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Belfast Hills Area , E: Belfast Hills East Subarea
Feature count in area: 9, by county: Down: 5, Antrim: 4, OSI/LPS Maps: 15, 20, 21
Highest Place: Divis 478m

Starting Places (2) in area Belfast Hills:
Ballyherly Lough West, Castlemahon Mountain South East

Summits & other features in area Belfast Hills:
E: Belfast Hills East: Cairngaver 217m, Ouley Hill 186m, Scrabo Hill 160m
N: Belfast Hills North: Carnmoney Hill 231.1m, Cave Hill 368m, Divis 478m, Slievetrue 312m
SE: Strangford & Portaferry: Ballywhite Hill 101m, Castlemahon Mountain 128m

Note: this list of places may include island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Cairngaver, 217m Hill Carn Gabhair A name in Irish,
Place Rating ..
(Ir. Carn Gabhair [PNNI 2], 'the goat’s cairn’), Down County in Ulster province, in Binnion Lists, Cairngaver is the 1367th highest place in Ireland.
Grid Reference J45433 76564, OS 1:50k mapsheet 15
Place visited by: 62 members, recently by: garybuz, Paddym99, Oscar-mckinney, Jai-mckinney, Combat_Monkey, Claybird007, eflanaga, Andy1287, Kirsty, dregish, Vfslb1904, Carolyn105, Hoverla, trostanite, LorraineG60
I visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member for this.)
Longitude: -5.749519, Latitude: 54.616317, Easting: 345433, Northing: 376564, Prominence: 192m,  Isolation: 4.6km, Has trig pillar
ITM: 745350 876558
Bedrock type: Sandstone, (Gala Group)
Notes on name: Cairngaver is the highest point in the Craigantlet Hills between Belfast and Bangor. The name refers to a cairn on the summit, which must once have been of considerable size. However, it appears to have been robbed out, leaving only a high ringshaped bank. The summit is shaded by a grove, open enough to permit good views of the Ards and Strangford Lough, in which Scrabo Tower features prominently. One would expect Carn Gabhair to yield an anglicised form like *Cairngore in Ulster or *Carngower elsewhere. The actual anglicised form Cairngaver suggests that the second element could be geamhar, 'corn in the blade', 'corn-grass' (Dinneen), but gabhar, ‘goat’, seems more likely. If so, the pronunciation is similar to Welsh gafr, ‘goat’.
  Short or GPS IDs, 6 char: Crngvr, 10 char: Cairngaver

Gallery for Cairngaver (Carn Gabhair) and surrounds
Summary for Cairngaver (Carn Gabhair): Potentially Shocking Summit
Summary created by wicklore 2010-07-05 22:15:20
   picture about Cairngaver (<em>Carn Gabhair</em>)
Picture: Looking south across rolling countryside
The summit area consists of a trig pillar on top of an old, dismantled overgrown cairn. While the immediate high point is a pleasant grassy area with trees, there are masts and buildings at the summit also. Start at either A (J44858 75950) or B (J464 778). Watch out for electric fencing and a dangerous quarry near the summit. By stepping away from the summit there are great views of Strangford Lough, Belfast Lough, the Scrabo Tower and the distant Mourne Mountains across verdant and rolling countryside. Ask for permission at the first farmhose reached on either route as it is unclear whether these routes are public access or not.
Member Comments for Cairngaver (Carn Gabhair)

   picture about Cairngaver (<em>Carn Gabhair</em>)
Top top
by Carolyn105 21 Nov 2020
Car park at the wood is currently closed but parked up on side of road and headed up. Enjoyable hill Linkback:
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   picture about Cairngaver (<em>Carn Gabhair</em>)
Picture: looking over Strangford Lough
Cairn Wood to summit
by gerrym 21 Mar 2011
Ample car parking at entrance to Cairn Wood (C (J448 775)) high in the Craiganlet Hills, an oasis above the sprawl of Belfast and its outliers.

The wood has a permanent orienteering course and waymarked trails (a notice is pretty tough on those mountainbikers and their homemade trails though!). Following the blue trail loops off left through fir and then the beautifully individual beech trees before rejoining the main uphill track. The wood is pretty open and offers the opportunity to go exploring at will.

The blue trail then loops off right - at its crest the comms masts were just visible straight ahead, drop slightly and leave the track for a single trail heading for the masts. Cross a fence by a post with a loop of barbed wire which gives easy access to a farm track which goes right to the summit, in an easy 25 minutes. The trig pillar sits on the remains of an old cairn surrounded by three rather more modern communications masts.

The views, even on this cloudy day, were great. S & W holds attention over the entirety of Strangford Lough and to the high Mournes touched by even darker clouds and showers. Belfast Lough and across the Irish Sea to Scotland comes a close second and some dandering brings further views over the Belfast Hills. I enjoyed lunch with my back to a beech tree and the views to the Mournes.

Followed the single track back to rejoin the loop which rejoined the main track which was straight downhill to the carpark. Saw a couple of large white birdboxes on the way and apparently red squirrels live here! Pretty quiet in the forest and at the summit only had the company of an engineer sitting in his van for lunch. Enjoyable hour and then headed downhill to Holywood to walk the North Down Coastal Path to Bangor. Linkback:
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   picture about Cairngaver (<em>Carn Gabhair</em>)
Picture: Strangford Lough and Scrabo Tower seen from Cairngaver
pdtempan on Cairngaver
by pdtempan 5 May 2009
What an expedition for such a small hill! Our original plan for the day's outing was to take the bikes on the train from Belfast to Newry and cycle out to the foot of Slieve Gullion. Thwarted in the 1st mile before even reaching Belfast Central, by broken glass and a back-wheel puncture to Denise's bike which needed more tools than we were carrying, we returned home to repair the puncture and rethink plans. Reasoning that a shorter trip was the order of the day, we abandoned rail travel and decided to cycle out to Cairngaver, our nearest local peak. We had walked a couple of times in Carn Wood, but had never gone to the summit, which lies just outside the forestry. Its inclusion in the new MV list was all the incentive we needed! After a detour into Stormont for a spot of tourism, we began the steep climb that marks the beginning of the Craigantlet Hills, and it was here that disaster struck for a second time, as I picked up a puncture from a hawthorn twig left after hedge cutting. We had used our last patch to repair Denise's puncture, and, being Sunday, there was no cycle shop open to buy fresh supplies. If we wanted to achieve any summit in the day, there was nothing for it, but to lock the bikes to a farm fence and continue on foot. Fortunately, 1km further on, we came to a garage, where, by a great stroke of luck, we were able to buy a puncture repair kit. We decided, perhaps unwisely, to continue by foot. After a 3-4km trudge along the busy road, we were relieved to turn into Carn Wood for some peace, quiet and woodland scenery. The magnificent beech trees in this wood make it very attractive. A trail marked with a horseshoe to indicate a bridleway hugs the SW edge of the forestry. This is an interesting alternative to starting at the main car-park about 1km further E. There are several path junctions, but if you keep near to the edge of the wood, you will not go wrong. Don't be tempted to wander outside the wood as you will immediately come to a major quarry with dangerous cliffs. Briefly there is a rather ugly patch where grey dust from the quarry has clogged all the tree-foliage and ferns, but this is soon left behind. As you approach the summit, the wood tapers to a point. There is no stile, but we found a place where the fenced was clearly meant to be opened and re-fastened with a loop of barbed wire. From here it is just 200m to the summit itself along a clear track. This appears to be on private ground, outside the Forestry Commission's land, so bear this in mind if you meet anybody. However, we had no problems. The views from the summit were excellent, including the Ards, Strangford Lough and Scrabo Tower. We returned by the same path through the woods, and repeated our trek along the busy road. The puncture was repaired in just under half an hour (mercifully, as we were getting very cold) and all that remained was to coast downhill to get back home. All this for a 217m peak! How not to do Cairngaver... Linkback:
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   picture about Cairngaver (<em>Carn Gabhair</em>)
Picture: Pretty summit scene amongst masts and buildings
A gentle hill
by wicklore 5 Jul 2010
Another approach to Cairngaver is to start at a farm road to the south at A (J44858 75950). This leads past some houses and leads to the summit area in about 1km. It is possible to park along the track at the first house with permission. As you follow the tarred road you will come to a bend and an obvious stone track branching off uphill through the fields. Electric fences each side of the track clearly separate the track from the fields. Shortly afterwards you reach a point where a single strand of electric fence crosses the track blocking the way. There is a plastic handle on the left hand side designed to make it easy to unhook the fence safely for passing through. A few minutes more brings the summit area. The summit is anomalous. The trig pillar sits atop the remains of a cairn covered in long waving grass. Some deciduous trees and hedging surround the grassy area and cairn. The long waving grass completes the scene of rural peace. The summit trig pillar area is reached by passing through a farm gate, but outside of the immediate summit area the wider summit has a few masts and service buildings. There is extensive electric fencing along the track and surrounding fields, while the nearby quarry adds to the busy industrial/commercial feeling to the wider hill. But if you can just sit at the summit and take in the immediate sylvan surrounding, as well as the more distant excellent views you will be well rewarded. I was lucky to have a warm breeze keep me company as I imagine this hill would be quite cold on a typical Irish day. People using this route should ask for permission or just ‘check in’ with the first farm house on the track out of courtesy, especially if leaving a car there. Linkback:
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   picture about Cairngaver (<em>Carn Gabhair</em>)
Picture: Cairn and trig point
Forest and Quarry Jaunt
by volsung 8 Nov 2011
This was a Belfast Hill I'd never heard of until this week despite living in or around Belfast for nigh on five decades. A nice discovery. Took the Belmont Road out of Belfast, up the Ballymiscaw Road and then a quick right and left to the Ballysallagh Forest car park. Beautiful cloud free day. There is a gentle walk through the forest. Spotted a red squirrel - great to see they haven't been displaced by their grey cousins here (yet). The forest is bounded by a fence. I found it very difficult to find a way to the communications tower. Lost the bap and took a run round the quarry. It was deserted but very scenic in a moonscape kind of way. Couldn't find a route from the quarry either so decided to return to the forest. Emptied my mind and just breathed and walked. Amazingly I soon spotted a low bank with a collapsed barbed wire fence. Past some abandoned large concrete pipes and close to some kind of dwelling was a path leading to the trig point. Great stones marked the cairn. Lovely views of Strangford from the top. The forest is undoubtedly the best part of the walk with many mature beech trees and what seems like an ancient network of earthen banks. Worth a tour. Linkback:
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