Rising 600 feet above the sea, Fairhead is the most North-Easterly point of Ireland which creates Ballycastle bay. Follow Grey Man’s (Casan Fhir Liath) path which leads from Ballycastle beach along past Marconi’s Cottage and on to the base of Fairhead, it then climbs up the cliff side through a crevasse to reveal, a small lake known as Lough na Cranagh. Along the way you may see the wild goats that still roam the land. Lough na Cranagh, has a man-made island with a Crannog probably constructed in the early Christian period, the lough is also stocked with fish for the avid sportsman. There are two others Lough Doo and Lough Fadden which break up the barren landscape. All I can say is that the views are breath taking, speaking from personal experiences. You will require a sturdy pair of walking shoes and perhaps a raincoat, after all it is Irish weather!

The top is accessible by car so you can arrange to be collected or you can continue your trek around to Murlough Bay. The car park is within the Clachan, a small collection of cottages that years ago was inhabited by several families who would share and tend the surrounding land. The closer fields, known as the infields, were mainly cultivated for crops whereas the further off fields, known as the outfields, would have been used for either crops or grazing. The walk to Murlough Bay from the Clachan car park is a 1.5 hour round trek and dogs are not allowed due to farm animals. Be careful to follow the yellow markers and not to stray from the path as on occasion fog does come down and one could get dangerously lost.

If you’re a flower fancier you’ll appreciate the presence of the ‘Common Butterwort’ and ‘Sundew’ as well as heather and grass. Choughs and Peregrine Falcons are also a regular sight.

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