Midweek Retreat: Tullyhogue Fort

I thought I'd pull myself away from the hilarious online commentary on the UK General Election and add a post on one of my favourite local places to visit. Tullyhogue Fort is one of the most important sites in medieval Irish history.  It's also a beautiful and tranquil viewpoint that's been made a lot more … Continue reading Midweek Retreat: Tullyhogue Fort

Unfinished Business Part 2: Slieve League

Two days after tackling lowly Cairngaver in County Down, I revisted another hill that had previously defeated me: Slieve League on the rugged southwest coast of Donegal. I first attempted Slieve League back in 2007 but it was a half-assed, hungover attempt following a night out in nearby Killybegs. Top image: Couldn't resist this photo … Continue reading Unfinished Business Part 2: Slieve League

Unfinished Business Part 1: Cairngaver

Each of my two most recent hikes brought a sense of closure, as both involved a hill that had defeated me on a previous visit. These were Cairngaver, a lowly transmitter-topped hill near Belfast, and the much more famous Slieve League in County Donegal, home to some of Europe's highest sea cliffs. Top image: Looking beyond the town … Continue reading Unfinished Business Part 1: Cairngaver

Sunday Cycle: Loughgall and Castle Dillion Obelisk

It's niggled at me slightly that, despite the name of this blog, only one of my posts so far has focused on cycling, even though it tends to be my main source of exercise. That's probably because most of my cycles these days take place relatively close to home. This weekend I ventured a little bit further, deep(ish) into … Continue reading Sunday Cycle: Loughgall and Castle Dillion Obelisk

Jordan: A Dash through Petra

In my round-up of top treks during 2016 I mentioned a visit to the World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan. I finally got round to pulling together some images a while ago. (My handy official map guide to the site turned up during a spot of spring cleaning this week, which spurred on this … Continue reading Jordan: A Dash through Petra

Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 2

In my previous post, I told of my excitement (odd, some might say) at taking a day trip to the English border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed during a recent visit to friends in Edinburgh. I recounted how we walked the majority of the town's Elizabethan defensive walls, visited the lighthouse at the mouth of the River Tweed and … Continue reading Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 2

Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 1

During my recent visit to Edinburgh, we took a day trip to a town that had long intrigued me: Berwick-upon-Tweed, just across the border in the English county of Northumberland. I've always been fascinated by borders and Berwick is the ultimate frontier town, famously changing hands between England and Scotland numerous times up until 1482 when the … Continue reading Bastions and Border-Hopping in Berwick: Part 1

Hills of Edinburgh: Calton Hill and Blackford Hill

I visited friends in beautiful Edinburgh for a few days last week and took the opportunity to head up a couple of the city's hills.  I'd been up them before on previous visits but's it's such a stunning city, both architecturally and setting-wise, that I was happy to fit in some exercise and take in the … Continue reading Hills of Edinburgh: Calton Hill and Blackford Hill

The Barrow Way: Athy to Carlow

I got to visit Counties Kildare and Carlow last week to walk a new section of a trail that has enchanted me for some time. The Barrow Way follows Ireland's second longest river and various side canals for a total distance of 120km. It runs southwards from the Grand Canal to the point where the river becomes tidal, at … Continue reading The Barrow Way: Athy to Carlow

Mournes Hike: Eagle, Shanlieve and Finlieve

I paid a rare visit to the Mourne Mountains in County Down at the weekend for a hike that ended up being a lot longer and more challenging than expected. We opted for the lesser visited, and boggier, western Mournes with the aim of tackling three mountains in a loop. Top image: Finlieve summit cairn overlooking Carlingford Lough … Continue reading Mournes Hike: Eagle, Shanlieve and Finlieve