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Walk 6 - Moyle Way Stage 1

Date: Sunday 29th January 2006
Duration: 7 hours (17 miles)

Another fresh January morning about 09:00 and it was warm(2C), dry and more importantly not windy at all. I recommend that you have a good ordnance survey map with you at this stage as we did. We left the car at the bottom of Fairhill street in Ballycastle and followed the hill climb up towards Drumavoley and then turned right up past the cell phone mast, at this point we discovered at the fork in the road earlier we had chosen left incorrectly but rather than back tracking quite a steep climb we crossed the fields and met up with the track again and walked the top path in Ballycastle Forest. The map told us that we should go down to the road from here and follow it until Breen Wood but as we prefer soft fields underfoot rather than tarmac we choose to follow the route we had taken previously to climb Knocklayde and when we reached the edge of the tree line we followed it south around the circumference of the mountain in the general direction of Breen Wood. As you can see from the photos we made a wise choice, apart from the many fences to straddle,  the views were spectacular across the Antrim plateau. At this stage we were down to t-shirts only as the sun was beating down so we stopped for tea and grub.

We strolled on until we could see the entrance of Breen Wood on the Glenshesk road at which point we went straight down the mountainside. We walked up through Breen Wood, the only deciduous wood for miles which in spring wields an impressive collage of flora. It's another steep climb but once again the view backwards at Knocklayde is quite impressive. The trail takes us over the summit of Bohilbreaga and Corvarrive and then down into upper Glenshesk past McQuillan's Grave. The trail is reasonably well marked although it trails the river for quite a bit making it easy to follow. It's about 2pm so we stopped for lunch in an old ruin, sausages and bacon never tasted so good. The trail follows the Glenshesk river back into the forest and the view from this point is pretty cool as you can see. We finished up back on the road that takes you back down into the village of Magherahoney, this is important to know our phones didn't get  signal up there so we had to walk 2 miles along the road before we got a signal to call for our lift home.

All in all a grand 17 mile hike that certainly pushed it to the limit but what great views. Take good waterproofs and footwear if you decide to do this one!