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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Glens of Antrim

View towards SlievenaneeView towards Slievenanee & Trostan

The Antrim Glens have sometimes been described, by the unkind of course, as the Monadh Liath with sea views. This, slightly unfair description, was enough to scare some well known roughty toughty challenge legends from venturing into county Antrim for one of their "pre Challenge Danders".

Whilst its true that there is miles of 'mamba' country (perfect challenge territory?), which is mostly wet & soft under foot & difficult to navigate through, the plus points out number the bad. On a clear frosty winters day there are extensive views of the west coast of Scotland from the mountains on Arran to Ben More on Mull. Inland the views stretch out to the Sperrin mountains with the Donegal hills behind them and to Lough Neagh, the largest fresh water lake in the British Isles. Oh, and at Fairhead is the greatest expanse of climbable rock in the U.K, that is of course, if your thing is to go for a dangle.

The photos are all from the the west to east traverse of the Antrim Hills. Starting in Martinstown, minor roads then lane ways and hill tracks lead up onto Cairncormick, with heather slopes leading to the summit trig point at a 3 way fence junction.

First hill of the walk CarncormickFirst hill of the walk Carncormick

The views from Carncormick towards the Sperrin mountains, Lough Neagh and Slemish to the south east are as good as they are extensive, as long as you have a clear day that is.

The route continues by following the fence north east towards the Red Sea, an area you may wish to avoid (the clue is in its name!) by climbing over the fence and crossing an area of deep heather & a stream to make a straight ascent of Mid Hill. Watch out for a hidden stream concealed in a deep fissure on the final slopes Again you have the type of big views only high moorland gives. Plus an add bonus, if your lucky, is the Isle of Arran sticking up behind the Mull of Kintyre and framed by Glenariff.

Following the fence towards Mid Hill
Slemish is still in view to the south east from Mid Hill & for all those into climbing their relative hills both Slemish and Mid Hill make the Irish list
Slemish from Mid HillSlemish from Mid Hill

From Mid Hill follow the forest edge & fence towards Collin Top, with the ground improving as you gain height to the small and dry summit of Collin Top

Climbing up to Collin TopClimbing up to Collin Top with Slemish in the background
The small summit of Collin Top is a fine view point on the edge of the Garron Plateau, which is a designated SAC (Special Area of Conservation), The Plateau is the only site in Northern Ireland which contains populations of Marsh Saxifrage and the bog Orchid Hammarbya paludosa. Try this link for more info on this SAC site :-

For those who left their car in Martinstown, a descent first by the fence and then via Loughgarve to the Dungonnell track, past Dungonnell Reservoir to Ballsallagh Bridge and follow the minor roads back to Martinstown. For those who like to complete the traverse , a descent into Glernariff Forest Park to the Waterfall Restaurant for a couple of pints of Guinness, before climbing back up onto the Lurigethan escarpment. For a fine & dry walk along the cliffs, before descending to Cushendall for the finish.

Collin Top

Collin Top with Glenariff behind



Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Hi Michael - Yes - you are right - It looks like Scotland, only worse.

You do make mention of some fine bogs though... And we do have a PWD to plan....

I shall have a chat with Lord Elpus.

February 10, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger michael gray said...

Hi Alan,
don't rule out the Donegal hills, the truly magnificent Connemara, The Wicklow hills or even the Mourne mountains all near airports!

February 10, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks the dating algorithm might have had a hiccup?

February 11, 2009 at 1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another time lord exposed!

February 11, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

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