The Clandeboye Way is a great off road walk through a variety of landscapes with lots to see along the way. Of historical interest is Helen's Tower and the old Leadmines at Whitespots Country Park. The path leads through old laneways, some farm tracks and woodland paths.
Please note - this walk involves crossing the main Bangor to Belfast dual carriageway.
Point of interest:Clandeboye Estate, Helens Tower, Leadmines
Nearest town:Helens Bay near Crawfordsburn
OS map:Sheet 15
Terrain:Laneways, tracks, woodland paths
Route:The walk starts from Helen’s Bay Railway Station. Take the underpass beneath the railway line to Clandeboye Avenue. Walk along this old laneway passing under bridges at Bridge Road and the railway line. Keep walking until you come across a gate leading onto a metalled path.
Continue along this for approximately a mile until passing under another bridge at Ballyrobert Road. After this bridge you will reach the main Belfast to Bangor dual carriageway.
Cross the dual carriage way and turn left, walk for a few metres and look for a small path on your right - this leads back onto Clandebye Avenue.
After approximately 1 mile the path leaves the Avenue and continues along a farm lane to Ballysallagh Road.
From here the path circles round Blackwood Golf Course eventually exiting on the Crawfordsburn Road near Ballyleidy Sawmill.
Turn right and cross the road. At the corner re enter Clandeboye Estate to your left at the back of the Sawmill. This leads uphill to Helen’s Tower for scenic views of the Co Down landscape on a good day.
From here the walk continues for another 10-15 minutes to an old metal stile. This leads into Whitespots Country Park. Continuing through the park past the leadmines will eventually lead to the Somme Heritage Centre and a large car park. This is the end of the walk.
From here either retrace you steps back to Helen’s Bay or catch a bus on the main Bangor to Newtownards Road.
Waymarkers on the route are limited at present to some old Ulster Way signs. New waymarkers should be installed during 2008. However, the walk is relatively easy to follow at present.
Facilities:There is a car park at the start and finish although parking is limited at the railway station in Helens Bay. Toilets and refreshements can only be found at the start and finish of the walk in Helen’s Bay and in the Somme Heritage Centre (beside Whitespots Country Park). The Somme Centre has limited opening hours so it is worth phoning beforehand - 028 9182 3202
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:A mixture of terrain including unsurfaced lanes, woodland paths and farm tracks.
Publication:None as yet
Getting to the start by public transport:The walk starts from the car park at Helen’s Bay Railway Station. Take the underpass beneath the railway line to start in Clandeboye Avenue.