Blog

Reflections on experiencing the best of this little bit of world around us

Walk Local – get to know your “parish”

Exercising locally is the rule we all now need to follow and local here is so local that “Grand Day Out” walks with their Northern Ireland wide focus are not appropriate.

Local highlight from my walk today

However the principle of finding walks in places others might once have considered too ordinary, too close to home – (not Instagram or social media worthy) is at the core of my purpose for “Grand Day Out (NI)”. That same principle works just as well for all our immediate neighbourhoods.

In recent times many have sadly come to view parochial as a term of derision or even abuse – yet really coming to truly know your own “parish” is a lifetime work. Patrick Kavanagh once wrote:

A gap in a hedge, a smooth rock surfacing a narrow lane, a view of a woody meadow, the stream at the junction of four small fields, these are as much as a man can fully experience.

Patrick Kavanagh from “Kavanagh’s Weekly” 24th May 1952

Also in coming to know our parish we should also come to care for and improve it, for ourselves, our neighbours and future visitors.

So as you walk local these difficult days, look and appreciate what is around you already and think and plan how we all working together it could make it even better in the future.

Stay safe – walk well

Charlie Reid

Covid-19 – Stay Local – Stay Careful

Updated 3rd June

The official NI COVID strapline is still “Stay Home – Keep Distance – Wash Hands”. However we are encouraged to go outside for daily exercise and now also allowed to drive short distances to facilitate this.  It is undisputed that outdoor exercise in nature plays a major role in maintaining physical and mental health and boosting our immune systems.

However as we collectively relax this is a time of great danger.  Complacency and indeed stupidity, are real threats to us all. On sunny days in popular areas groups of people now walk in bunches, blocking paths ignoring social distances and subjecting themselves and everyone they meet to unnecessary extra risks. No-one yet knows how great these extra risks are, but we will have a good idea in a few weeks when impacts, or not, will become apparent in the infection and death statistics. In the meantime I avoid such areas and if I find my daily walk becoming congested I turn back. Completing a planned route is unimportant – maximising our collective health is essential! 

Some of the walks described in “Grand Day Out”  may be appropriate for you as daily local exercise. Please use the maps and modify the routes to avoid hot-spots or places where the paths are too narrow. Turn back if unsure, practice social distancing and step off paths if they are narrow when passing others.

Do not over-stretch yourself physically or explore beyond your comfort zone.

Stay local, stay careful.

Charlie Reid

 

Carnfunnock Country Park

Some of the walks described in “Grand Day Out”  may be appropriate for you as daily local exercise. Please use the maps and modify the routes to avoid hot-spots or places where the paths are too narrow. Turn back if unsure, practice social distancing and step off paths if they are narrow when passing others.

Do not over-stretch yourself physically or explore beyond your comfort zone.

See also: Covid-19 – Stay Local – Stay Careful

Maps and photos note: click or tap to see any maps or photographs below as a high resolution version.

Please reuse this map but first see https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright
TYPECircular Walk through walled garden, parkland and deciduous woodland with great sea views
DISTANCE3.5 miles / 5.6 km
SURFACESMostly well made compacted surfaces with variable slopes. Optional steeper, rougher and potential muddy section in woodland.
HEIGHT GAIN / LOSS165 feet climb
HAZARDS Optional woodland section on steeper paths requires additional care.

Carnfunnock is not just for families – this elevated parkland has walking with great sea views, a beautiful walled garden, historical interest and mature beech wood trails. It is also easily accessible to the greater Belfast area and sits on the side of the superb Antrim Coast Road – one of the great drives of these islands.

One of the 13 beautifully conceived sundial based artworks in the Time Garden
Continue reading

Correl Glen and Carrick Viewpoint

Some of the walks described in “Grand Day Out”  may be appropriate for you as daily local exercise. Please use the maps and modify the routes to avoid hot-spots or places where the paths are too narrow. Turn back if unsure, practice social distancing and step off paths if they are narrow when passing others.

Do not over-stretch yourself physically or explore beyond your comfort zone.

See also: Covid-19 – Stay Local – Stay Careful

Maps and photos note: click or tap to see any maps or photographs below as a high resolution version.

Please reuse this map but first see https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright
TYPECircular walk up through natural wooded glen to open mountain and viewpoint and back along riverside.
DISTANCE0.75 miles /1.2 km
SURFACESMostly well made compacted surfaces with variable slopes.
HEIGHT GAIN / LOSS150 feet climb
HAZARDS
    Some steeper path sections.

Don’t be put off by the shortness of this route – it is a great little walk crammed full of woodland and heath richness with some of the best views in Fermanagh. It certainly wouldn’t fill a day, but it would be an ideal excursion between showers on a clear fresh day when the views will be at their best and the rocky Glen fills with cascades of tumbling water. It also combines well with the Lough Navar Forest Drive and other shorter stops at the Cliffs of Magho and Lough Achork. See map at end of this post for details.

Continue reading