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Latest Walk Reports below:

Omagh Town

On Sunday 12 th April 2015 West Tyrone Ramblers completed Omagh Town Circuit (Part 2). Seventeen walkers took part on a 7.5 mile ramble around Omagh Town. We departed from the Leisure Centre turning left, down the Gortin Road, and turning right over Sedan Avenue. We had a stop at the Jail Square where a brief history of the location was given and then proceeded left, over Brookmount Road, noting the shortest street in Ireland (or the world) as we passed it!? We took the slip path up behind the James Street Fold and across to Fairmount (Gallows) Hill. A brief history of this location was also given as we strolled along the Embankment to the rear of the houses and across the bridge leading to Sacred Heart College and Sunningdale. Exiting from Sunningdale we walked right up the Kevlin Road and turned left into Townview Avenue. We took the bicycle/pedestrian walk way through Festival Park and crossed through the tunnel under the GNR (A5) road to Johnston Park. At the top of Scarffes Entry we turned right on to High street, through Market Street Arcade to the car park at the rear of Supervalu. We crossed the Dublin Road and along the front of the library to King James’s Bridge, and again a brief local history of this area was imparted. We proceeded to the Crevenagh 'Park and Ride' and crossed over to walk up Winters (Bells) Lane to the Hospital Road. We continued right up the Hospital Road to the T&F Hospital and grounds. We strolled around the building and again considered the history of the site. We left the grounds of the T&F Hospital and crossed to Cranny Bridge where we had light refreshments and then walked along the Camowen River path to the Lovers Retreat. Crossing the Cookstown Road we walked out to the Killyclogher Burn and down the Old Mountfield Road into the Leisure Centre grounds of the Arleston Road.. We finished with tea/coffee and scones in the 'Gally' restaurant.

Slieve Gallion

On a frosty Saturday morning thirty ramblers arrived at Carndaisy Church, which was the starting point for the latest WTR walk. They donned gaiters and appropriate gear as the pathway leading to the base of Slieve Gallion was quite mucky after the recent snow and rain. On crossing a small burn along the side of the mountain they came to a snow-covered lane. The walk to the top was pleasant, as by this stage, the sun had come out. They continued onwards to reach the mast at the summit. Here it was bitterly cold and windy so they had a welcome lunch-break in a sheltered spot on the eastern side overlooking Lough Neagh. Making their way to the cairn they were treated to spectacular views over the Sperrins and the surrounding area. The return journey to the starting point was through open mountain via a different route.

Ballykelly Bank

We visited  Ballykelly Bank on Saturday Jan 10th where 17 Ramblers proved the two old sayings 'Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained' and 'There is no such thing as Bad Weather just Bad Clothing'. Despite very bad weather forecasted the Walk Coordinator  insisted apart from heavy winds the local forecast for the walk was not that bad. Though after leaving the Drummond Hotel in Ballykelly the heavy hailstone shower on the approach to the Foyle Estuary had many members of the group wondering what was in store. However this was the worst weather of the day and even though the Scenic Binevenagh mountain occasionally kept disappearing in front of them the Walkers were kept dry.When the sun was out the Northern Sperrins and Benbradagh (a recent outing for the ramblers) could be clearly seen.  Most of the walk was down below sea level on land reclaimed from the Foyle protected by sea walls and pumphouses. A highlight of the day was the driver of the Belfast to Derry train responding to our waves by hooting the train's horn. At the entrance to the former RAF Ballykelly a member of the party told the tale when she landed there from Liverpool on that infamous flight the pilot confused Ballykelly with Eglington. After seven and a half miles the ramblers rewarded themselves with Hot Ports and Coffees in the Drummond.

Central Sperrin Way

Our club started the new year with a very enjoyable walk over the Central Sperrins. Nineteen of the experienced hill walkers set off for the Glenelly valley. To start our walk we were treated to home made scones, cream and home made jam by Claire. What a treat and surprise that was to start off the new year.
Off we went in great spirits climbing gently on reasonably good track, then after a few miles we entered the mountain area. The views were stunning in all directions and we were blessed with good weather. Some of our walkers were able to identify houses and farms where their ancestors hailed from. Our views took in Dart and Sawel, to our left and Mullaghcarn to our right. The country side displayed beautiful colour and scenery throughout the walk.
Eventually we settled down to our usual picnic in a well chosen sheltered spot. We then picked up a lane which brought us down to the valley where a lane led us onto the tarred road. The walk provided a great variety of terrain and the walkers were in their element. What a way to start of the new year.
Of course no walk is complete without a visit to a pub or restaurant.
We visited Mossey's bar in Gortin where Ann Marie had a feast and a lovely coal fire waiting for us

Ballygawley & Omagh

The last two walks of the West Tyrone Ramblers were local 'C' walks.  On the 13th December our walk was the 'Branny Ramble' which begins at U.S. Grants Ancestral Homestead outside Ballygawley.  The total length of the walk was 7.5 miles, over road and pathway.  A particular 'hard' frost the night before posed little problems for the 22 walkers.  It was a very scenic countryside walk, with a few hills but nothing overly demanding.  Visibility was very good, and from the 'Rath' at the top of Branny Hill, the nine counties of Ulster are visible.  Tea and coffee was served in Askins, Ballygawley where another link with an American President was marked.  The walkers got to sit in 'The Clinton Seat'!  On Tuesday 24th May 2001 William Jefferson Clinton called into 'Askins' en route to Dublin for tea and refreshments.  


On Sunday 21st December 25 walkers completed a 9 mile walk of 'Omagh Town Circuit'. The walk departed from Omagh Leisure through Grange Park, out to Strathroy and over the new pedestrian bridge to the Derry Road via Hunters Crescent.  We walked down to the Derry Road Roundabout, and then up the pedestrian pathway running adjacent to the GNR road and ending at Thornville Park.  We crossed the Brookmount Road, down Abbey Street and over Castle Street, into River Row. We walked along the River Path and crossed the bridge behind the South West College to bring us out at the bus depot.  We crossed Drumragh Bridge and past the Memorial Gardens back into the Lower end of the Leisure Centre car park to the boating/bowling end.  We followed the Riverside path up to the Arleston Road turning right, and then at the Cookstown road turning left out past the Lovers Retreat to Cranny Bridge and returning by the Riverside Path.  Leaving the Lovers Retreat via Donnelly's Holm we walked to 'the Laurels' at the 'Swinging Bars' roundabout.  We entered the Leisure Centro Park from the Campsie footbridge.  We had tea and scones at the Leisure Centre.


Crom Castle

Members departed on October 18th from Omagh Leisure Centre at 9.30am, driving via Fintona, Tempo and Maguiresbridge to Lisanaskea, meeting at Courtney's garage. Following the signs for Crom Estate, 41 members prepared for a ramble around this National Trust property.

The weather was dry, gusts of wind from time to time,mainly blue skies with an occasional threat of rain. Starting from the Visitor Centre car park, the members followed the tract leading to Cullaghs Wood, an area rich in fine stands of oak and sycamore. After following the circular path on the right and returning back to the gate at the parkland, members walked across the pasture, following the line of Chestnut trees to the entrance driveway. The path continued to the Old Castle and the Yew Trees. Crom Old Castle built in 1610, withstood two sieges and later destroyed by an accidental fire in 1764. The ramblers spent some time exploring the ruins and Yew Trees, reputed to be the oldest in Ireland.

From the Old Castle the group made there way along the track to the Boat House, designed in 1841 by Edward Blore and for many years home of the Lough Erne Yacht Club. Members took the opportunity to take photos and enjoying the spendid views across the lough towards Crichton Tower on Gad Island. Continuing over the White Bridge unto Inisherk Island, the group visited the Walled Garden before arriving at a jetty and the chance to stop for lunch.

After refreshments the group followed the path waymarked around Inisherk Island, a woodland with a rich variety of plants and animals, deer were spotted on two occasions, also remarkable quantities of acorns. After 3 klms the track emerged from the woodland at the White Bridge. Continuing over the bridge to the Summer House, then to the Ice House and Turf House the path turned towards Crom Castle, an opportunity to take more photographs. Crom Castle being the location for the BBC series “Blanding” Contiuing along the path with The Green Lough on the right members finished at the Visitors Centre, after a 6.5 miles ramble, with a cream tea in the tea rooms.

Slieve Donard , Mournes.

On Saturday 4th Oct 19 members of West Tyrone Ramblers including 9 Donard 'Virgins' met at Donard Park in Newcastle. After freshly made scones in the car park we were all ready to Climb Ulster's highest mountain at 850m from Sea Level.We started through the Forest Park along the Glen River to the open mountain near the Ice House.The views for the rest of the day were second to none in mostly blue skies.We split the group so everyone could ascend at their own pace.After regrouping for a lunch we all thought we richly deserved we headed off down the mountain towards the Quarry on the eastern side. Though this route was off the tourist track and more difficult is was a much easier descent on the knees. We  then finished the ramble through the forest . We then headed to the Percy French for refreshments and tales of a most memorable day.


Benbradagh, Sperrins


Sunday 28th Sept saw 15 Ramblers head off to Benbradagh in the Walk's leaders home county of Derry.We were blessed with sunshine and the moorland had benefitted from the long dry period. Spectular views were on offer all day , Binevenagh , Lough Swilly and the Antrim Hills.At lunch we were entertained by the action of ravens and paragliders.We returned via the old War Communciations base which proved to be very interesting..

 Loughall Apple Orchards

On Saturday 20th September our ramble was a most enjoyable outing where 33 Ramblers were treated to a unique trip around the orchards of Loughgall. Starting at Loughgall Country Park we followed a path around the golf course.  We then passed an old lime kiln and made our way out of the park and up to a country Manor House which is now used as an Agricultural government building. Next we passed by some gardens containing colourful shrubs. We visited various apple orchards including a processing plant where Bramley apples are graded and packaged and sent off for making apple pies and for cider making. At the final orchard many ramblers took the opportunity to pick some cooking apples. Once back at the Country Park we were treated to one of the finest teas we have ever had, courtesy of Gladys and Pauline. Everyone enjoyed eating in the open air and basking in the sunshine. Tales of the day were discussed and we all agreed that it had been a perfect day out.

Slieve Bearnagh , Mournes

   On Saturday 6th September  20 club ramblers (2 deserters were seen heading off on bikes) plus 4 fellow walkers from St Agnes Parish walking club in Belfast tackled Slieve Bernagh in the Mournes. One of the most distinctive of the Mourne Mountains , Slieve Bernagh , with it's granite tors on its summit at a height of 739m (2,400 ft). The fourth largest in the Mournes (After Donard , Commedagh and Binnian).


Commencing at the Trassey Road Car park, the route started with the Trassey track main up mainly of loose stones and rock , for abour 25km uphill past Clonachullion wood  which tooks us onto the Mourne mountain terrain , to the Trassey river ford which sits below the Hares Gap at which point we had our first view of our target along with  Slieve Meelmore. Crossing the ford our route turned right up a steep rack through the disused Mourne Grantie Stone Quarry along the track past the bernagh slabs to the stile located on the Mourne Wall at the coll between Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Bernagh

  After crossing the stile the route  traverses left across the steep slope of Slieve Bernagh rising gradually and then engages in a steep climb up to the summit tor of Bernagh; here many walkers felt a sense of achievement. Others went off for further challenges climbing the tors while the remainder were content with their lunch and the amazing views of the other mountains in the Mournes such as Doan and Donard and the reservoirs.


Exiting the tor along the rear flank of Slieve Bernagh we traversed the rear slope along sheep paths until it connects with the Mourne wall and the path which leads down the wall to the Hares gap. This is a steep descent down broken ground  where the great comradeship between members was  evident , where the less technical gifted members of the art of descending were  ably encouraged by the walk coordinators to a successful and safe descent. Crossing the Stile the ramblers walked high along the side of hare's gap then back along another part of the Trassey path to the cars before well deserved refreshments at the Downshire Hotel  , Hilltown. A very enjoyable day indeed..

Gortmore , Magillian.

An excellent turnout of 34 Ramblers on Saturday August 23rd were awarded with excellent clear views when they walked on the Binevenagh plateau overlooking Magillian Poiint and Benone strand. Parking (and also lunching) at the scenic Gortmore Viewing point the ramblers walked in total nearly 6 miles divided into two loops.


 The longer morning loop gave initially great views of Lough Foyle and the Inishowen Penisula walking through fields on the cliff top.. Then after veering around Eagles Hill the Scottish Islands of Islay and Jura were clearly visible. Then the ramblers were treated to superb views of Mussenden Temple .the Bann Estuary and Fair Head. after visiting a waterfall the walkers then returned via a quiet road to the picnic tables and the Statue of MANANNAN MCLIR, THE CELTIC GOD OF THE SEA For More info click here


 The afternoon loop took the walkers in the opposite direction facing Binevenagh mountain again along field and cliff top to Hell's Hole ( a distinctive gulley). The ramblers then again returned via a quiet road before gatecrashing a wedding reception in Ballykelly on the way  home.

Dart and Sawel  , Sperrins.

 On Sunday 17th August 23 ramblers left the old Sperrin Heritage Centre which is now the new base for the invaluable North West Mountain Rescue Team. Their first challenge of the day was Dart Mountain . With mixed weather conditions , including the need to shelter for a while the ramblers , made their way with a 400 metre elevation ,  after an initial laneway ,  over mainly rough heather and coarse grass , to the summit of Dart at 619m. While many of the Sperrins have a roundness to them Dart has something approaching a defined summit with a craggy peak. 

  Following lunch in the shelter of crags on Dart , the Ramblers then headed onto the Col linking Dart with its more famed neighbour Sawel. The winds were very strong and the group had to battle their way to the summit made out of crystalline limestone. At 678m (2224ft) Sawel is the highest mountain in the Sperrins and the county Tops of both Tyrone and Derry.


  The group then followed a fence down back to the Glenelly Valley. After a 7.5 mile walk taking 6 hours , including stops , the Ramblers then headed to Gortin for some well deserved refreshments after conquering the highest peak in the Sperrin on  the same day the region featured on BBC's Countryfile programme.

Spelga Dam Circuit , Mourne Mountains ( Described by one commentator thus " The summits of the western Mournes may lack the gradeur of their famous eastern cousins, but they do not lack for quality walking or views")

Nine members of West Tyrone Ramblers arrived at the carpark at Spelga Dam to begin their ramble around the nearby seven peaks. The leader had chosen a route which encompassed a walk on the lower mountains giving amazing views across the seven mile wide Kingdom of Mourne.

Leaving the carpark, crossing the B27 the group followed the grassy track to the top of Slievenmuck(500m). From the top there were really good views south across the Spelga Reservoir and north east across the flanks of Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg. The bright sunny day adding to the clarity of the views. The members then descended in an easterly direction to a small carpark on the Slievenaman Road. One mountain conquered and six to go, the ramblers set out along the track that took them on an ascent around the northern flank of Ott Mountain to the coll between Slieve Lough Shannagh and Carn Mountain. Meeting the Mourne Wall at this point and following it south west to the summit of Carn Mountain(588m). The group again had some amazing views into the heart of the Silent Valley and their next objective Slieve Muck with it steep, craggy eastern face.

From the summit of Carn the group followed the wall due west, dropping into a boggy coll before veering round to the south to begin the long, gradual ascent of Slieve Muck. The members had time to enjoy the ever-expanding views of the high Mournes, SlieveDonard,Commedagh, Binnian,Bearnagh and the Brandy Pad. At the top of Slieve Muck there was a lunch break, at the junction of the Mourne and Batts Wall. A nearby triangulation piller 

(674) is the eighth summit in the Mournes, and the views are again dramatic. The members meet another group of ramblers the Spartan Red Sox out on a similar walk.

Continuing on their way the West Tyrone Ramblers crossed the wall using the stile and followed the wall west. The slope soon steepens until it reaches the B27 road again, at this point there was the opportunity for members to cut short the day and return to the cars. The weather conditions perfect and the members keen to continue, they crossed the road and continued to follow the wall up the northeast shoulder of Pigeon Rock mountain.(534m), called after the rock pigeons which favoured it.

Leaving the small summit cairn behind and the Wall the group went northwest towards the summit of Cock Mountain, with its cluster of rock outcrops. Descending the group enjoyed the fine views down the Rocky River valley towards Hilltown, following a faintly worn path to the coll between Pigeon and Cock. Another break for something to eat was welcome, also a time to reflex on the fabulous views and prepare for the final two ascents of the day.

The group began the climb towards the summit of Cock Mountain(505m) in brilliant sunshine, blue skies and the dazzling passing white clouds. The top of Cock is marked by slabs of exposed rocks, a cairn and great views across the summit tors of Hen Mountain below. Resting for a time on the summit to enjoy the achievement, looking all around at the circuit walk and ahead to the finish, with the carpark in view the members gradually began the descend to the subsidiary summit of Slievnamiskan.

Continuing down more steeply, due north towards the rocky course of the River Bann as it flows through Splega Pass. The group cross the river on the footbridge and then up the steep rocky slope to the Hilltown-Kilkeel road.

Turning right and following the road uphill for about a kilometre to return to the carpark and the finish. The walk had been 8 miles, in 6 hours and an ascent of 928metres.

A marvelous day, with amazing views. One member remarked " the best walk they had been on in the Mournes"

Trostan , Antrin Hills ( As seen through the eyes of our walk coordinator that day !!)

Last Sunday 35 of us set off for Co Antrim (hi!) to climb Trostan mountain. The weather was good and the sun shone as we ascended to the top of Trostan. From there we looked across to the Mull of Kintyre (damn Paul McCartney) and farther up the coast we could see the Western Highlands. Looking southwards on our own little island we could see the Mountains of Mourne and westwards the Sperrins.

We did not see England but we probably didn't try very hard to see it. I don't know why. (Editor Note-that's not exactly how i remember it. We all admired England and talked of visiting it for our 25th celebrations next year)

From Trostan we went to the summit of Slieveanee enjoying a much needed rain shower on the way. From there we headed back down the mountain to our luxury hired coach which took us to the hotel for tea and coffee and buns and biscuits followed by lashings of beer and spirits. (Certainly don't remember that)

What a great day out!

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Streedagh Beach, Co Sligo

A group of 20 West Tyrone Ramblers left Omagh to travel to the village of Grange Co. Sligo to begin their Saturday walk. Parking their cars near the Armada Monument. The walk began with a visit to the nearby Monument, commemorating the 1588 Armada of 130 ships that left Lisbon to invade England, after being replused and storms the ships fled for home via Scotland and Ireland,only 80 ships returned, three ships driven aground near Streedagh.

The ramblers proceeded along the road to the strand, on reaching the parking area for surfers the group followed a track along the back of the sand dunes for 7 kms. The track followed the high tide mark, with spectatular views of the Benbulbin and the Dartry Mountains to their left. The tide was well out and the walkers reached Conors Island, for the planned lunch break. Eating lunch in brilliant sunshine looking towards Mullaghmore and Classiebawn Castle prominent on the skyline.


After the rest it was time to begin the return journey, walking over the sand dunes to the Atlantic shore. The ramblers were confronted with a natural stone breakwater of white boulders, an awesome sight, contrasting with the yellow strand,blue of the Altantic and green dunescape covered in wild flowers,in particuler the blue of the Hare Bell. A truly memorable vista.

The walk continued along the strand back to the Lifeguard Station, members taking the opportunity to off boots and walk the sea edge. Again there were fabuloues views across Doegal Bay to Sleive League, St Johns Light house, Barnes Gap and the Blue Stacks. After walking 14km, in beautiful sunny weather with memorable views, the ramblers returned to theirs cars and stopped off in Grange for tea, coffee and scones on the way home.


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Arroo

Sunday July 20th saw approx 20 ramblers tackle Arroo mountain in the Dartry range. It was a ramble that had a bit of everything. Parking just outside the Village of Kinlough in the County of Leitrim they were soon on  a well defined lane going. Once it had  petered out they took different approaches crossing a stream and following it   uphill as it forms an obvious and deep gully. They continued up to the high  bank to the gully's end and then  along a fence before crossing over a stile. They  then picked up a small but obvious gully in the hillside and follow it up to, and then through, an eroded area of peat hags . On the ascent they had good views of Mullaghmore. After ascending  the crest the ramblers went along the broad flat top to the trig pillar and a substantial cairn . It was here that they took lunch with  fine views North East over Lough Melvin and North to the Bluestacks. To the West  Truskmore, the highest of the Dartry Mountains, could be seen clearly with its RTE transmitter. Taking a different route back (pictured at the top) the ramblers completed over eight miles before retreating to Earley's in Kinlough for welcome refreshments.


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Western Mournes
July 6th saw 15 eager ramblers having an early start as they traveled to the Western Mournes. Parking at the discreet Ford car park the walkers were soon on the ascent climbling  their first mountain of the day , Pigeon Rock. This offered the first glorious view of the vast landscape including the iconic Slieve Binnian. Once this first ascent was completed the Ramblers made their way across the summit to the Mourne Wall. This was built between 1904 and 1922 by the Belfast Water Commissioners to enclose the water catchment in the Mournes. They then followed the wall down the mountain before they climbed Slievemoughanmore. Lunch was taken at the summit. The weather had been fairly warm but scattered with showers with saw the ramblers frequently putting on then removing their waterproofs. After Lunch they made their way down to Windy Gap where 2 members decided to practice the importance of  having escape routes and made their way along a mountain pass leaving the remaining hearty souls to climb the steep Eagles Mountain. This at 638m was the highest point of the day. On the descent the weather changed and thunder and lighting was followed by heavy rain and hailstones which tested the resolve of the walkers. However a change in the weather and another tea break beside Pigeon Rock River the Ramblers were again their cheery selves as they made their way on the final mountain of the day , Slievemageogh. After 6 1/2 hours and over 8 miles the group finally made it back to Ford car park after a great day.

West Mournes 1

West Mournes 2

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Burren Forest
On the 22 June, 22 eager walkers headed off to the border towns of Belcoo and Blacklion. They then travelled towards Burren Forrest which is approximately five miles south of Blacklion. This area has been developed recently by Cavan district council and the local community and provides a beautiful walking area. The walkers visited the new interpretative centre and then headed off to a specific viewing area where they were able to identify the hills, lakes and places of interest surrounding this area. The walk included some new path ways, gentle mountain terrain concluding with a long trek through the forrest where the walkers visited some very interesting geological sites. Of course a welcome picnic was enjoyed at an appropriate viewing point. After returning to the car parking area the walk leaders informed the group they had some more walking and sightseeing to do. It was then off to Moneygashel where we visited an ancient megalithic tomb and pre famine houses. This proved to be a very interesting and exciting discovery for the walkers. Not satisfied with this surprise we then travelled on to the famous Shannon Pot. The source of the longest river in Ireland. The Shannon river starts here and empties into the sea at Limerick. This was an interesting conclusion to a walk which had everything, good walking, beautiful scenery, history galore and fine weather. The evening ended in the Customs House in Belcoo for welcome refreshments.

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Burren 1

Burren 2

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Navigation Training
On Saturday 7 June Club members had the opportunity to attend a Training Day covering Navigation Skills, First Aid and Emergency Evacuation procedures.   The first part of the day was a theory session delivered in the spacious and comfortable surroundings of the club room in Healy Park.   Training focussed on how to combine the use of map and compass to create Expedition Route Cards in the style developed by the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.   The need for First Aid Kits on a walk and escape routes were emphasised.   The team who led the training also demonstrated the use of bivouacs and encouraged walk co-ordinators to add these to their kit lists when going out with the club.   After lunch the group moved to the Gortin Glens where members were given the opportunity to put into practice the techniques rehearsed in the classroom session.   It was in all a worthwhile exercise, much appreciated by those who attended.
INdoor TrainingOutdoor Training

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Walking Weekend, 23 - 25 May, Co Mayo
The Club walking weekend, based in Ballina Co Mayo, provided 47 ramblers with opportunities for a variety of walks in varied scenery.  The most ambition was an 8 hour, 11 mile trek through the Nephin Beg Mountains on Saturday which was tackled by some 17 walkers.   The remainder of the party opted for a  coastal walk in the vicinity of Carrowtege, no less challenging - just a bit shorter.  On Sunday the party divided into two groups - one going up the highest mountain in Connaught, the other for a gentle outing along the coast, taking in local history and geography.  In all it was a very enjoyable weekend, made memorable by good planning, good company and good weather.   More photos of the weekend can be found on the club's Facebook page.
Walking Weekend Group BCoast Walk

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Glenariff, Antrim Glens
On the latest outing, seventeen West Tyrone Ramblers met at Laragh Lodge in Glenariff , one of  nine beautiful glens in Co. Antrim. The 7.5 mile ramble started off up the recently refurbished wooden walkways which led  past spectacular waterfalls. From here the group moved on through the forest and reached the southern bank of Glenariff. This was the perfect spot for lunch. The ramblers relaxed in the warm sunshine taking in the striking views across the valley. Waterfoot and Cushendun could be seen in the distance and the Mull of Kintyre on the Scottish mainland was also visible. After lunch the ramblers began the descent over open bogland crossing a stone wall on the way. On completing the circuit refreshments were enjoyed in Laragh Lodge before the long drive home

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Sl Binnian Mourne Mts
In the pocket pack of Mourne Mountain Walks familiar to many ramblers Slieve Binnian is described as "arduous" on account of the fact that is 11km long, reaches 747m at its highest point and includes a steep ascent and long descent.   However for eleven club members it proved to a most enjoyable outing in clear breezy weather with only a couple of short sharp showers.  The walk travels the length of Binnian's summit ridge and provides sweeping vistas of the surrounding peaks.  The photo shows Ben Crom's cliff's and steep scree slopes as well as the dark waters of the resevoir which fill the valley.  The descent from the windswept tors which mark the summit offers spectacular views of the coastal plain with its immense patchwork of stone-walled fields.   On a fine day it is easy to appreciate why this is such a popular circuit with those who enjoy being out in the hills.

Annalong ValleyBen Crom

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Bragan Walk, Co Monaghan: [Saturday 3 May 2014]
The Bragan Walk is entirely on minor country roads where one can still get the sense of walking over remote upland bog while remaining on firm footing.  However to get a better feel for this lovely landscape the party, comprised of 19 club members, departed from the way-marked trail and took to the hills.  While the going was soft it was not soggy but sufficiently challenging to bring a touch of "B" to this very accessible "C" grade walk covering 8.5 miles on the southeast slopes of Slieve Beagh.   As shown below the party puased for a group photo at the Penal Cross.   Interest was also shown in the modern  method of  cutting turf and the specialised equipment now used  to havest peat.
Penal Cross BraganTurf Cutter Bragan

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Curraghchosaly, Sperrin Mts.
Starting at the History Park on the Omagh to Gortin Road, the ramblers made their way on a beautifully sunny morning through the west part of Gortin Glen Forest Park to the  summit of Curraghchosaly, 416 metres.  Although this was shown on the programme as a "B" walk, the going was easy since most of it was on paths and the short sections which were off the beaten track did not trouble any of the 27 walkers making this ramble part of their Easter weekend.  The higher parts of the  route afforded lovely views over the glens while the lower sections throught the forest revealed a carpet of delicate wood sorrel just bursting into flower.  The ramble was a reminder that some of the nicest walks in the Province are on our doorstep.

Curraghchosaly 1Curraghchosaly 2

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