Slieve Donard

Slieve Donard 2015

This Sunday, 23rd of July we are off to the Mournes to climb Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Ulster at 853 m. We will have 2 Groups out, both will follow a similar route starting at Bloody Bridge and finishing in Newcastle. A bus has been organised at a cost of £5/person there are a few seats remaining and will be filled on “a first come first served basis”.

All walkers should meet at the Gap O’ the North Pub, Jonesborough, at 10 am for registration and a walks/safety briefing. Walkers must have walking boots, a waterproof jacket and packed lunch. We will be out for around 4/4.5 hours, on open hillside. At the moment Sunday is looking to be the best day of the weekend, but as this is changeable check out the mountain forecast at the link below, closer to the time. We recommend that you bring a fleece as it will become cooler as we climb.

Allowing an hours travel time in each direction it is likely to be close to 6 pm before we are back.

The name “Bloody Bridge” refers to a massacre at the site at the time of the 1641 rebellion at the instigation of the Irish chieftain, Sir Conn Magennis. Tradition holds that a number of Protestant prisoners, taken by the Irish at Newry, were being brought under escort to Newcastle in exchange for Irish prisoners. The Irish commander, hearing that he was to be attacked at Newcastle (or learning that the Irish prisoners held there had been hanged), executed and drove over the rocks at Bloody Bridge as many as 50 of his captives.

Poultry Range Loop

18985132_1361108650611591_1678457068_nThis Sunday, 11th of June we are travelling to the Western Mournes to walk “The Birdy Mountains”, Hen, Cock and Pigeon Rock. After car pooling we will travel to Rocky River Bridge, Car Park, near Hilltown.

We will have 2 Groups out, who will at different paces climb Hen Mountain, (pictured above), to see its triple tors. We’ll then cross the saddle to ascend Cock Mountain’s double summit which gives superb views of Spelga Dam and much of the Central Mournes. From there we will cross the valley and climb steadily to the summit of Pigeon Rock, where we will lunch. Then its down hill along the wall to the base of Slievemoughanmore. At this point the C Group will follow the stream and track back towards the cars.

B Group will climb Slievemoughanmore with its great views of the other peaks in the Western Mournes. Then they’ll descend to Wee Slievemoughanmore and cross the Rowan Tree River (possibly meeting up the C Group along the path back to the cars).

These exhilarating walks should take around 4.5 hours, just enough time to work up a thirst which you can quench on return to base at The Gap!

All walkers must be wearing walking boots and have a waterproof jacket, bring a packed lunch. Meet at the Gap O’ the North Pub Jonesborough at 10 am for walks briefing and car pooling.


Croslieve Walk-Slievebrack


Tomorrow, Sunday 28th of May, we are walking in the”Ring of Gullion” taking in Croslieve and Slievebrack. Depending on numbers, we may walk as one group or split into two groups for the walk. We are starting from the junction of the Carrive and Glendeshna Roads, (so a different starting position to our usual). We will walk from here up to the old helicopter landing pad, cross to the summit of Croslieve, then we will skirt around Slievebrack, following forest tracks around to the old cabins and make our way back to our starting point and the cars.

All new walkers are welcome, you must be wearing walking boots and have a waterproof jacket. Bring a packed lunch. Expect to be out for around 4 hours, part of the walk will be on rough forestry paths, but we will also be on open hillside, so expect rough, uneven terrain.

All walkers meet at 10 am in the Gap O’ the North Pub Jonesborough for registration, car pooling and a safety briefing.

Clermont Wall Walk

Clermont Wall WalkThe bluebells were looking fabulous on the scout of our, Clermont Wall Walk, last week, hopefully they will still be looking glorious next Sunday 14th of May, when we will have 2 groups out following the boundary walls of the old Clermont Estate.

clermont estate
The former Clermont Estate House, Ravensdale.

B Group Walk: will be a fast paced walk of around 7.8 miles with a height gain of 516 m, taking around 4 hours. From their parking spot they will walk along forest trails to the Black Gates. Then they cut through the native woods, (which hopefully will still be full of bluebells), and climb along the Park boundary wall up to Ben Rock, this is a good 40 minute stiff climb. Then they head North to Clermont Cairn. From there, their route takes them to the road, then they will walk the boundary between Clermont and the Forest Park, emerging at the cattle grid entrance from Edentubber. Once more they follow the boundary wall ending up looking down on the Carrickdale Hotel. From there they traverse broken ground, before picking up the trails to a deep, beautiful gully and from there back to their cars.

C Group Walk: will also be around 4 hours, but will take a slightly different route at a slower pace. New walkers are very welcome to join our C Group, you will need walking boots, a waterproof jacket and a packed lunch. Expect to be out for 4+ hours, and whilst some parts of the walk will be on paths, parts will be on open hillside on rough terrain. We meet at the Gap O’ the North, Pub Jonesborough, at 10 am, for registration and walk’s briefing.

Members please note, membership is now due for the year running, 1st of April 2017 to 31st of March 2018. Cost remains  £20 or 25 euros, please pick up a form at registration and return with your payment asap.




Poet’s Trail Walk

Ballykeel Dolmen

We are helping out with a walk happening this Saturday, 22nd of April, in our very own stunning Ring of Gullion. Whilst not our usual type of walk… (as this 8 mile walk is on roads and lane ways), it takes a loop around the foothills of Mullaghbawn and follows in the footsteps of poet, Art Bennett. We’ll stop off at the Ballykeel Dolmen, Belmont Barracks, the Whipping Lane and listen to the poetry of the South Armagh poets.

The complete Poet’s trail is made up of 3 sections: The Urney Loop, the O’ Neill Loop and the Ballykeel Loop. In total around 22 miles through the stunning South Armagh countryside.

Each of the 3 Loop Walks follow in the footsteps of one or more of the great Celtic Bards, ranging over 200+ years from the birth of the first, Mc Alinden in 1666, to the death of the last, Art Bennett in 1879.  On Saturday we will complete the 8 miles of the Ballykeel Loop.

There are places still available, if interested check out the information given and register with the Ring of Gullion at the hyperlink below.

Poet’s Trail