Sunday Special – Dublin Mountains Way, Ireland


Exploring a region by foot can be one of the most worthwhile ways to see it. This is certainly not limited to strolling through city centres. Walking and hiking is an activity enjoyed by many, from easy hikes spanning a few hours to ones that are strenuous and require days to finish. The payoff is exercise, breathing in nature and some phenomenal views. 

Dublin Mountains Way, only a mere 8 km / 5 miles from Dublin was named one of the most scenic walks in the world by Barry Stone in his book 1001 Walks You Must Take Before You Die (2015)The 43 km / 26 mile trail winds from easterly Shankill through to Tallaght in the west. Although it is considered a moderate to difficult hike that can take anywhere from 1 – 3 days it has been divided into three sections that can be done at any pace.  The trail was completed and opened in 2009 by the Dublin Mountains Partnership (DMP) and they continue to maintain and upkeep the paths. Their website offers descriptions of the routes, downloadable .pdf maps as well as event listings, transit information and “Leave No Trace” material.  The DMP also have also set up mountain biking routes, assembled  bouldering sites, introduced wheelchair orienteering on way-marked trails and manage conservation and upkeep of the area. As with any activity, make sure you are prepared and let someone know where you are going. 

Ireland is a stunning country, arguably one of the world’s most beautiful. Why not see it’s beauty by roving and wandering along these paths?

The Scalp From Barnaslingan Hill

The Scalp (Barnaslingan) on the Dublin Mountains Way – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned By Joe King (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

hellfire_club_-_geograph-org-uk_-_273613

The Hell Fire Club along the Dublin Mountains Way – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by jasonrogers [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday’s Special Spot – Beachy Head


The south of England, near the town of Eastbourne is the remarkable chalk cliff of Beachy Head. Standing at 162 m/531 ft, it is the highest chalk cliff in Britain. The beautiful rock walls of chalk were formed almost 100 million years ago when the area was completely immersed in seawater. Land shifts and the end of the Ice Age resulted in the unusual white walls with amazing views of the English Channel.  The rough waves and misty air made the area a danger for seafarers. Demands for a lighthouse date back to the 1600s and in 1831 the Belle Tout Lighthouse was erected on the cliff itself. The thick mist resulted in poor visibility and it was eventually moved to the base of the Beachy Head cliff.

Beachy Head and Belle Tout Lighthouse, England

A number of trails and hiking paths are available in the area. Cycling trails abound as well.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – User Donar Reiskoffer

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – WALES COAST PATH


There are numerous ways to see a country – train, car, motorcoach tour, bicycle and even on foot. On foot you really see a place. You are taking your time and can see and experience the nuances of an area. Many many countries have hiking and walking trails to see specific areas. Some have pilgrimages that are as long as a country, such as the Camino de Santiago de Campostela. A shorter yet challenging backpacking/camping trail right here in B.C. is Vancouver Island’s 75km West Coast Trail. But there is only one route that covers an entire country and that is the Wales Coast Path that fully opened in 2012.

Wales Coast Path is a trail/footpath that begins in southeastern Chepstow and winds its way 1,400 km/870 miles up to northeastern Queensferry. Running mainly along the Welsh Coast it meanders through rocky coastlines, green hills, historic sites, numerous beaches, and quaint villages. Each region also has varied wildlife to be spied upon.

Near Wallog, Wales with West Coast Path along the coast

Near Wallog, Wales with West Coast Path along the coast

Due to the numerous towns and villages found on the coast you can walk/hike portions of the trail with ease of access. Perhaps for some, there is the challenge of walking the path in its entirety.

Photo credit – Wikimedia Commons – User OLU