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6 October 2002 - 13 October 2002


6 October 2002

Leitrim Lodge Car Park - Rocky (col)- Moughanmore (col) – Path below Eagle – Windy Gap – Leitrim Lodge Car Park.

This is the beginning of the winter programme. When we were nearing the car park, we drove through low cloud and heavy drizzle. Fortunately, on reaching the start point the weather had cleared. It turned out to be a dry, mild day except for a cool breeze on exposed parts of the mountain.

15 members participated and they enjoyed being in the Southern Mournes.

We walked down from the car park, through the gate and on to the path between Hen, Cock and Rocky. Soon we went cross- country and up to Rocky col and eventually through the col between Slieve Moughanmore and Pigeon. After some difficult terrain we stopped on granite slabs, with a view over Kilkeel to the Isle of Man, for lunch.

Then we continued southeastwards, along a rocky path to join the path which runs along the bottom of Eagle. From here we climbed up to Windy Gap. Eagle, with a cap of cloud, stood majestic on our left.

From Windy Gap we descended over some rough ground and, as the leader described it, ‘poorly defined paths’. After crossing Rocky River at its junction with Rowan Tree River we had a break before continuing down towards Leitrim Lodge Car Park. The light was clear and the rocks and outline of Cock stood out on the landscape.

We felt that we had had a challenging walk over bog, rough terrain and across several streams. It had been 5 hours since we left the cars and we had climbed a total of 1900 feet.

Everyone agreed that it had been an interesting, varied walk and of course accompanied by good ‘craic’.




Cloghy - KearnyQuintin Castle – Millin Cairn – St Cooey’s Wells

Distance approximately 9 miles

Twenty five club members assembled at the car park in Cloghy. A bright cool day with a threat of rain, which fortunately we avoided. It was a late start, around 11.30, with the tide already quite far out.

We set off South over the firm, wet, sand of the bay. Out to sea, on our left, the beacons on the North and South Rocks warned of the reefs that lie just off this section of the coast. The unusually high tides of the previous week had deposited a lot of seaweed on some of the smaller beaches. However the stretches of raised beach, built up of small flat stones, provided reasonable footing.

A short distance from Cloghy, we passed the ‘White House’, the remains of a 17th century fortified farmhouse.

Four miles down the coast is Kearney village and our lunch stop. Kearney village is a small group of cottages that were the homes of fishermen and women in the 1800’s. One of the fishing boats had an all women crew. The village is a National Trust property and the cottages are rented on long term leases.

We continued by the shore to Quintin Castle, a 19th century ‘castle’ built around a 17th century tower house and currently being renovated as a holiday home. Taking the easy route, through the lower garden of the castle, we headed back to the beach and on to Millin bay.

Across the shore road and a few yards inland from Millin bay is Millin cairn, a Neolithic burial site. Not much to see at the site but a nice view over the bay, with the Isle of Man on the horizon, and a pleasant spot for our tea break.

The final two mile stretch to the Wells was road walking passing Millin Bay Road where the Seal Research Centre is located. Dr. Susan Wilson at the Centre is leading a team investigating the effects of pollution in the Caspian Sea upon its seal population.

The waters of St Cooey’s Wells, there are three of them, are reputed to have healing powers and, judging by the bits of rag tied to branches, are still being visited by pilgrims.

We arrived just after 4 o’clock and had a look around this 7th century site before driving back to Cloghy.


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