Binevenagh Clifftop Walk 1

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Binevenagh, at 385m high, isn’t the biggest mountain, or hill more accurately, but it is fairly isolated in a flat landscape, and dominates the surrounding countryside, prominant on the skyline for miles around. I have photographed it many times from a distance, with the cliffs on its western edge being particularly impressive, even from afar. Earlier this month, I finally made for the summit. I wanted to visit the cliffs and summit, but also get a good walk around the base of the cliffs looking up at their rugged heights, so I took an unconventional approach to this hill. There is a road from the east which goes right up to the flat top, with a car park near the cliffs. I decided to use this to access the top, and when I had finished walking up there, to take the car back down to the bottom and round to the western edge. I intended to walk to the bottom of the cliffs from there, eventually almost reaching the top again from the southwest, easing my conscience a little at this “cheating” by driving to the top. This approach would allow me to see the greatest possible amount of Binevenagh in the time available.

Parking the car, I initially moved away from the cliffs to a small height just to the south, giving a good view over the lough found on the flattish top.

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I then headed north, straight for the cliffs, indicated by this sign.

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The sign is definitley not a case of “health and safety gone mad”, as the drops are pretty much vertical in most places, all the way to sea level. I gingerly moved as close to the edge as I dared to peer over at the ground far below. In many places there were good views to the cliffs themselves farther along.

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There were also impressive views across Lough Foyle to Inishowen in Co. Donegal and its distant mountains.

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Looking further west along Lough Foyle, and the River Roe entering the sea.

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The view north to Benone strand.

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And towards Magilligan and the narrow entrance to Lough Foyle.

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Looking down on the flat countryside far below.

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I initially went to the east to the farthrest point of the cliffs in that direction, then started walking anti-clockwise to the west taking in the constantly changing views in the distance, and of the cliffs themselves.

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At this point, with extreme care, you can climb out on to a rocky area very close to the edge, which made me feel very brave without much actual risk.

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The mountain edge began to curve round in a southwesterly direction now, opening up different views, and I’ll continue the walk in a separate post. The forest that can be seen in the photo above would form part of my later walk at the bottom, through it initially, and then after emerging from the trees, along the line of the cliffs, ascending all the way.

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