Blooms and water at Tollymore

Blooms and water at Tollymore


The Columbanus Walkers’ original March outing to the Granite Trail in the Mournes was cancelled because of bad weather. A week later, 7 members headed south and decided that a walk in the shelter of Tollymore Forest Park was preferable to the more exposed Granite Trail.

Our walk was in the valleys of the Shimna and Cascade rivers, both of which were in full spate following several days of rain. The sound of rushing water accompanied much of our walk.

We briefly considered taking a group photograph on the stepping stones across the Shimna, but quickly realised that we would be swept away before the photo could be taken!

Evidence of the mild winter was to be seen everywhere – the daffodils and rhododendrons were in bloom. Masses of bluebell plants were showing their leaves; their flowers will probably be in show within weeks.

Our leader, Brian, took us off the main waymarked paths on a route that took us to the artificial lake, beside which we had lunch on the relative luxury of a picnic table.

On our walk we met some of the many mountain bikers who use the park. More unusually, we saw four horses and riders galloping up one of the paths. Two hours later we saw them again, on the road as we left Bryansford.

Towards the end of our walk, we encountered a group of archers taking part in a competition with targets placed throughout the woods. Not wishing to become human targets, we headed back to the car park.

As is often the case when we are walking in south Down, on the way home, we stopped off for refreshments at McCann’s of Balloo.

The April 6th walk is on Waymarked trails on National Trust land at Divis and Black Mountain. More detail on which trail (s) later. Meanwhile you could look at

Peter Gibson

Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Monday 11th March 2019

Category: Walkers

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