Tag Archives: hillwalking

Kilronan Loop Again

This walk is becoming a bit of a habit – this is my third time this year doing the entire walk and I’ve done part of it a fourth time. Anyway, it’s a nice walk and quite close to home so it doesn’t require a lot of planning. It is basically a matter of parking up in Keadue and setting off at a reasonable hour of the morning.


After a couple of kilometres of a road-walk towards Arigna, you quickly start to ascend for fabulous views over the countryside.


There is a good steep climb up an old foot-path until you come to a sweat house right by the pass. I had a look in here on a previous walk but I didn’t bother stopping here.


After this, you’re properly up on the mountain in peace an quiet. The heather up here is even more spectacular than that on my home walk. The weather was quite annoying with regular light showers that just got heavy enough to make you put your rain jacket on before stopping.


There is the usual view of Sliabh Aniarann covered in clouds. The only time I’ve managed to see the mountain from here was an inverse view where everything else was covered in clouds and the peak was poking out.



I trundled on towards the wind-farm that runs along the ridge. It was becalmed today though so nothing was moving.


I wasn’t exactly making great time but then I wasn’t in much of a hurry. I stopped for a snack at the abandoned mineworks before rejoining the road for a bit. The way-marking here is a bit weak but I know the way so it isn’t so much of a problem. In particular, you need to very careful about leaving the track towards the saint’s grave. There is an abandoned engine which you need to pass on the track above it. From here, a single waymarker is just visible in the distance. If you pass this engine with it on your right, you’re going the wrong way.


From here it’s another couple of kilometres before you join the Miners’ Way track that leads you down towards Ballyfarnon.


This track winds its way down the mountain and gradually turns into a proper road before crossing a stream and heading back towards some form of civilisation. I stopped again for coffee and a snack for a few minutes and resolved to have a lunch break at Ballyfarnon.


From here the route is mostly a lowland road walk but it’s mostly along very minor roads and a couple of kilometres are along a green road. I arrived into Ballyfarnon at about 1:30 and had a 20 minute break for soup, a sandwich and some crisps.


I had a nice final few kilometres through the Kilronan castle grounds. I spotted this interesting little fungus on the forest track.


After passing through the old castle gate, I made my way alongside the road into Keadue. I stopped at the graveyard there to try to find O’Carolan’s grave but didn’t have any luck. I made into Keadue around 3:30 a bit over six hours after I left.

790 km



Rambles around Marble Arch

I didn’t take a lot of pictures on this trip and as it was a family day out for the most part, they are family photos. But we had a good day out in the Marble Arch caves and the hills above them. We ended up doing three sections of walk over the day. To start with, we took a walk up the Ulster way towards Cuilcagh mountain.

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This is a walk I’ve done before and everyone enjoyed themselves. After that, we headed into the Marble Arch caves for the tour. This is quite a walk in itself as there are a couple of kilometres of the cave in the tour.

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Finally, we headed to the Cladagh Gorge to hike up to the marble arch. This was a spectacular walk along a really nice path and the arch itself was well worth the walk. We managed about 12 km for the day.

717 km

Views from Sliabh An Iarainn

I came across some info about the Siabh An Iarainn walking festival up in Drumshanbo and I figured this would be a good opportunity to get up Sliabh Aniarainn.  So I got myself to Drumshanbo and joined the group for a quick bus trip to the starting point. We were a rather large group of 38 as two walks had been combined but everyone seemed reasonably well organised.


We joined a rough trackway up the western side of the mountain and quick soon we had spectacular views over Lough Allen.


It quite quickly became apparent that we were a group of fairly mixed abilities as the pace was quite relaxed and we had a couple of stops almost immediately. Still, it was a novelty to be walking in a group and it was nice to not to have to bother with navigation.


Our organisers had been busy before the walk and had added a few new stiles along the route. This man was very proud of his handiwork. Not sure if has photographing the group or his stile.


As we ascended we came across flecks of snow and the mountain itself was covered in snow. The temperature dropped markedly and as we were going relatively slow, my jacket and gloves came out of my bag in short order.


We took a coffee break after a couple of hours in a nice sheltered spot. After the initial climb, the going got a lot easier and we began to make some vaguely reasonable progress. The snow made for some quite specular photographs when combined with the clearing skies.


As we crossed the ridge we started looking for somewhere for lunch out of the wind. The views were really quite fantastic at this point.


After lunch, we headed off for the trig point which is on an island in the middle of a bog. We managed to get on to it with relatively little trouble but there wasn’t much of the path left by the time we’d got 38 people past.


After the peak we started heading along the ridge to big to make our descent. We split into two groups after about a kilometre and while I would have loved to continue on the longer walk, I was under time pressure and so bugged out for the quicker return. On the way down we passed a rather isolated mass rock.


This is was in a massive crack in a sheer rock face.


After this, it was a relatively short scramble down and across a very rickety bridge and we were on a track that used to be a road down the mountain. The bus picked us up at the bottom of this and it was back to the hotel for some soup and sandwiches.

It was a good relaxed day’s walking with some fantastic views and it was a nice stress-free way to get up Sliabh Aniarainn with somebody else doing the navigation.

436.5 km