Sperrins Walking Weekends Make A Welcome Return
Following last year’s success, Sperrins Walking Weekends are making a welcome return. The programme will take place September / October 2023 and March 2024 across the Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Sperrins Walking, developed and delivered by The Sperrins Partnership (made up of the four Councils in which the Sperrins are situated) and outdoor experts Far and Wild, is designed to appeal to a broad range of walkers to enjoy this beautiful landscape as well as promoting health, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Participants will not only enjoy discovering a destination filled with unique experiences, but a great choice of walks ranging from moderate ability to more demanding longer walks, all in small groups, guided by experienced leaders who will help to uncover the stories, history, environment and heritage of this unique landscape.
The Sperrins Walking Programme and dates are:
Mid Ulster 23/24 September 2023: A moderate looped walk looking at adaptive plant species in the area around Davagh Forest (8km) and two challenging looped walks, one on Slieve Gallion including a prize for the best landscape photo (12km) and exploring place names on Carntogher (12km).
Derry City & Strabane 7/8 October 2023: Sperrins & Killeter features two themed moderate walks: Explore the emigration story in Castledamph and including parts of Bradkeel and the Moat (8km) and Stories from the Killeter via the causeway and Carrickaholten (9km).
Causeway Coast & Glens 14/15 October 2023: Explore the natural and human history in the North Sperrins with two walks looking at late Bronze Age to current day heritage. Participants can look forward to a moderate ability walk at Banagher Glen (10km) and a challenging walk to the summit of Mullaghaneaney and sister peaks (12km).
Fermanagh & Omagh 23/24 March 2024: Four walks including: Challenging walks exploring traditional routes of travel on Mullaghcarn Ridge (12km) and over Doorish Hill linking to Meenadoan National Nature Reserve (10km). Moderate looped walks with a foraging guide in Gortin Glen Forest Park (8km) and exploring upland geo-ecology between Lough Bradan to Sloughan Glen (8-9km).
Looking ahead to the Mid Ulster leg of the programme on 23 and 24 September, Mid Ulster District Council Chair, Councillor Dominic Molloy said,
“The unspoilt area of The Sperrins is perfectly situated for walking, and the Mid Ulster leg of the Sperrins Walking Festival on the last full weekend of September is well timed to explore the language and landscapes of Slieve Gallion, Carntogher and Tullykeeran, as well as the flora and fauna in and around Davagh Forest.
Mid Ulster is just as well known for its warm welcome as it is for its expansive vistas, and I’m sure the hospitality offered during and after each event will be just as memorable a highlight for the festival participants.
In partnership with our neighbouring Councils, establishing The Sperrins as a walking destination where you come to relax and unwind is a key focus of our wider tourism strategy, so we look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far.”
Ciara Toner from The Sperrins Partnership said:
“We are very pleased to announce the return of Sperrins Walking. Following the success of last year’s inaugural programme the 4 Councils that make up the Sperrins Partnership have once again come together to deliver a range of walks to enjoy throughout the beautiful Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) while also promoting health, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”
“The Sperrins has so much to offer those seeking adventure while exploring history in this beautiful wild and unspoilt landscape. Sperrins Walking encourages everyone to get out and get active while at the same time affording participants the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of one of the most spectacular and undiscovered locations in the island of Ireland. The knowledgeable walk leaders will reveal points of interest and facts that will leave participants better informed about the natural, cultural and built heritage of this beautiful region.”
Sean Clarke, Sperrins Walking guide, commented:
"This year’s Sperrins Walking features walks suited to those with moderate ability to those who like a walking challenge. The walks will traverse across the Sperrins uncovering the majestic landscape, the unique environment and the rich history and heritage of the area. With our expert walking guides on hand, the walks will delight and engage everyone who takes part in the experience."
For further information on the Sperrins Walking programme and to book your place visit https://farandwild.org/land/ or https://sperrinspartnershipproject.com/sperrins-walking/