Parks and Open Spaces

May Walks Programme

Image of people walking in the countryside

To celebrate May as the National Month for walking, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have been working with a number of local walking clubs and walk providers to organise a range of different walking opportunities across the borough throughout the month of May.

Why not try one of our May Walks, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors that our borough has to offer.  From town walks to heritage trails, and something a bit more challenging for those who like to venture beyond the towns footpaths, our walks on offer throughout the month of May have something for everyone.

Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active, lose weight and become both physically and mentally healthier.  Our May Walks will give you the opportunity to feel all these benefits for yourself, while meeting and interacting with people in the process.  Some people enjoy walking on their own, but many enjoy the company while walking.  May Walks aims to signpost local people to existing walking groups and providers in our area.

With the support of local walking groups and providers, our May Walks programme offers the following walks throughout May 2018.  In order to get involved in each of these walks, please contact the lead contact listed at each walk.  All walks have fully qualified walk leaders and experienced guides as part of their group.

Larne

Group: All Stars Sports Academy

Contact: Mark McManus - M: 07968 715 650

Walk Details: 

  • Larne Promenade and Coast Road (Black Arch) - Sunday 20 May 2018.  Walkers should assemble at The Prom Café at 10.45am

This walk is one of the most picturesque in the borough, taking in the scenic views across the mouth of Larne Lough towards Islandmagee, and north up the Coast Road as far as Garron Point.

With the route reasonably flat and on pavement, this walk is one of the most inclusive for all abilities.

The route will make its way along the promenade and up on to the coast road as far as The Black Arch, before making its way back to the The Promenade once again.

Carnlough

Group: Carnlough Heritage Hub

Contact: Donald Bell - E: donald.bell@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

Walk details: 

  • Galbolly Hidden Village & Grounds of Garron Tower (St Killian’s School) Sunday 13 May 2018 from 2pm to 5pm

The hidden village of Galbolly and Garron Tower, today St Killian’s School, are two sites associated with the Londonderry family, which are not often open for public access.

This walking tour led by Seamus Milliken, and will cover the history, wildlife, inhabitants and culture of this beautiful area.

Walking boots essential, raincoat, poles or sticks recommend. Please bring snack and drinks to be eaten picnic style.

Glenarm

Group: Glenarm Walk Leaders

Contact: Maureen McAuley - E: info@glenarmtourism.org

Walk Details: 

  • Clachans & Townlands Hill Walk - Sunday 20 May 2018. Walkers should assemble at Glenarm Visitor Centre at 2pm

We are privileged to walk on private lands with real meaningful Townland names,  to long abandoned Clachans.   This walk  offers  the best of hillwalking over rugged grassland, not too steep and without the challenge of heather. The walk will last 2 ½--3hrs and include some wonderful Townland names  like Cullavully, as well as unusual flora and fauna.  Sturdy footwear must be worn and walking poles/ sticks are recommended.  Cost is £5pp including refreshments served picnic style after the walk.

Portglenone

Group: Portglenone Enterprise Group (PEG)

Contact: Kieran Adams - T: 028 2582 2060

Walk Details: 

  • Portglenone Forest – Wednesday 23 May 2018. Walkers should meet at Portglenone Forest Car Park (car park charge applicable) at 10am 

A beautiful time of the year to see the famous bluebells in full colour, this walk along the forest paths will meander through the beautiful Portglenone Forest providing respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life under the cover of the forest canopy. 

Sturdy footwear is required although the 2 mile route will stay on the well-established forest paths.  Please note that some sections of the route will have a steeper gradient of paths.

Islandmagee

Group: Islandmagee Community Dev. Association (ICDA)

Contact: Julie McFarland - M: 07725 083 784 or E: icdasecretary@btinternet.com

Walk Details: 

  • The Gobbins Café to Ballycarry Railway Halt - Friday 18 May at 10am.  Walkers should meet at The Gobbins Cafe

A gentle, 2 mile walk from The Gobbins Café at The Gobbins Visitor Centre on Middle Road, along Reid's Road and over the causeway at Lough Road with a chance to admire the scenery and local wildlife on the way towards Ballycarry Train Halt, returning by the reverse route.

A new walking group for the Islandmagee area, why not come along to this perfect introductory walk. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather.

 

Carrickfergus

Group: Carrickfergus Tours

Contact: George McGrand - M: 07850 695 479  W: www.carrickfergustours.com

Walk Details: 

  • Walk in the footsteps of Royalty, Knights, Soldiers even Highwaymen and Witches! – Tuesday 8th May 2018,  Assembling at Carrickfergus Castle Car Park (King William Statue) at 12.00pm.

Our 1h 30m walk will begin at the Castle Car Park beside the King William Statue, and will walk through the history of the town of Carrickfergus, visiting key sites on the way including Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus Museum and Town Hall, The Churchill Tank and the Town Walls at Joymount and Shaftesbury Park, St Nicholas Church and finishing at Dobbins Hotel.

A town steeped in history that is still visible today, our knowledgeable and enthusiastic walk leader George will talk you through the unfolding of these events over time. 

Our route will be flat and suitable for everyone.  A small donation of appreciation will be welcomed from participants at the end of our tour.

Woodburn

Group: The Woodburn Glen and Forests Regeneration Group / Woodland Trust

Contact: Yvonne Picken - E: basketweave7@hotmail.co.uk

Walk Details:

  • Woodburn Forest Walk and Litter Pick – Saturday 12 May 2018.  Walkers should meet at the Fisherman’s Carpark beside Woodburn Presbyterian Church for 10am.

The beautiful Woodburn Forest and Glen have some of the most peaceful and picturesque forest walks in the borough. 

The Woodburn Glen and Forests Regeneration Group are an enthusiastic and committed group of volunteers who give their time to ensuring that the forest and glen are clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy. 

This walk has a bit of a difference in that walkers will take part in one of the groups regular litter picks while walking. 

Equipment will be provided by the group – a great way to exercise and protect the local environment at the same time!  Please note that there are no toilet facilities in the forest. 

Ballymena

Group: Ballymena Walking for Health Group

Contact: Jo Higgins - M: 07749 041 540

Walk Details:

  • Portglenone - Wednesday 2 May 2018. Walkers should meet at Portglenone Marina Car Park at 10am for 10.30am walk
  • Cargan/Dungonnel Dam - Wednesday 9 May 2018. Walkers should meet at Dungonnel Dam at 10am for 10.30am walk

Improve your health and make new friends by participating in our short walks. 

All walks are led by our trained walk leaders and will last approximately 30mins to 90mins. 

Please note that dogs are not permitted on these walks.  Please ensure appropriate footwear and clothing is worn. 

For more information, contact Outdoor Recreation on T: 028 9335 8271 or E: niall.curneen@midandeastantrim.gov.uk