• Recent Comments

    By Christopher Somerville on Rossmore Lakes, Co. Monaghan Dear Owen, This Coillte map is the best I can do! With good wishes, Christopher
    By Owen carragher on Rossmore Lakes, Co. Monaghan Hello myself and my wife love to walk in this park. We find ourselves getting lost. If it's possible to get a map of this park it would be great for us. I don't mind paying for it. Thanks Owen carragher 42 Malachy Conlon Park Culloville Crossmaglen Co Armagh Bt359an
    By Christopher Somerville on Benbradagh and the US Navy Base, Dungiven, Co. Derry, N. Ireland Thanks, Mike! All those 'secret' places of the Cold war seem a little less secret these days, don't they?
    By Michael Larsen on Benbradagh and the US Navy Base, Dungiven, Co. Derry, N. Ireland Michelle.... I did not get there until Nov. 1969...... Did not know you Father. All the best! Mike
    By Michael Larsen on Benbradagh and the US Navy Base, Dungiven, Co. Derry, N. Ireland Christopher.... I was a Transmitter Watch Supervisor at Dungiven. Yes, and setup, tuned the HF Transmitters. It got pretty bleak up there at times. Lots of snow too. We would have to be taken up the mountain by Snocats. Great article! Miss my time in N. Ireland! All the best to you Christopher. Mike
    By Michelle Eckert on Benbradagh and the US Navy Base, Dungiven, Co. Derry, N. Ireland Mike Larson Please contact me as soon as possible. I wish to know if you knew my father: this is not my maiden name. My father is William J. Bednar. I was told he was at Benbradagh Mountain Naval Base last about mid-1967, months before my birth. If you knew him please text or call me (preferably text) at 484-225-7412. This is an effort to reunite with my beloved birth mother: pardon me but I must try every chance. Regards, Michelle
    By Melanie on Ness Country Park, Co. Derry Hi, I am in derry for this weekend and would like to go to the park. Is there any possibility to get there without a car? Thanks
    By Christopher Somerville on Fairy Castle, Dublin Mountains Walking poles - I don't use them, Maureen so it's hard to judge. They are called 'Dublin Mountains', but the Fairy Castle Loop is just an ordinary hill walk on good tracks and paths. If you usually use poles for that sort of terrain, go ahead! The walk is not along the coast; it's inland. But the coast is only a mile or two away, and there are fabulous views of it. Happy hiking!
    By Maureen Meng on Fairy Castle, Dublin Mountains I would like to hike the fairy castle loop walk in the dublin mountians. do you require hiking poles? Is it along the coast?
    By jane on McSwyne’s Gun Loop, Horn Head, Co. Donegal That is great to hear, Emma - thanks so much for letting us all know. Maybe that landowner will change his/her mind ...
    By Emma wallace on McSwyne’s Gun Loop, Horn Head, Co. Donegal I'm familiar with the old walk and was aware that a part of it had been cut off. However we visited it today and it was equally as beautiful as Mc Swnyes gun loop. Yes it is shorter and yes there are no blowholes but you go through a wooded area, meadows with beautiful summer flowers, headland with stunning views of a large empty perfect Tramore Breach, sand dunes and streams. We were walking for around 1hour and 20mins so it's still a good wee ramble. Definitely still worth a visit
    By Christopher Somerville on Benbradagh and the US Navy Base, Dungiven, Co. Derry, N. Ireland Dear Mike, Glad my article stirred some happy memories. A fantastic part of the world - but it must have been pretty bleak up there at times. Were you a techie at the switches and dials? And … what was in that possible mythical bunker??? With good wishes, and thanks for getting in touch, Christopher
    By Mike Larsen on Benbradagh and the US Navy Base, Dungiven, Co. Derry, N. Ireland Was a US Navy Radioman stationed at Clooney and Dungiven 1969-1971.. best duty station ever!
    By Christopher Somerville on McSwyne’s Gun Loop, Horn Head, Co. Donegal Dear Esther, That is a crying shame. Apparently the landowner has closed it off, in spite of it being a National Looped Walk. The agreement of landowners to permit these walks was secured initially with a grant of money 'for maintaining them'. I presume that such grants have disappeared since the advent of general governmental belt-tightening, and so landowners have no incentive to keep the walks open. I'l try to find out more. But it is an absolute scandal that in a land as blessed with fabulous walking country as Ireland, established footpaths and rights of way should be so few and angry, possessive landowners so numerous. With good wishes, Christopher
    By Kathleen Beggs on McSwyne’s Gun Loop, Horn Head, Co. Donegal Where can I walk at Horn Head?
    By Esther on McSwyne’s Gun Loop, Horn Head, Co. Donegal Please note this walk is no longer available. You cannot walk along cliff or see the blowholes.
    By Christopher Somerville on Arigna Miner’s Way, Co. Roscommon Dear Catherine, Yes, this walk starts at Arigna. I've checked up, and we didn't stay locally, so I'm sorry that I can't usefully recommend a B&B. With good wishes, Christopher
    By Catherine Richard on Arigna Miner’s Way, Co. Roscommon Just wondering if this is located near my grandparents home in Arigna..Luke and Jane Maguire-Keaveney..My mother Teresa was born in that area. I'll be visiting in May (2017) and would like to know if there are any Bed and Breakfast places to stay near by... Thanks in advance for any information Catherine
    By Kathleen McFall on Carne to Rosslare Harbour, Co. Wexford I would like to get in touch with Ray McGrath who does walking tours .We worked together in Montreal, Canada years ago .Can you forward him my email
    By Christopher Somerville on McSwyne’s Gun Loop, Horn Head, Co. Donegal Well, do, Frank! It is fabulous, and a beautiful walk. Worth the trip over from Lexington, I'd say. Christopher
    By Mike Shiels on Clogrennan Loop, Co. Carlow Mike Shiels, Newcastle West, My wife Mary and I are going to up to Clogrennan Loop, is it possible to get a view of the road and entrance just to make it easier to find Thank you, email-
    By Declan Gorman on Sliabh an Iarainn, Aghacashel, Co. Leitrim Plan to revisit An Sliabh tomorrow for 4th time,it is a piece of heaven and I get a great sense of peace and solitude when up there.Great recognition and thanks is always owed to Jackie for all his dedication to this sacred place.I have had the pleasure of meeting him in the P.O. on two visits.God Bless all who walk that way.
    By Richard Johnson on Dungonnell Way, Antrim Planning to do this in the next few days (weather permitting). A wonderful area for wildlife designated now as an ASSI, I fish the reservoir regularly. There are red grouse hen harriers and merlin to be seen often. One of my favourite places, Cheers
    By Christopher Somerville on Ness Country Park, Co. Derry As far as I can discover, it's about 30 feet high - and that sounds about right. It must look and sound magnificent after all this rain!
    By Margo Harkin on Ness Country Park, Co. Derry I would like to know how high the waterfall is - yet no site anywhere provides this information - nor does the tourist information at the site - at the upper end at least, where I visited today. I would be grateful to know.
    By Alan Gren on The Walls of Derry, Co. Derry I plan to escort a group to Derry in May 2017. We will be in the city for three nights. The group size,hopefully, will be about 20 in total. I would like to hire two guides. Can you please let me know how I go about doing this? Thank you, Alan
    By Christopher Somerville on Robber’s Table, Gortin, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland By the way - Harry the wire-coated terrier has finally gone to the happy hunting grounds. RIP, Harry, and thanks for the company!
    By Christopher Somerville on Robber’s Table, Gortin, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland Oh Lord - thank you for noting this, Jason. It's happening all over the place. But it's hard for a cash-strapped farmer to say no, too. It's the skylines that make a walk like this.
    By Christopher on Dungonnell Way, Antrim Hope you saw it without any mist. A gorgeous walk in a lovely area.
    By Christopher on Castle Lake, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan Sorry you have to be a jungle dweller, Pat - but at least you appreciate your time out in the 'real world'. Castle Lake's beautiful - lucky fish who live there (except when they come up against you!)
    By pat kirwan on Castle Lake, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan fished castle lake twice this week got plenty of fish it's a lovely place I checked out some of it's history amazing. to all people who live in this area you are very lucky to have this beautiful forestry and lake on your doorstep. Not like us who live in a concrete jungle.
    By OneBagTravel on Dungonnell Way, Antrim So green, I love it!
    By Jason on Robber’s Table, Gortin, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland Hi I enjoyed reading this story. I live on the Lisnaharney Road just below the Robbers Table- I love to walk in this area as well as further afield- I am a Mountain Leader with experience of walking and climbing across Ireland and the UK, I am very proud to live in this area. I just wanted to let you know that a developer has spoken to that same farmer and other farmers along that beautiful skyline, and convinced them that this is an ideal area for a wind farm. A 14 turbine wind farm is now in planning on top of this beautiful site, that will in our opinion, in the opinion of Mountaineering Ireland, The Ulster Federation of Ramblers, Outdoor Recreation NI and many, many more will destroy this beautiful walk and jeopardise the public rights of way. Just thought to point it out to you, so that you are not shocked the next time you decide to visit. If you see the farmer you can ask him all about it, he might tell you more- then again with their confidentiality clauses they probably will not- they hadn't even the courtesy to tell us their neighbours about it!
    By Christopher Somerville on Omey Island, Co. Galway Dear Damian, You're absolutely right! Thanks for pointing that out. Christopher
    By Christopher Somerville on Bolus Head, Iveragh Peninsula, Co. Kerry Dear John, Thanks very much for getting in touch. Yes, some white-tailed eagles were reintroduced to the peninsula a few years ago (see below), and they're doing pretty well, by all accounts. That must have been a wonderful sight for you, one to treasure in the old memory bank. Here's the website of the Golden Eagle Trust: which is overseeing the project - I'm sure they would value a report from you. With good wishes, Christopher 15 White-tailed Eagles were released in County Kerry in early August 2007 and had adapted well to the surrounding countryside over the last several months. They were monitored roosting, flying and feeding within Killarney National Park and had been seen attending several dead sheep carcasses in and around the National Park. They had also spent some time trying to catch spent salmon on the shores of Loch Leanne. The local farmers in and around Killarney National Park, other local landowners and members of the public have been extremely supportive of the project since the birds were released. The Irish Farmers Association has obviously expressed its reservations about the project prior to the arrival of the birds last spring. But the White-tailed Eagle project Manager, Allan Mee has spent a considerable amount of time reassuring farmers wherever the birds settle, and has developed a better rapport with the IFA local leadership and membership in recent months.
    By John Hogan on Bolus Head, Iveragh Peninsula, Co. Kerry I was at Emlaghmore on the Iveragh Peninsula on the 16/02/2015 to work on a Telecoms tower there and as I parked a beautiful white tailed eagle rose from an outcrop of rock and flew toward Cahirciveen ,it flew in a very leisurely manner and was the most beautiful sight to see on a spring very fresh morning ,can you confirm that these raptors are seen here regularly ?
    By Damian McDonagh on Omey Island, Co. Galway Hello, The website is simply excellent but there might be a minor mistake in the road listing here. As opposed to the N52 I believe it's the N59. Omey Island route : Road: N52 Letterfrack road from Clifden; in 2 miles, left to Claddaghduff
    By Christopher Somerville on Dursey Island, West Cork Yes, that's the brilliant Claire Littlejohn. She makes them come alive superbly on the page. Christopher
    By Christopher Somerville on Cullahill Mountain and Binnianea Forest, Co. Laois/Co. Kilkenny I'd start with contacting Michael Thornton and the Co. Laois Walking Festival, Catherine - they'll put you on your way. Details above. Portlaoise Tourist Office should have details of local walking groups, too. And if you want to set out with a friend or two and explore for yourself, the website is really reliable. Christopher
    By catherine smeaton on Cullahill Mountain and Binnianea Forest, Co. Laois/Co. Kilkenny Hi, I am new to all of these tracks and trails, are there group walks for beginners from cullahill. ? Regards catherine.
    By Bill Syme [Kiely] on Paradise Hill, Anglesboro, Co. Limerick Hi, Will be travelling to Anglesboro during Sept 2014 to visit my mothers birthplace Kathleen Syme [nee Kiely] She was the daughter of Roger and Annie Kiely who farmed in the district of Barnagurrahi Later on the family would emigrate to Western Australia during 1911 along with her brothers and sisters [11] From my understanding Roger Kiely [myGrandfather] took over the running of the family farm on the death of his father Patrick Kiely Around !893. I would be very much obliged if any of your readers can be of help towards supplying me with any information in regards to this enquirey Bill Syme Email
    By esther on Dursey Island, West Cork I loved the drawings of the walks!
    By Catjherine doherty on Oxford Island, Lough Neagh, Co Armagh Is there a caravan park on Oxford Island?
    By Christopher Somerville on Nore Valley Walk (Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny), Co. Kilkenny I don't know, Katja, but you could try phoning Claire Goodwillie Design and Advertising Ltd. (00-353-56-777-1127) - the business is just beside the mills, so someone there would probably know. Christopher
    By Christopher on Murlough National Nature Reserve, Co. Down Dear Andrew, What a lovely and encouraging email to get! Murlough NNR is a really wonderful place, and it was a privilege to walk it and write about it. I wrote about walks in Ireland for the Irish Independent for a number of years. Although they have discontinued that series, I write a weekly walk for the Times (UK version), so am always on the lookout for good NI walks. So don't be shy about pointing me in the right direction! With good wishes, and many thanks again for taking the time to write, Christopher
    By Andrew Crory on Murlough National Nature Reserve, Co. Down Hi, I live in Newcastle and work as the nature reserves manager for Ulster Wildlife. I'm also the Moth Recorder for Northern Ireland and spend all of the time I can looking at moths, butterflies and birds in my local area. I came across your article on Murlough and I love the map - a great and accurate portrayal of the reserve. Don't know if it's any interest to you but so far there have been 609 species of moths and 23 species of butterflies recorded at Murlough - more than anywhere else in Northern Ireland (on both counts). It's great to see somebody portray Murlough in a such a fresh and 'as they find it' way as, in common with a lot of places, material is rehashed. Glad I stumbled across your site - the attention to detail and personal touches in there are really refreshing - I hope somebody in the tourist board is using your skills!!!! All the best Andrew
    By Katja on Nore Valley Walk (Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny), Co. Kilkenny Hi, is there access by foot from Sion Road to the ruined mill(s)? Kind regards, Katja
    By Walking Durrow on Dunmore Loop, Durrow, Co. Laois More information on Durrow Walks here -
    By Christopher on Letterkeen Loop, Nephin Beg Mountains, Co Mayo Dear David, Very glad you liked my article. It's a brilliant walk. I've just discovered that the 'old and only road' is a misquote of mine - I should have said 'the old and only pass into Erris'. It's a quote from 'Sketches in Erris and Tyrawley' by the Rev. Caesar Otway, published in 1839. Here is a horribly long link which will give you a flavour of it: Sketches in Erris and Tyrawley It's very evocative about the Bangor Trail in days when there were literally no wheels in the district and everyone was in rock bottom poverty. If you can get hold of a copy of my book 'The Road To Roaringwater', there's a long chapter about my walk along the Bangor Trail from Bangor Erris to Newport in 1991, with plenty of background stuff! With good wishes, Christopher
    By David on Letterkeen Loop, Nephin Beg Mountains, Co Mayo Good read... captures the loop well! Your reference to the ‘old and only road into Erris’... do you have a source for this or is it just a phrase you use yourself? Part of my thesis looks at the Bangor trail so I'm chasing every lead! Thanks
    By bill syme on Paradise Hill, Anglesboro, Co. Limerick Really enjoyed reading about your recent trip to County Limerick.I will be travelling to Ireland for a short trip next year ,where i hope to see where my grandfather Kiely farmed in a small village in Barnagurraha close to Anglesboro.They eventually emigrated to Western Australia in1911 where they bought a small dairy farm and raised their rather large family.I would appreciate any information you can supply in regards to what i can expect to see around this area during my stay. Yours Faithfully Bill Syme
    By Gilberto on Dursey Island, West Cork I really intend to save this particular posting, Dursey Island, West Cork
    By sir thomas r moore on Slievebawn and Tomduff Hill, Blackstairs Mountains, Co. Carlow Please tell me current condition of Tomduff House, Thanks.
    By ANN on Doonbeg Bog, Kilkee, Co. Clare GREAT INFO TY FROM USA
    By Adr on Robber’s Table, Gortin, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland We look forward to you coming back.
    By john on Coumduala Lough, Comeragh Mountains, Co Waterford Thanks Christopher for a lovely walk with spectacular views.
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