Slemish Mountain, Broughshane

#9 of 18 in Nature in County Antrim
Slemish, historically called Slieve Mish, is a mountain in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It lies a few miles east of Ballymena, in the townland of Carnstroan. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick, enslaved as a youth, was brought to this area and tended sheep herds on Slemish, and that during this time he found God.
Slemish is the remains of the plug of an extinct volcano. The plug is made of olivine dolerite and was formed during the Palaeogene period of the Earth's geological history. Its distinctive appearance —its upper reaches are very steep and rugged, in contrast to the tidy fields on its lower westward-facing slopes and the relatively flat bogland to the east— causes it to dominate the landscape for miles around.
Slemish is within an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) and, therefore, helps to protect and manage the fragile animal and plant communities that inhabit its slopes. An ideal location for bird watchers, large black ravens, buzzards, wheatears and meadow pipits can be seen regularly.
Slemish Mountain is the legendary first known Irish home of Saint Patrick. According to legend, following his capture and being brought to Ireland as a slave, Patrick worked as a shepherd at Slemish Mountain for about six years, from ages 16 to 22, for a man named Milchu (or Miluic).
It was during this time that Patrick turned to frequent prayer as his only consolation in his loneliness. In a vision he was encouraged to escape and return home.
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Slemish Mountain Reviews
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33 reviews
  • With luck you will visit Slemish on a clear and dry day, in which case it is excellent and you will enjoy great views. On a wet and grey day it's still worth a visit but you won't be able to see nearl...  more »
  • It’s a bit of a climb, but the views are worth every step. North Ireland is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. This hike has 2 approaches to reach the summit. One is more challenging ...  more »
  • I've climbed Slemish many times, it's definitely one of the easier Mount's to climb for the inexperienced climbers like myself. In recent years it's had a slight "tourist type" makeover, with signs of information about it's history. It's said that this is St Patricks first place he settled in Ireland.
  • Lovely walk with beautiful views in all directions.
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