At the summit with the River Foyle in the distance.


Slievekirk is one of those small outliers of the Sperrins that I’ve been visiting occasionally recently when I’m short of time and need a hill that can be done quickly, or on the way back from work.  At 370m it isn’t big, and the views aren’t dramatic, although with the right light they could be pleasant, looking down over rolling fields, with glimpses of the River Foyle and the higher Sperrins.  I had dull enough weather, which didn’t lend itself to photography, the landscape looking a bit flat.  It was an enjoyable enough walk however, starting on Castlewarren Road which had already taken me high up the southern side of the hill.



Starting on the Castlewarren Road, already well up the hillside.




From there, I headed uphill, crossing a grassy field, then on to the open hillside, covered in rushes and heather.  It was a short walk to the summit, close to communication masts, and marked by a trig pillar.  The hill is dominated by a wind farm, with turbines scattered all around, just away from the summit.  There is also an access road for the turbines which runs up from the Bigwood Road west of the summit, passes near the top, and continues along the rounded ridge to another prominent rise about a kilometer away on the eastern side of the hill.



Approaching the long, rounded ridge of the summit.















Almost at the top, looking east along the length of the hill.



Looking across the Foyle, with Co. Donegal on the far bank.



At the trig pillar and summit.  I’m always pleased to find a trig pillar at the summit of these smaller hills as it somehow makes them feel more significant.



The top of the trig pillar where a theodolite would have been placed for triangulation and measurement.




Having visited the summit, I took the access road along to the eastern end of the hill.  There was barely any height lost or gained going along the length of the hill, and the gravel road made for easy walking.






In places, the hilltop had been cut into for the track, revealing a cross section of the underlying rock.



A bit of an exaggeration?



From the eastern end, I could just make out the distinctive Binevenagh mountain and Lough Foyle.



Looking back from the eastern end, along the access road to the summit in the west.



Another look towards Binevenagh, Lough Foyle and Inishowen in Donegal.



Going back down the hillside.




Not the most exciting hill, but a nice enough walk if you’re in the area anyway and have a little time to spare.


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