Ben Crom & The Blue Lough : The Mournes

2 mins read

When people ask for recommended routes for their first ventures into the Mourne Mountains there is one hike that instantly springs to mind. The route along the Annalong valley takes in views of Slieve Lamagan, Slieve Binnian, and ultimately a stunning view across Ben Crom reservoir toward Slieve Bearnagh. The valley offers vast open space punctuated with mountain peaks and the famous Blue Lough. It is approximately a 10km walk along the valley and back.

The video is captured in 4K with the DJI Mavic Air drone. It’s interesting to view the valley from the sky and see the impact vertical scale has when traveling larger distances in the air.

I wanted to capture the clouds rolling over the top of Ben Crom and Slieve Bearnagh and it was great to see just how well the Mavic Air hovers and compensates for the wind. I am not suggesting you could take long exposure images but you could definitely capture some reasonable time-lapse style footage.

The still images in this post were captured directly with the DJI Mavic Air or the X100F camera. I tried a couple of X100F panoramic shots but I struggled with vertical banding as the fast rolling clouds meant rapid changes in light level as I captured the sweep panoramas. The still images captured with the DJI Mavic Air were processed with my DJI Lightroom Presets to balance the highs and lows.

The Blue Lough

The Blue Lough was our default summer family walk. It’s an easy stroll up past Annalong forest to the foot of Slieve Lamagan to the Blue Lough. Popular with wild swimmers the lough reflects the deep blue mourne sky and the granite peaks of Lamagan and Binnian.

I had actually attempted this walk a few weeks earlier but a thick fog failed to lift and there was zero visibility from the second we left the carpark to the second we returned. You can see how bad the fog was from this video : Forest Fog with the DJI Mavic Air.

Ben Crom Reservoir supplies water for County Down and most of County Antrim (including Belfast). Building of the mass, gravity took from 1953 to 1957. Ben Crom mountain (526m) rises overs the reservoir and offers a striking horizon as you reach the end of the Annalong valley. This is a great point to view where the Eocene aplitic granite meets the laccolith top of the older Mesozoic granite ring dike.

Slieve Binnian Loop

One of my favourite walks is from Carrick Little carpark and following the Mourne wall to the peak of Slieve Binnian. The descent takes in stunning views of Slievelamagan, Ben Crom and Slieve Bearnagh. Read more about the Slieve Binnian Loop here.


Slieve Lamagan
Northern Ireland Landscapes
The Blue Lough
FlixelPix Video
Understanding Depth of Field


Suggested routes and destinations are offered for information only and are used at your own risk. Always take proper precautions when out in the Mountains and make sure you are equipped for all weathers. It is wise to let someone know your route before you head out.


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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