Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Donard Forest

Whilst Eleanor was in play group in Newcastle yesterday and I was waiting to pick her up, I took a stroll up the Glen River in Donard Forest.

If you're ever in Newcastle Co. Down with  couple of hours to spare, I wholly recommend this walk.

Alas, I did miss my path for a bit - I was paying more attention to the scenery rather than the route - that's my excuse!

Given more time, and stamina, this is the most spectacular way to climb Ulster's highest mountain Slieve Donard

The walk started and ended in a sea 'fret" as the mist would be called in the North East of England, but in the middle I was high in the glorious blue.

Here's a flavour of it in pictures:

it's often windy here - evidence!

a sea fret blowing in

a cold blanket mist

but the sun is breaking through, and it's only 9am

Charlie eagerly heads uphill

into the spring greeness of the forest

The Glen river makes crystal pools ..

.. and cascades as it tumbles down from Slieve Donard

oak leaves opening

at the edge of the trees, this is where I heard the Cuckoo for the first time this year

despite being largely coniferous at this point, there's a wealth of Holly trees

a glimpse of the summit - and the lower cairn to the left. Not for today though

spring is everywhere

tempting pathways

and so much green!

meanwhile, back down at the water by 11:15 - things have moved backwards

a thick blanket has rolled in

but not for long!

time to play on the beach

a budding photographer took this shot

dogs and daisies - perfect!