Carnmoney Hill Seashore Circuit

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TYPEUrban, woodland and greenway walk
DISTANCE11.3 miles / 18.2 km
part one6.8 miles / 11 km
part two4.5 miles / 7.2 km
SURFACESGenerally asphalt / concrete with sections on well made compacted paths. Short sections of mown grassy paths.
HEIGHT GAIN / LOSS1223 feet climb
HAZARDS400m section walking on a minor road – do not walk this in poor visibility. The area is urban in character so you will encounter people – please take normal precautions.

Where is the best view over Belfast? Some would say from the top of Cavehill, but I would suggest that the views south from Carnmoney Hill are much better, combining the panorama over the Lough and City with spectacular midground profile of Cavehill (which is of course invisible from Cavehill itself). On a clear day this fine walk allows you to judge for yourself!

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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 – Be MORE Careful

Updated 1st March 2021

Spring has begun, the snowdrops have been joined by an occasional primrose, celandines and a few early daffodils. The vaccination programme is marching on, we are beginning to plan for some sort of summer! It has been a long haul and we still have a long way to go. Slow, steady and careful will get us there!

Complacency and stupidity, now more than ever, are threats to us all. In almost all available outdoor spaces, coasts, woods and parks, groups of people now walk in bunches, blocking paths ignoring social distances and subjecting themselves and everyone they meet to unnecessary extra risks. If you find your walk becoming congested please 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, be MORE careful.

Charlie Reid


Carnfunnock Country Park

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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
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