Walking Holidays

There are twelve varied walking routes provided for the use of visitors to the Baronscourt self-catering accommodation. In selecting and recommending these routes, which range from 1 ½ to 8 miles in length, it has been assumed that most visitors will enjoy walks which are not too demanding and can generally be completed within half a day.

The first six routes all start and finish at the Clock Tower, using the many attractive tracks which serve the core area of the Estate and, in two cases, extend to include more distant areas. Number 5 embraces the ascent of Bessy Bell, the splendid little mountain, with wind farm, on the eastern boundary. The other six walks are all within a reasonable driving distance of Baronscourt, generally in areas which offer other attractions for visitors, such as historic monuments or outstanding scenic beauty.

The Estate is rich in wildlife, with a herd of Sika deer, pheasants, red squirrels, badgers, rabbits and the occasional fox. Likewise, the three loughs are home to many kinds of waterfowl.

Forestry is an important activity; plantations have good diversity, with many fine old specimen trees. In mid-May the bluebells cover the ground whilst in autumn the foliage colours are superb.

To widen the appeal to walkers over a wide range of ability, steep ascents have been kept to a minimum and forest roadways, well-defined footpaths and short lengths of public road have been combined to provide good conditions underfoot, the only likely detriment being mud in periods of wet weather. It follows that the majority of the walks can be enjoyed without the need for expensive special footwear, although many will no doubt prefer to use boots in all cases, if only for the comfort on stony ground and/or waterproofing in wet weather.

In each case the introduction to the walk gives the distance, the overall ascent, a brief description of the nature of the walk, directions for car parking and starting place. For a fuller appreciation of the countryside, the relevant Ordnance Survey map is recommended. In a few cases there are refreshment suggestions.

This information is followed by the detailed route which, together with the sketch plan, should minimise any danger of losing the way.

When walking within the Estate visitors must always bear in mind that Baronscourt is a working farm and an Estate and that activities such as stalking, shooting and forestry may take precedence in some areas at certain times of the year. It is advisable check the position with the Estate Office at the start of a holiday.

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