Have you trekked the Moyle Way?
I am French and live in SW France. I do a lot of hiking in the Pyrenees, but I travel several times per year to Ireland and Britain. I got addicted to peak-bagging in 2012/2013, and I am aiming at completing the Irish +500m list (check the mountainviews.ie website), i.e. 570 summits, of which I have climbed 338 so far. I have also started collecting munros, wainwrights, Welsh peaks and other summits in Britain. Last year, I started getting interested in Challenge walks and completed the Blackstairs Challenge and the Fei Sheehy Challenge both in 2017 and 2018. Consequently, I became a member of the newly formed Na Sléibhte Hill-walking Club, an all-Irish club dedicated to challenge walks for self-navigators.
My favourite trek in Northern Ireland
I am definitely a Mourne enthusiast, but in May 2017 a friend and I decided to walk the full length of the Moyle Way, from Ballycastle to Waterfoot/Glenariff, in County Antrim. This route is about 45km long, with some 1080m total height gain, and it took us almost 11h30 to complete it.
The best time to go
Definitely spring -for the bluebells !!
This trek’s for you if…
…you like a bit of challenge, although it is usually completed over two days.
Why it’s my favourite
It may not be the most spectacular walk in Northern Ireland, but I particularly enjoyed the variety of landscapes and terrains: forest tracks and trails, moorland, gravel tracks and the odd bit of tarmac here and there. The trail is well-marked most of the way but requires some navigation skills in places. It can be completed either way, but I must say the finish on the beach at Waterfoot was something !! And although you get to cross a few roads and two forest parks, you hardly pass by a few houses, which means you are away from the crowds most of the time !!
Two cars are needed for this walk, even if you decide to split it in two days, as there is no accommodation available halfway, and I am not sure wild camping is allowed. The route takes in the summit of Slieveanorra (508m), where extensive views await; it also by-passes the summit of Trostan, Antrim’s highpoint at 550m, but I would strongly recommend to make the short detour if the weather is clear, as the views NE over the coast and Lurigethan Mountain from just below the trig point are really worth it !!
Check the article I wrote for the annual 2017 MountainViews newsletter (pages 47/48).
GPX track: https://mountainviews.ie/track/report/3454/
More details about this route here: http://www.walkni.com/walks/187/moyle-way/
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