Slieve Beagh: Three Counties and Countless Frogs

Slieve Beagh is often maligned by hillwalkers for being bleak, featureless and generally hard work, but I've had a soft spot for it since my first visit back in 2009. I returned to this extensive area of blanket bog, gentle peaks and hidden loughs at the weekend, to walk a route I'd wanted to try for a long time: … Continue reading Slieve Beagh: Three Counties and Countless Frogs

Sligo: The Caves of Kesh / Keshcorran

I visited beautiful County Sligo at the weekend for a catch-up with friends and got to  do a hike that had been on my list for years. The intriguing Caves of Kesh (or Keash) are a series of gaping holes set in limestone cliffs part way up Keshcorran hill near Ballymote. I'd first seen them during … Continue reading Sligo: The Caves of Kesh / Keshcorran

Sperrins Photo Blog: Vinegar Hill Loop

Once again I stayed relatively close to home for this hike, which happened to fall on my birthday. The Vinegar Hill Loop in County Tyrone is one of a small number of waymarked routes in the heart of the Sperrin Mountains. It's largely on farm tracks with sections on public but quiet roads. I hadn't walked it before but had … Continue reading Sperrins Photo Blog: Vinegar Hill Loop

Macedonia: Vodno Mountain Hike and Cable Car

In my review of my most memorable hikes and cycles of 2016, I included Vodno Mountain which overlooks Macedonia's capital, Skopje. It was such a worthwhile experience, and I took so many photos, that I thought I'd cover it in a post of its own. Sadly I only had one day in this little known (to people in my … Continue reading Macedonia: Vodno Mountain Hike and Cable Car

Sperrins: Lough Ouske to Lough Lark

I stayed close(ish) to home for my final hike of 2016, with another visit to the Sperrins in my native Tyrone. We chose a linear route on the southern side of the Glenelly Valley, starting with a visit to Lough Ouske, one of the biggest bodies of water in the range.  Top image: Canice enjoying the view … Continue reading Sperrins: Lough Ouske to Lough Lark

2016 Hikes & Cycles in Review: Part 2

Part 1 of my year in review included hikes (some in the loosest sense of the word) from Scotland, mainland Europe and Jordan. This second part will cover the rest of my 2016 voluntary redundancy-funded travels in Asia and the US plus my favourite Irish hikes after returning home. Top image: A view of Half Dome … Continue reading 2016 Hikes & Cycles in Review: Part 2

2016 Hikes & Cycles in Review: Part 1

I've been meaning for a while to add a 'year in review' post with photos from my hikes and cycles during 2016.  As well as trips within Ireland, these include excursions in mainland Europe, Asia and the US during my voluntary redundancy-funded travels earlier this year. Many of these were short, urban trips or hikes/cycles at tourist attractions. I … Continue reading 2016 Hikes & Cycles in Review: Part 1

Donegal: Aghla Mountain

This outlier of Donegal's Bluestack range had vaguely been on my radar for years. I finally climbed it at the weekend as part of an annual pre-Christmas hike and get together with some of my hiking buddies. Aghla's rugged bulk rises from the southern shore of the 5km-long Lough Finn, source of the River Finn, … Continue reading Donegal: Aghla Mountain

Sperrins in the Snow: Carnanelly

With the recent snowfall over high ground, I decided to take a midweek trip to the Sperrin Mountains, having not been able to get out at the weekend. The initial plan was to walk a couple of the eastern summits, but on reaching Draperstown I was underwhelmed by the amount of white stuff on these hills.  Instead I continued west towards … Continue reading Sperrins in the Snow: Carnanelly

Leitrim: Boleybrack and Lackagh Mountain Photo Blog

This charity hike with the Holey Soles Hill Walking Club visited a quiet corner of an Irish county I've long had a soft spot for, Leitrim. Sometimes known as Boleybrack Mountain, this area of upland heath and bog lies to the southeast of Manorhamilton and southwest of Glenfarne.  It is the site of a successful conservation project … Continue reading Leitrim: Boleybrack and Lackagh Mountain Photo Blog