Treks

Climbing Slieve Binnian in Wintertime

Fancy taking on Slieve Binnian this winter? Here are some handy tips…

Hi, I am Darren Craig (30) and I work as an Application Specialist and Part Time Motorcycle instructor from Glengormley. In my spare time I am a keen outdoor activity enthusiast. There is not a weekend that goes by that I am not out doing something outdoor-related. Activities and interests include running (road and trail), hill walking, kayaking, cycling (road and trail) and when the weather is good, camping and hamocking. There is nothing better than being outdoors, no matter the weather.

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What makes the Slieve Binnian hike so enjoyable are the views – they are amazing and at times breath-taking. With Binnian being at the most southern point of the Mourne range and sitting at 750m tall, it is the perfect vantage point to sit back and look inland over all the rest of the peaks, as well as the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoir.

When looking out towards the sea on a clear day going from left to right it is possible to see Howth Head (Co.Dublin), the Isle of Man, parts of Scotland and also Wales, which makes this such a unique Northern Irish viewing point.

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This hike can be done all year round. I have done it in the snow, rain and blazing sunshine. Each brings its own challenges but all have been very enjoyable. With regards to views, believe it or not a clear crisp winter is the best time to be able to see everything, as you don’t get the heat haze that you would in the summer.

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Allow a good 4-5 hours including coffee stops/ lunch. The full loop of both Tors is roughly 7 miles. I would advise doing it clockwise, which means sticking to the wall on the left after you pass the farmers gate. You will then return to that fork later having come down past the Blue lough and Annalong Forest.

Enjoy your hike and make plenty of stops to take in the views – they are constantly changing throughout the hike. It is so easy to keep the head down and watch your footing as you fly up the mountain, but personally I feel you’re missing out on the best bit. Stop every 10 mins and just look around in awe of our beautiful country. Take plenty of photos but don’t live the experience through the lenses – trust me, the photos never do it justice.

You can follow Darren’s adventures on his Instagram page.

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