The green wedge of the Lagan Valley Regional Park divides the City of Belfast in the best possible way. It starts as a sliver beside the Lagan at Stranmillis and widens and twists its way out of the city. Continue reading
The designation ‘Country Park’ does this dramatic riverside no favours. It suggests an area of parkland or forest with a few pleasant wooded walks. Roe Valley Country Park is so much more than this and if explored properly is well worth travelling a distance for a ‘Grand Day Out’.
In just over 2 miles of river you have an impressive rocky gorge with spectacular viewing point; substantial sections of surviving native woodland; the remains of the stronghold of the O’Cahan Clan; clear industrial remains of water power and milling; a flax green with attendant guard tower; a building connected with the potato famine; and Northern Ireland’s first hydro-electric “Electric Light Station” (opened in 1896 and it supplied power to Limavady up until 1963). Despite the major section of pathway currently closed awaiting repair, the quality of walking is excellent whether you are looking for a short stroll or a day’s exploration.
Newcastle is the natural kicking off point for many Mourne Mountain explorations. For many this means an ascent of Slieve Donard – which is likely to be memorable, if not always entirely enjoyable. Rather too much up and down and not enough along and across for some, including myself. However, what many miss is that Newcastle is also a good starting point for a whole range of interesting diverse mid-level circular routes in the Mourne foothills. These routes may also be appropriate at times when access to the high Mournes would be too difficult, dangerous or simply unpleasant owing to winter conditions, inclement weather or cloud.Continue reading
Maps and photos note: click or tap to see any maps or photographs below as a high resolution version.
|Ness Woods from the Country Park Visitor Centre||2.0 miles||272 feet|
|Burntollet Wood from the Country Park Visitor Centre||3.0 miles||308 feet|
|A wildflower odyssey|
Ness Wood(s) is a confusing place, hidden away, a little difficult to find and hard to get your head around without a suitable map (hopefully the offering above will serve).Continue reading