Soarns Hill, a hill for bad weather.
With a forecast of high winds and rain, Soarns Hill with its extensive forestry, seemed a good choice for the prevailing conditions this Sunday. With little in the way of parking in the area, we choose to park at the Half Way House pub's car park (
), with the full intention of purchasing several pints on our return, as way of payment.
Cross the road and take the Longmore Road till
, follow this lane up hill, past two farms (one currently for sale) and through an old gate (watch it doesn't fall down when you close it!). Take the track on your right (immediately after the gate) following it to another gate, this time padlocked, but easy to get over. You are now in Gleggan Forest, which is run by the Forestry Service, so there should be no problems with access. Those who have wisely invested in the new 1:25000 Glens of Antrim Activity Map, by the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland will confidently stride out along the forestry tracks. Those with the older 1:50000 series, may feel a little less confident, usually the result of trying to follow tracks and firebreaks in a forest with a 1:5000 map before!
Follow this forestry track to first junction and turn left at it, then left again at the next track junction till the firebreak at
. Follow this up hill over the usual tussocks and holes (going north, north east) to a 4 way firebreak junction and that's the summit, a small rise just before the junction looks slightly higher, but you walked over this to get to the junction. You can descend the firebreak going north east, which is shorter and perhaps not as bad as the route of ascent, crossing a small ditch when you arrive back at the track. Turn left and follow the tracks & lanes back to the Half Way House Inn / Pub, which serves a good pint of Guinness, and judging by the amount of people eating meals there, tasty food as well. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/810/comment/3393/