The Walkers in a Windy Castlewellan Forest

The Walkers in a Windy Castlewellan Forest


Castlewellan Forest Park was the destination for our February walk, and it was also the location for hundreds of Park Runners mid–morning and then later, dozens of mountain bikers (children mostly). Good to see so many people enjoying the lovely surroundings of this park.

We are delighted to welcome two new members, Anne and Mary, friends of Jackie.

Brian had organised two walks, with a lunch break in between, so off we set on the path alongside the lake, which used to be the original road from Banbridge to Castlewellan, near which is the famous Dolly’s Brae, scene of a skirmish in 1849 over a contested procession, in which 30 people died. Then it was uphill to the Moorish Tower, from where you could just about see the sea.

There being no café open in the Courtyard we made use of the several tables for lunch and then set off again on the second outing. This was to the walled Annesley Garden and the 100–acre National Arboretum, which hosts one of the finest collections of trees in Ireland, including 42 champion trees, and 20 of the oldest specimen trees in the British Isles. The garden is a mixture of informal and formal design with terraces, fountains, ornamental gates and flower borders.

The Muffler at Balloo crossroads was our refreshment stop on the way home, where a couple of us met an old friend Peter Burrows, the owner of the café. It’s one of our favourite cafes, in a unique characterful shop/post office/butchery/mini–supermarket and hardware store. Hopefully it won’t succumb to major re–development.

Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Friday 7th February 2020

Category: Walkers

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