The next U3A walk is this Thursday 28th June. As this is the last walk before the summer break it will be a gentle affair to be enjoyed. The walk is a linear walk from Silent Valley to Ben Crom Reservoir and back again. The terrain is gravel path and gradual incline outwards . There is no climbing involved other than when we get to Ben Crom Dam where we climb 260 stone steps to the top of the dam . This bit is optional, but highly recommended, as its not every day that you can stand on the top of a dam. There are amenities which include toilets / cafe / visitor centre. I am sure that we would want to pause at the memorial to the men who died during the construction of the dam, so that Belfast could have its water.
Estimated walk time is 2.5 hours. I will meet drivers at the usual place on the hard shoulder just as you exit Hilltown. It is about 10 miles from Hilltown to the Silent Valley.
There is an entrance fee to Silent Valley of £4.50 per car. And the weather looks pretty good as well.
Carol and Ita will lead our walk next Thursday, May 31st. The walk will begin at Leitrim Lodge car park and proceed over Tievedockarragh and Pierces Castle all on good paths and good dry slopes over the mountains. The walk should last about 3.5 hours and boots and walking poles are recommended.
Mark, Rowena Bailey and Deirdre will lead a bluebell walk in Lumford Glen and Knockmany forest next Thursday (17th). We hope the bluebells will still be at their best. We plan to keep within the forest park for the walk and cut out the long walk along the road to the far side of the Forest. Afterwards we hope to stop at Souter’s cafe for some coffee and scones.
Meet as usual 9.30 am at the palace car park. Small picnic for the top of the hill. Time about 2 1/2 hours walking.
Our walk on Thursday next (3rd May) will be to Jenkins Lake which is close to the Crocknagrally walk we have previously visited ( Haunted house ). The walk takes about 2 1/2 hours and is mainly on forest tracks. Mark and Rowena Bailey know this area well and report that there is only one patch close to a lake that can be boggy and so boots are preferable. They will also have their dog with them as this area has no livestock and is suitable for dogs if anyone else is interested.
As the season is so late we imagine that the bluebells in Knockmany are not out yet, so the next walk on 17th May will be to Knockmany and Lumford Glen when we hope they will be in full flower. That takes about 3 hours if we take the road around to the back of the glen.
Picnics needed for both walks and meet in the usual place at 9.30 am.
On Thursday, 19th April Declan will lead our next walk up Cave Hill in Belfast. Very good paths and views when we get to the top. There is a good choice of refreshments in Belfast Castle at the finish of our walk.
Our next walk will be held this coming Thursday, April 5th, and will be led by Deirdre in Rossmore Forest Park outside Monaghan. Deirdre is a mine of information on the history of Rossmore so we can expect a good workout for our legs and our minds.
Our other walk, on Thursday, 19th April will be over Cavehill, Belfast and will be led by Declan Moane. Declan usually unearths some interesting facts about his walks. I will remind you about the Cavehill walk nearer to the time.
Some of you may have walks that you would be interested in leading. Walk dates up to our summer break are May 3rd,17th and 31st, June 14th and 28th.
Our walk next Thursday 22nd March will be in Kilbroney Forest Park and will last about 3 /3.5 hrs. We had hoped to have a hill walk but the conditions underfoot at present are very poor. We hope for an improvement in the weather but if there is none we will just have to get our boots muddy. If any of you are interested in leading a walk we would like to hear from you.
Weather permitting, our next walk will be this coming Thursday, March 8th. Carol will lead our walk in Castlewellan Forest Park. Recently, the weather has been, to say the least, changeable so an e-mail will be sent on Wednesday to either confirm or cancel our walk.
Our next walk will be this coming Thursday, February 22nd. We will be walking The Granite Trail on the lower slopes of the Mournes. We have walked this route once before and walked variations of it twice but I think it is worth doing again as it is a lovely easy walk. The walk starts in Donard Park Newcastle and after the Granite Trail we follow an easy track along the mountain and easy forest tracks back to our cars. After this walk we should all know the difference between a Bogie and a Slipe, knowledge which could help us some day in a Pub Quiz.
Our next walk,led by Declan, will be this coming Thursday, 8th February. We will start and finish at the Oxford Island centre, it will be on good paths all the way and should last about 3.5 hours.