On the Antrim Hills Way

I've been wanting to hike more waymarked trails and got a chance recently on part of the Antrim Hills Way.  This mostly off-road route runs for 35kms / 22 miles between the coastal village of Glenarm and the iconic, standalone Slemish, famous for its association with Saint Patrick. Top image: A zoomed in view of … Continue reading On the Antrim Hills Way

Sperrin Foothills: Knockavoe

On the way home from my recent trip to County Donegal, I veered off at Strabane to tackle a little known hill that had been on my radar for years. Although relatively modest in height at 296m, shapely Knockavoe dominates the town to the east and promised wide-ranging views over Tyrone and Donegal. Top image: … Continue reading Sperrin Foothills: Knockavoe

Unfinished Business Part 2: Slieve League

Two days after tackling lowly Cairngaver in County Down, I revisted another hill that had previously defeated me: Slieve League on the rugged southwest coast of Donegal. I first attempted Slieve League back in 2007 but it was a half-assed, hungover attempt following a night out in nearby Killybegs. Top image: Couldn't resist this photo … Continue reading Unfinished Business Part 2: Slieve League

Unfinished Business Part 1: Cairngaver

Each of my two most recent hikes brought a sense of closure, as both involved a hill that had defeated me on a previous visit. These were Cairngaver, a lowly transmitter-topped hill near Belfast, and the much more famous Slieve League in County Donegal, home to some of Europe's highest sea cliffs. Top image: Looking beyond the town … Continue reading Unfinished Business Part 1: Cairngaver

Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 2

In my previous post, I told of my excitement (odd, some might say) at taking a day trip to the English border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed during a recent visit to friends in Edinburgh. I recounted how we walked the majority of the town's Elizabethan defensive walls, visited the lighthouse at the mouth of the River Tweed and … Continue reading Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 2

Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 1

During my recent visit to Edinburgh, we took a day trip to a town that had long intrigued me: Berwick-upon-Tweed, just across the border in the English county of Northumberland. I've always been fascinated by borders and Berwick is the ultimate frontier town, famously changing hands between England and Scotland numerous times up until 1482 when the … Continue reading Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 1

Hills of Edinburgh: Calton Hill and Blackford Hill

I visited friends in beautiful Edinburgh for a few days last week and took the opportunity to head up a couple of the city's hills.  I'd been up them before on previous visits but's it's such a stunning city, both architecturally and setting-wise, that I was happy to fit in some exercise and take in the … Continue reading Hills of Edinburgh: Calton Hill and Blackford Hill

The Barrow Way: Athy to Carlow

I got to visit Counties Kildare and Carlow last week to walk a new section of a trail that has enchanted me for some time. The Barrow Way follows Ireland's second longest river and various side canals for a total distance of 120km. It runs southwards from the Grand Canal to the point where the river becomes tidal, at … Continue reading The Barrow Way: Athy to Carlow

Mournes Hike: Eagle, Shanlieve and Finlieve

I paid a rare visit to the Mourne Mountains in County Down at the weekend for a hike that ended up being a lot longer and more challenging than expected. We opted for the lesser visited, and boggier, western Mournes with the aim of tackling three mountains in a loop. Top image: Finlieve summit cairn overlooking Carlingford Lough … Continue reading Mournes Hike: Eagle, Shanlieve and Finlieve

Slieve Beagh: Three Counties and Countless Frogs

Slieve Beagh is often maligned by hillwalkers for being bleak, featureless and generally hard work, but I've had a soft spot for it since my first visit back in 2009. I returned to this extensive area of blanket bog, gentle peaks and hidden loughs at the weekend, to walk a route I'd wanted to try for a long time: … Continue reading Slieve Beagh: Three Counties and Countless Frogs