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Sunday, 17 October 2010

Ramblers Trip to the Antrim Coast and Glens~~~Day One~~~Cranny Falls and Ballintoy Harbour

Back in 2009 I'd suggested a trip to the coast and glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland.After a recce in March, Recce I found a few interested parties amongst the Wigtownshire Ramblers,so I went ahead organising the trip.
The time has now come and thirteen of us are on the way to Sheep Island Hostel in Ballintoy for four nights.

(Between Scoop,Billy the Honda Kid and myself we took a lot of great pictures.All the pictures shown from this trip will be from one of us.Thanks to the others for allowing me to use them)

It's Monday the 11th of October.
I've checked the minibus over and I'm on the move.
I'll drive today and on the way home.'Cabby' who's got his own wheelchair access taxi firm will do the bulk of the driving.
After picking up all the bus passenger,we meet up with the car and it's five occupants and head for Cairnryan and the boat.
It's a great morning to travel.

Loch Ryan is wonderfully calm as we watch our boat coming in.

We'll have plenty of group pictures as the week goes on.

The notice above this seat states 'It is illegal to throw garbage overboard'.Is this a cryptic message to arguing couples or dysfunctional families.We certainly had a good laugh.
A quiz question in the above picture as well...who's silhouette is that?

The cafe service on the boat wasn't very good,but we weren't too bothered.
I took quite a few pictures on board,but nothing out of the ordinary.

A two hour sailing sees us reaching the port of Larne and we're soon disembarking.

A scenic drive north on the coast road takes us through Ballygalley and Glenarm.Reaching Carnlough we park up for refreshments where some of us eat at the Harbour Lights restaurant.
It's still a beautiful day.

Looks like they're getting ready for halloween in the Harbour Lights.
I've a walk planned here.I've never done it before,but talking to a few locals we learn the route and find it's well waymarked.

We're walking from the harbour to the Cranny Falls.Walk NI

A well defined path takes us up to Gortin Quarry.This is known as the Old Mineral Railway Path as the information board tells us.

It's a nice steady gradient and we're soon investigating the quarry.There are nice views back along the coast.

We soon reach the falls. Certainly worth the walk.I've just done a google image search and find it's been well photographed.

Following Scoop through a small opening in the safety fence got me a dirty shirt,she got a laugh.Spot the difference in the hue and tone of two different cameras on the waterfall.

Time to retrace our steps and continue our journey.
These two ladies aren't part of our group.I just liked the symmetry of the scene.

These two ladies are though and there's not much the matter with their symmetry either.

Back in the vehicles we continue along the coast road detouring round Garron Tower,passing through Waterfoot and Cushendall.

Continuing on over the moors above Cushendun and passing Loughareema, the vanishing lake, we made our way to Ballycastle where we stopped for provisions.

Five more miles gets us to Ballintoy and Sheep Island View.

The view is not only Sheep Island,but Rathlin beyond,and on clearer days Islay and Jura.

After we're all settled into our respective rooms and dorms we've still time to take a walk down to Ballintoy Harbour.
My kids used to love this place.It looks like these grown ups feel the same.

This house is known as Bendhu and it's history can be found here.

The sun's going down quickly,but the views are still magnificent.The high cliffs of Fair Head are standing proud to the east.

We talk to some fishermen.They've arrived this late for the sea bass.It's the best time to catch them we're told.

As the sun goes down on this tranquil setting,I've been talking to a local man about coastal paths.
Tomorrows walk is sorted.
Back up in the village we head for the Fullerton Arms for some splendid fare.Coffee and tea later at the hostel we reflect on the day.
It's gone well.


  1. Very Impressed with Fair Head and the whole area.Might be a bit late in the season now though for me to go.Summer anit long enough!

  2. We never made it to Fair Head,Tor Head or Murlough Bay.You could get beautifully lost in the stretch between Cushendun and Ballycastle.It's out of this world.
    Maybe next time.


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