7. Slieve Lamagan, Co. Down – 2,310 ft (702 m)

Slieve Lamagan is one of the highest mountains in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Geograph.ie / Eric Jones

Back to the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Slieve Lamagan takes the crown for the seventh highest peak in Northern Ireland. 

Set along the historic Mourne Wall, Slieve Lamagan offers scenic views over Silent Valley and its neighbour Slieve Binnian. A relatively challenging hike, it’s important to ensure you have a decent level of fitness before tackling this route.

6. Slieve Meelmore, Co. Down – 2,310 ft (680 m)

Slieve Meelmore is 680 m in height.
Credit: geograph.ie / Rossographer

Next on our list of mountains is the fantastic Slieve Meelmore. A popular mountain among those looking for a challenging walk that doesn’t require the commitment of some of the other routes in the range, this is a great hike for all.

Offering views over the Mourne Mountains and the County Down countryside, we would argue that this is one of the most rewarding hiking trails in the range.

5. Slieve Meelbeg, Co. Down – 2,383 ft (702 m)

Slieve Meelbeg is one of the highest mountains in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @lollyexplores

The neighbour of Slieve Meelmore, Slieve Meelbeg, is an equally rewarding hike with scenic views all around.

The first on our list of mountains to rise above 700 m, this is a worthy climb and a must for those looking to take on the highest mountains in Northern Ireland.

Often tackled together, Slieves Meelbeg and Meelmore are both set along the historic Mourne Wall, making the route relatively easy to navigate.

4. Slieve Bearnagh, Co. Down – 2,385 ft (739 m)

Slieve Bearnagh is a fantastic hike.
Credit: Ireland Before You Die

Perhaps offering the best view in the Mournes, Slieve Bearnagh is one of the most popular hikes in the north.

Tackled either as an out-and-back or circular route, Slieve Bearnagh is known for its steep slopes and impressive granite towers.

3. Slieve Binnian, Co. Down – 2,451 ft (746 m)

Slieve Binnian is one of the highest mountains in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @zaralaraa

Now into Northern Ireland’s top three highest mountains, Slieve Binnian is a great hike for amazing views of Silent Valley and the surrounding mountains.

To hike this trail, it is advised to park in Carrick Little Car Park and begin your ascent from there for a pleasant but challenging walk.

2. Slieve Commedagh, Co. Down – 2,516 ft (767 m)

Slieve Commedagh is the second highest peak in the Mournes.
Credit: Geograph.ie / Rossographer

Just missing out on the top spot on our list of highest mountains in Northern Ireland is the often overlooked Slieve Commedagh.

When weather conditions are good, you can enjoy scenic views out over County Down to the north and the central Mournes to the south; climbing Slieve Commedagh is an incredibly rewarding hike to complete.

1. Slieve Donard, Co. Down – 2,970 ft (850 m)

Slieve Donard is one of the highest mountains in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The only mountain on our list to rise over 800 m, Slieve Donard is the tallest mountain in the Mourne Mountains and Northern Ireland. It is also one of the country’s most famous hiking routes.

Set along the iconic Mourne Wall, you can either begin your hike in Donard Park or head up from Bloody Bridge. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy an incredible hike. 

At the top of Slieve Donard, you will also find a stone tower made up of stones brought to the summit by previous hikers!

Notable mentions

Chimney Rock Mountain narrowly misses out on a top ten spot.
Credit: geograph.ie

Chimney Rock Mountain, Co. Down: Another of the Mourne Mountains, Chimney Rock Mountain narrowly misses out on a top ten spot, coming in at 2,152 ft (656 m).

Cove Mountain, Co. Down: Cove Mountain is the 12th highest mountain in Northern Ireland at 2,149 ft (655 m).

Eagle Mountain, Co. Down: Eagle Mountain is the 13th highest at 2,093 ft (638 m).

FAQs about the highest mountains in Northern Ireland

Is Slieve Donard the highest mountain in Ireland?

No, Carrauntoohil in County Kerry is the highest mountain in Ireland.

How long does it take to walk up Slieve Donard?

It should take around two to three hours to reach the summit of Slieve Donard.

What is Slieve Donard famous for?

Slieve Donard is famous for being the highest mountain in Northern Ireland.

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