Back in Donegal: Cnoc Fola

I revisited northwest County Donegal for a few days last week and fitted in a hike I'd missed out on during my previous trip to the area, back in June.  Cnoc Fola (also known as Bloody Foreland, even though the Irish name translates as 'hill of blood') is a spud-shaped hill which dominates the landscape … Continue reading Back in Donegal: Cnoc Fola

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

Donegal: Around Falcarragh

I recently spent a few very enjoyable days in northwest County Donegal, in a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) part of Ireland's rugged Atlantic coast. A highlight was visiting the small village of Falcarragh and exploring some of the surrounding sights, including its long sandy beach. Top image: Walkers (and an angler) on Falcarragh Beach First, though, … Continue reading Donegal: Around Falcarragh

Midweek Retreat: Tullyhogue Fort

I thought I'd pull myself away from the hilarious online commentary on the UK General Election and add a post on one of my favourite local places to visit. Tullyhogue Fort is one of the most important sites in medieval Irish history.  It's also a beautiful and tranquil viewpoint that's been made a lot more … Continue reading Midweek Retreat: Tullyhogue Fort

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