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However you might like to read this first. simon3 on Considering changing email address?
Recently Eir, the Irish telco, have announced that their previously "free" email service with "eircom.net" domain name will now have a monthly charge. Many are surprised or annoyed at this some even outraged. Email should be "free", right? Many immediately want to change their email address to something different that is apparently "free". However providing email isn't free particularly with t ... ... Click here ...
EVENTS for HILLWALKERS
MOUNTAINVIEWS: Hillwalkers' Events
MV Walk Report Didn't happen
We had planned a hillwalk in the Knockmealdowns in January and then reorganised for Feb. But between storms Ciara and Dennis we had to cancel. Climate change in Ireland isn't just more rain, it's also more wind.
If you have ideas about further walks, perhaps helping lead one,
contact Liz at
Report. Friday 21st Feb. MountainViews Gathering.
We had a crowd of over 100 at this event.
Guest speaker Olivia O'Leary is a journalist, writer and current affairs presenter and also a keen walker presented her "Path of Dreams: the Barrow Way" about walking the Barrow towpath between Athy and St Mullins, with loads of history and flora and fauna along the way.
Another guest speaker with fascinating detail was Iain Miller a rock climber, author and guidebook writer who leads parties up islands and seastacks off Donegal. Reaching the top of sea-stack Dun Bríste he found it covered in golf-balls and the remains of life prior to the collapse of the sea-arch to the mainland in about 1393.
Liz Ashton receives award for completing the Vandeleur-Lynams from Ruth Whelan of 'Women with Altitude'
Ilenia Venditti receives award for outstanding contribution.
Mel O'Hara receiving one of several awards.
Awards Ceremony There was be an awards ceremony for the people who have completed various lists or have contributed to MountainViews or walking in general.
Featured Track of the Month Three twelths sounds better than a quarter
This month's selection is a soupçon of one of the finest mountain ranges in Ireland, courtesy of
simon3. Within there is a slither of the irascible roughness for which the area is renowned, and
some of the finest views to be seen anywhere (well represented by his photographs), as his
itinerary tackles the south-western corner of the fabled Glencoaghan Horseshoe.
simon3 on The three SW tops of the Twelve Bens on a Winter day.
Main walk Start: 11:05, End: 16:19, Duration: 5h14m, Length: 8.0km,Ascent: 616m, Descent: 826m Places: Start at L75006 49904, Benglenisky, Binn Gabhar, Benlettery, end at L77698 48241 3.2km SE from Start(statistics such as Ascent or Length etc should be regarded as approximate. Duration depends on the speed of the person making the track)
The walk starts to the west of Benglenisky. There used to be a forest here however it has been removed after a bog restoration project. There is space for perhaps 5 or 6 cars to park. The route goes outside the boundary of the ex-forest to the north. The land can be wet and boggy however it is much easier than attempting to walk across the previous forest.
Benglenisky's western aspect is steep with many small crags however it is perfectly possible to walk up it. Occasionally there are short stretches of path. The top of Benglenisky is made of the same whitish quartzite as is much of the Bens, with a small amount of vegetation in places. The highest point has a small cairn and near it is a distinctive band of whiter rock.
View south from Benglenisky.
The route to Bengower is along a broad and very rough ridge with great views on both sides such as the lakes of south Connemara and to the left towards the northern Bens.
Another view from Benglenisky
For much of the climbing up Bengower there is path with quartzite shards on it. The actual top has a number of candidates for highest point and until someone with surveying equipment measures them, I would suggest you visit all of them if you want to be sure of having reached the highest point.
Bengower from the ridge to Benglenisky. Note track to top.
The return down Bengower and the ascent up Benlettery are relatively painless. The top of Benlettery has further great views over south Connemara.
View from ridge between Bengower and Benlettery, the latter to the right.
On the occasion we did the walk it was after very heavy rain. We were recommended a route off Benlettery going somewhat right (west) which we followed at the top anyway. This lead to the Hostel, though it might have been better to go further west. With care it was possible to find a route down however this was extremely heavy going due to the extreme slipperiness of the ground and the very high speeds of the wind going around this southerly aspect of the mountain. All of the experienced party fell at times. Under the conditions of the day, this was by far the hardest part of the walk. Because we had reasonable visibility we were able to optimise the route towards the Benlettery Youth Hostel. Before you get to this you encounter a fairly high fence. There is a stile to cross this however it final step is dangerously exposed. It is possible to bypass the hostel to the right and there is another good stile to enable access to the public road. There is space for a few cars to park here.
NORTH: I took the road less travelled by ...
Taking Robert Frost's advice, doogleman took the more interesting non-tourist approach
from the south in the Bellavalley Gap in his ascent of Cuilcagh.
doogleman on Cuilcagh, (Binn Chuilceach): County High Point 2018 - Cavan & Fermanagh
Climbed 22-04-18 as part of 32 County High Point Challenge in aid of SLMRT.
This was the third & fourth counties of my challenge and I had never been before. I took the non-tourist approach from the south in the Bellavalley Gap, where there was space for a few cars to park on the side of the road.
The initial part of the route is straightforward as you follow the forestry road up to the Telecoms ... ... Click here ...
NORTH: Sacred view
The iconic Church of the Sacred Heart in Dunlewey, Donegal, nestled at the foot of
Errigal, captured under a dying sun by mcrtchly.
mcrtchly on Errigal, (An Earagail): Sacred view
The iconic Church of the Sacred Heart in Dunlewey, County Donegal, nestled at the foot of the countys quartzite giant, Errigal, frosted white with recent snow and catching the dying rays of the winter sun. Completed in 1877, this wee church built in the Hiberno-Romanesque style, was designed by architect Timothy Hevey and built by James McAdorey from Belfast. ... Click here ...
Those of us ticking off the VLs often find straggling summits from the days when we
weren't actively ticking off the VLs being faintly annoying now that we are actually ticking off
the VLs. And so it was that your track reviewer spent the last day of 2019 marching up the
access road to Truskmore and then covering the much more interesting ground to the
previously-alluded-to Tievebaun; not great underfoot but with fantastic prospects to the north.
This route would be the logical conclusion to the Gleniff Horseshoe, but that walk currently has
(hopefully temporary) access issues at its western end.
Peter Walker on Truskmore & Tievebaun
A brisk walk over the two highest summits in the Dartrys, designed to ascertain just how much dietary damage had been do| walk, Len: 12.3km, Climb: 584m, Area: Truskmore, Dartry Mountains (Ireland) T ... Click here ...
NORTH: Great views for little effort
The two Keelogyboys in the Dartrys are very rewarding hill that can be bagged in just
over a couple of hours, says magnumpig.
magnumpig on Keelogyboy Mtn SW Top: Great views for little effort
Living locally I separated the Keelogyboys and Hangmans Hill into a few shorter climbs. With the possible exception of Hangmans Hill the SW Top offers the best views of the bunch, and can be completed with the main Keelogyboy top readily. Keelogyboy is signposted off the R278, about 2km east of Calry church. The road eventually gives way to a track and I parked my car at a gate into a field at app ... ... Click here ...
WEST: Fine peak can be completed in isolation.
The Twelve Bens offers no shortage of impressive peaks, and Bengower is no exception. A
top-notch rocky climb with a well-defined peak and spectacular views, writes Simon3 in an
updated short summary.
group on Bengower, (Binn Gabhar): Fine peak can be completed in isolation.
Bengower may be approached via Benlettery or Benglenisky. For these starting points, parking, routes etc consult relevant entry. Alternatively it may be completed in its own right. Turn off N59 at L792478 along road for Derry na Flan. Parking 100m up road on left. Cross a high bank & fence behind parking area and head almost directly north across open, gently rising countryside, which dips conside ... ... Click here ...
SOUTH-WEST: The Mare Necessities...
It's relatively uncommon that one finds oneself acknowledging that somebody has used a
route to Carrauntoohil that you hadn't even vaguely considered yourself, but bogtrotter has
taken it upon himself to follow in Jim Ryan's footsteps up the Black Mare gully on the
Coomloughra headwall...one of the most direct ways possible to the summit. It strikes me as an
interesting way to take for the curious and fairly experienced (gullies can require particular
mind and skillsets) but it's probably at least as good as the Devils Ladder...
bogtrotter on Black Mare Gully to Carrauntoohil
There is an excellent description of this walk is in Jim Ryanâs guidebook Carrauntoohil & MacGillycuddyâs Reeks. A w| walk, Len: 13.0km, Climb: 1047m, Area: Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (I ... Click here ...
WEST: Beauty awaits you
With its stunning profile, often likened to a breaking wave, this gem of a mountain is
an absolute must, writes Peter Walker in an updated short summary.
group on Benwiskin, (Binn Mhiosgáin): Once Inaccessible, this Beauty awaits you. (SEE NOTE)
With its stunning profile, often likened to a breaking wave, this gem of a mountain lies at the northern end of a lengthy broad topped ridge forming one leg of the Gleniff horseshoe. Views from the summit are spectacular. Long a hotbed of anti-walker sentiment, Gleniff, encouraged by Minister O'Cuiv, now permits strictly limited access to Benwiskin through a partly felled forest on its eastern slo ... ... Click here ...
SOUTH-WEST: Glanbeg, borrow or steal...
It's a long way into Iveragh to reach the hills around Waterville, but it's a journey
well worth making to experience the wonderfully scenic ridge from Glanbeg to Coomcallee.
osullivanm has walked it from west to east in windy conditions, taking advantage of the more
amenable flanks at times on what was a windy day. The route described needs two cars, although
it is possible to start and finish at the same point at the end of the road next to the lake
under the cliffs of An Bheann Mhór...deeply wild considering it's accessible by road.
osullivanm on Delightful Ridge Walk
This involved a car split with cars left at V563699 and V602699 .The initial ascent is easy along the Kerry Way then str| walk, Len: 14.4km, Climb: 644m, Area: Glanbeg, Dunkerron Mountains (Ireland) ... Click here ...
Featured summit comment The origin of 'painting the town red!' jackill
While visiting Tower Hill in the Comeraghs, jackill recalls a fascinating little tale from
history of 'Spring Heeled Jack' aka the Third Marquess of Waterford on a drunken spree!.
The Le Poer tower, overlooking Curraghmore estate, was erected in 1785 in memory of Marcus, the
eldest son of George de La Poer Beresford 1st Marquess of Waterford, who died in a riding
accident on 10th August 1783.
More notorious however was his nephew Henry de La Poer Beresford, Third Marquess of Waterford.
The second son of the 2nd Marquess of Waterford, became heir to the title on the death of his
elder brother George in 1824. He succeeded to the title on his father's death in 1826.
He led a colourful life, in fact he was the first person to paint the town red
In the early hours of Thursday, 6 April 1837, Henry Beresford and his fox-hunting friends
arrived at a tollgate outside Melton Mowbray .They had been drinking at Croxton races, and
seeing their condition, the tollkeeper asked to be paid before he opened the gate for
Sadly for him ladders, brushes and pots of red paint were lying nearby; the Marquess and his
friends painted the tollkeeper and a constable red. They nailed the tollhouse door shut and
painted that red. They ran through the town painting doors, pulling on door knockers and
knocking over flower pots. At the Old Swan Inn the Marquess painted the carved swan inn sign
red. They vandalised the Post Office and a bank before trying to overturn a caravan in which a
man was fast asleep. Policemen tried to intervene but were beaten up and painted red for their
trouble. More police arrived and seized one of the men who was put in prison.
The others returned and rescued him, breaking three locks and beating two constables,
threatening them with murder if they did not produce the key.
When the Marquess sobered up, he paid for all the damage to people and property. After the
incident, the phrase "paint the town red" entered the English language.
A rumour in 1830s claimed that Lord Waterford was the main suspect behind "Spring Heeled Jack".
However as that character's acts continued after his death in 1859, Waterford cannot be given
It was speculated that he could have designed some sort of apparatus for special spring-heeled
boots, and that he may have practiced fire-spitting techniques in order to increase the
unnatural appearance of his character. They also note the embroidered coat of arms with a "W"
letter observed by a servant boy during one incident, a coincidence with his title.
Lord Waterford was frequently in the news in the late 1830s for drunken brawling and vandalism,
and was liable to do anything for a bet; this earned him the title "the Mad Marquis", and it is
known that he was in London at the time of the first Spring Heeled Jack incidents. The Revd E.
C. Brewer in 1880, wrote that Waterford "used to amuse himself by springing on travellers
unawares, to frighten them, and from time to time others have followed his silly
In 1842, he married Louisa Stuart and settled in Curraghmore House, where he led a quiet life
until he died in a horse riding accident in 1859.
Photo: jackill, Inscription on the Tower
SOUTH: Calm during a storm
With his plans blown away by Storm Dennis, strangeweaver sought shelter on the more
diminutive yet impressive Beennaman coastal hill in Kerry.
strangeweaver on Beennaman, (Binn na mBan): Calm during a storm
On a day when storm Dennis scuppered my plans to ascend Masatiompa Binn na mBan offered some solace and magnificent views off to the west. It is easily taken in by a slight detour from the Dingle way with a fence line providing a guide to just below the obvious summit. ... Click here ...
SOUTH: Large bump on ridge surrounded by multiple valleys
Dromavally in Central Dingle is a fine summit with great views all round and
increasingly steep ground as you near the summit, says Simon3.
group on Dromavally Mountain, (Cnoc Dhrom an Bhaile): Large bump on ridge surrounded by five different valleys
A southern start is at Q 614 053, where there are a number of houses and space to park by the side of the road. You will see a track behind an iron gate leading north, beside a farmhouse. A friendly, elderly farmer who owns the land has previously had no objection to walkers, but it might be as well to ask his permission before using the track just as a courtesy. Follow this track as it meanders u ... ... Click here ...
EAST: Reserving judgement
jgfitz has had a wander around (North) Bull Island within Dublin Bay. Starting with a
visit to the Interpretive Centre he then took a figure of eight route starting and finishing
with stroll along beaches, but also featuring sand dunes and views of the mudflats (and gold
courses, it must be conceded) and Howff. Historically it's fascinating, and very handy for the
jgfitz on A Biosphere Reserve on Dublinâs Doorstep
A walk on Bull Island, more properly called North Bull Island, offers the expected coastal experience of sand dunes, bea| walk, Len: 12.3km, Climb: 66m, Area: Bull Island, Dublin Islands (Ireland) Bu ... Click here ...
EAST: Up down!
Downs Hill in Wicklow is a small summit great for a short walk and with some interesting
views of coast and upland Wicklow, writes Simon3.
group on Downs Hill, (Altidore): Many ways up a low forested hill.
This a small hill great for a short walk and with some interesting views of coast and upland Wicklow.
One good starting point is O 2600 1058 where a small path leaves the public road at a bend and heads into the woods. There is limited car parking here for 1 or at most 2 cars. Better parking can be found near the Grove Pub at around O2655 0959 which is also a great place for food and drink, tho ... ... Click here ...
EAST: A tortuous route to the summit.
Overgrown tracks, horizontal bramble, thickets of gorse, all awaited mickhanney on his
ascent to the viewless summit of Barranisky in Wicklow!
jlk on Barranisky, (Barr an Uisce): Re-claimed
Re-visited Barranisky today 14-8-2014, (had failed via an eastern approach, to within 80m before). Brought a fellow walker/slasher with me this time. Well equipped we hacked away, opposite the ruin, at the first 100 metres+ of thorns; gorse, and branches, arriving at the open corridor of knee-high gorse, which we left relatively untouched. From the dead-end, we re-traced previous visitors' path, v ... ... Click here ...
EAST: Much marsh in the binding...
++ conororourke has uploaded a long logical place-to-place legstretcher in the
Wicklow mountains, commencing in the Sally Gap with the oft-done trio of Carrigvore, Gravale and
Duff Hill, crossing Mullaghcleevaun before ending with the pairing of Moanbane and Silsean and a
descent to Ballyknockan. It makes pretty much all you can of the ground between those two
points, but bogtrotting lunatics could tag some permutation of Djouce or Tonduff or maybe
Luggala onto the start.
conororourke on Carrigvore to Silsean Hiking
Starting out in the sun from the gap, following a nice line up over Carrigvore, Gravale & Duff Hill before hitting the s| walk, Len: 22.0km, Climb: 891m, Area: Carrigvore, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Ca ... Click here ...
MIDLANDS: Querying the Laois County High Point?
Member doogleman enjoyed a relatively easy trek up Arderin, the Laois-Offaly county high
point or is it, he wonders?
doogleman on Arderin, (Ard Eireann): County High Point 2018 - Laois & Offaly
Climbed 26-04-18 as part of 32 County High Point Challenge in aid of SLMRT.
This was the fifth & sixth counties of my challenge and a I had never been there before. After finishing a days work in Portlaoise, I used the opportunity that evening to visit this CHP.
Using the car-parking spot as is already shown here as User Point A on the map, we set off on the short boggy walk to the summit. It is ... ... Click here ...
Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for recent
TWO ARTICLES ON THE THEME OF A GREAT DAY OUT
In our call for articles for the Annual we requested short pieces from authors on the theme of a "Great Day Out"
by David Tuloup, Pazapas
In May 2005, my way crossed an irish party of ten happy hikers on the go to Carrauntohil (1039m). I asked for if I could walk with them and, after a great day, I finished at Lake Hotel for a memorable diner. Among these nice irish walkers, one played guitars while others sang and drank.
June 2019 in Connemara, I was climbing the Mweelrea (814m) when I met a group of five irish walkers. A man said : « I know you ». And he was right because I knew him too : he was Eamon, the guitarist of my fabulous day, 14 years ago !
The world is small, hillwalking is great.
(French, I don’t live in Ireland)
Killary Harbour from Mweelrea (9th June 2019)
Lough Eagher and Coomlougha Lough (16th May 2015)
Winter Traverse of Croagh Patrick Range
An unforgettable day out for me in February was the East to West traverse of the Croagh Patrick range which I undertook early in February. The day started with a tough slog up through knee deep snow to Crott Mountain, the views that unfolded westward were fantastic, pristine snow conditions all the way over Teevnacroaghy and on towards Croagh Patrick itself.
View west from Teevenacroghy
The scene was almost Alpine in nature, blue skies and full on winter snow conditions as far as the eye could see. So onwards to the big Reek where I met a few hardy souls, paused a while here to take in the fantastic views and headed westwards towards Ben Goram. The view to the distant Clare Island which resembled a Christmas Cake was incredible. Again tough going through the snow over Ben Goram sadly yielded the end of the traverse and the end to a truly memorable day in Mayo.
We put out our call for contributions for the Annual in early Jan 2020. We got a great response with eventually 36 articles of various sorts coming in. As a community we can be proud of this response.
OK, it is a long way off. But consider this, the requirement is for well illustrated, concise articles. And these can take some advance thought. So think of what photos might look well in an article when out walking during the year. Perhaps take notes to keep what you eventually write vivid and fresh.
consider any topics of interest to hillwalkers.
in Ireland, for example articles on Challenge
Walking (both organised and individual), Way Walking (ie walking Way Marked Ways), Summiteering,
Family Walking, Gear, Flora & Fauna, Holiday
Walking, Scrambling, Coastal or Island walking, things you may see on the hills etc are all
welcome as are new ideas. We welcome articles from people who are starting out hillwalking, or
experienced or professionals etc.
If you are thinking of contributing or would like to discuss topics etc
Humour in Cartography?
Apparently official Swiss cartography has its surreptitious humourists.
Does anyone know of any such buried creativity in an OSI, OSNI or other map from this neck of the woods?
Volunteering for 2020: Strengthening the MountainViews Committee
Currently we have a number of officers on the committee such as chairperson, secretary etc. We
really could use some further committee members to achieve our strategic goals and spread the
For those taking an interest in the MV committee or indeed committees in general we
can also use some further "regular" committee members without a specific role. There
are many smaller quite finite projects that might suit regular members.
MountainViews is a great resource based on over 1300 people's contributions over 18
years. Great that is if you have heard of it. And that's where we could use some
practical publicity help.
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
Quite apart from programmers, MV's progress can also use help from
people who can really follow through on tasks like creating lists, checking stats,
researching place names or geology. Whether on the committee or not we value such
At this time of the year when we look for a taste of the serenity and peace that comes from walking in the higher mountain ranges around Ireland, we often reluctantly have to steer clear from those high mountain treks because of poor weather which at times can create unsafe walking conditions. So it was with great surprise that I recently discovered, after many days of high winds and rain that led to severe cabin fever, a hidden gem of a loop walk on Great Island in the northern reaches of Cork Harbour. For those not familiar with the area, Great Island (An tOileán Mór) is an island in Cork Harbour, located at the mouth of the River Lee.
Map of Great Island.
The largest town on the island is Cobh and the island's economic and social history has historically been linked to the naval, ship-building, and trade associated with large ocean going liners. The Great Island area is a true island in every sense as it is completely surrounded by the tidal waters of Cork Harbour. It is the most densely populated island in the country, connected by road to the mainland at just one point along its northern shore at Belvelly Bridge, the road connecting through the nearby Fota Island. A suburban rail from Cork City across a bridge and causeway connects again through Fota and Harper’s Island. The island can also be reached by car ferry from Glenbrook to Carrigaloe on the western side of Great Island.
The walk described here is very much a coastal walk, mainly along quiet country roads, through the historic waterfront town of Cobh, revealing along the way panoramic views of Cork Harbour towards Spike and Haulbowline Islands, protected bird sanctuaries along its northern shore and at Cuskinny Bay, Norman keeps and other areas of historical significance. Whilst the walk will not deliver the range of challenges sought by the A/B type group of walkers, taking routes along relatively flat winding roads make it ideally suited for the group C type of walker. The entire loop walk is a little over 20km. in length.
Songs Of The Seashore
The best location to begin the walk is at Belvelly Bridge on the north of the island (W79172 70657) or alternatively if more convenient from the car park adjacent to St. Coleman’s Cathedral in Cobh (W80005 66430). Before commencing the walk from Belvelly Bridge, it is worth taking in the views of the nearby Belvelly Castle, which is situated on the water’s edge and dates from the 14th century. It is one of the finest examples of a medieval fortified tower house in Ireland, rising to over 80 feet in height. Built originally by the Anglo-Norman Hodnett family, it fell into the hands of the de Róiste and also the de Barra families across the centuries, until it eventually became a ruin in the early 19th century. Following its sale in 2014 it has been fully restored at considerable expense by the Wilson family. Keep an eye out here for the artworks on the roof of the tower house.
The walk described here was undertaken in a clockwise direction and can be split into three distinct stages, all revealing different experiences of the island. The nearby tidal channel which runs parallel to the northern shore of the Island and is the first stage of the walk is a significant natural tidal salt marsh area. It is noted for being inhabited by several species of birds and is a popular area for ornithologists. The water body itself known as The Great Island Channel has been classified as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive and is overseen by The National Parks and Wildlife Service. Depending on what time of the year the walk is undertaken, sightings of cormorants, grebes, greylag, moorhens, snipe, oystercatchers, lapwings and pheasant can be seen feeding along the estuary. The first stage of the walk continues east along the shore for approx. 7km. on what is locally called the Pottery Road until it reaches a T junction with the road from Marloag Wood (W84894 68600).
Over The Hills And Far Away
Entrance to Cobh Harbour
Turning right at the junction the walk heads over the island for Ballymore and into the second stage of the loop where our route heads generally west and into Cobh Town. From here we begin to get panoramic views of the lower Cork Harbour area, with its historic forts and moorings and extensive views of the greater Cork Harbour area to the south and west. Along the way we pass Walterstown National School and then just before we reach the church in Ballymore, at the bottom of the hill (W83085 63227) the walk turns left and south along the Valley Road. This area of the loop through woodland offers views across the Harbour to the villages of Whitegate, Aghada and Crosshaven. The route is now heading west until we quickly head downhill to reach Cuskinny Bay and meet the Harbour waters at Battery Strand. Here you can take-in a spot of bird watching in the nearby Cuskinny Marsh. It is a must to stop at this point as it offers unimpeded views across the extensive harbour. It offers panoramic views south towards its entrance at Roche’s Point and the old military forts at Camden and Fort Carlisle which were built at opposite sides of the harbour’s entrance, during the period of the American War of Independence, to protect the extensive anchorages at Cobh.
After Battery Strand we climb quickly uphill along the country road until we soon come to Carrignafoy on the eastern outskirts of Cobh. From here it is a short walk to the area of St. Coleman’s Cemetery roundabout (W80798 67084). From this point a number of routes will take you into the centre of Cobh along well presented footpaths, but my favourite option is to drop down southwards again towards the sea, if for no other reason than to experience the magnificent views along East Hill, Harbour Row and the East Beach area, to finally reach the end of the second stage of the walk at the easily recognised Lusitania Memorial on the waterfront in Casement Square (W79720 66418). This square also contains a statue to the Olympian Sonia O’ Sullivan a native of Cobh. When walking along the waterfront here, look out for the Old Cunard White Star Line Office and behind it the original embarkation pier from the time of the Great Famine onwards. Cobh was the main embarkation point at the time of the Famine from Ireland and from which 2.5 million people emigrated mainly to the United States and Canada between 1845 and 1850. Before we depart on the final stage there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, pubs, guest houses, etc. in Cobh to meet all walkers needs if you chose to take a rest at the end of that stage or stay a little longer. The second stage of the loop covers approx. 8km.
Time For Explorers
The third and final stage of the walk is the most demanding leg of the loop walk, as you can encounter increased levels of vehicular traffic depending on what time of the day you choose to undertake the walk. For your own comfort and enhanced safety, a yellow vest is recommended for this section. So from the Lusitania Memorial and with the sea behind us we head on through the arches of the attractive 19th century Market House building, uphill along West View where the well known image of the Deck of Card Houses are located. If you have time at this point on the walk take a quick diversion to visit St. Coleman’s Cathedral which is about a two minute walk away. It is dedicated to St. Coleman who founded the diocese in 560 A.D. It is an exquisite example of neo-Gothic architecture by the architects Pugin and Ashlin. Construction started in 1868 and it took 47 years to complete. Pádraig Pearse was a regular visitor to the town during its lengthy construction period, as his father James by profession was a mason and worked there as an eccliastical and architectural sculptor.
From here the route continues to head steeply uphill towards Hilltop Park and the highest point on the Island at Ballard Hill at 312 feet or 95 m. even though at one point it climbs steeply from sea level to 312 feet at Ballard Hill (W79625 69205). As you approach the Tay Road junction, note the nearby Old Church Cemetery on your left (W79572 67831) which contains a significant number of important burial places, including a number of mass graves and several individual graves that mark the last resting place of 193 victims of the RMS Lusitania passenger ship, which was sunk by a German torpedo off the Old Head of Kinsale during the First World War in May 1915 with the loss of more than 1,100 lives.
It is also worth taking a few minutes out of the walk here to visit some of the more notable people interred in the graves, which include such as Jack Doyle, The Gorgeous Gael (1913-1978) - boxer, singer and actor, Dr James Roche Verling, (1787-1858) - personal physician to Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile on St. Helena and especially a must for all walkers the grave of Robert Forde, (1875-1959)- Antarctic explorer and member of the Terra Nova Expedition under Captain Robert Falcon Scott from 1910–1912. Robert Forde’s time in Antarctica is remembered by the naming of Mount Forde, a monumental peak of over 1,200 metres at the head of Hunt Glacier in Victoria Land Antarctica. As Forde didn’t have the luxury of a GPS system when he headed for Antartica, the challenge here is to find his last resting place unaided.
We then rejoin the route and continue north along this road until we reach Lissaniskey Cross Roads where care is needed due to the possibility of increased levels of vehicular traffic. Then it is just a short run home heading north for a little less than 2 km. back to the start point in Belvelly Village. This stage of the walk is approx. 5.5km. in length. The entire loop at 20.5km can be completed comfortably in less than 4 hours, even allowing time to take in the various sights along the way. The relevant Ordnance Map Numbers for the walk are 81 and 87. So when the weather drives us off the mountains, this coastal walk can keep the feet moving, the heart pumping and the mind serene. It is undoubtedly a loop walk with a little bit of everything for all.
Author: Patrick Casey.
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