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Walk of the Week: Ballyroney Walk.

This is an ideal walk for those who like to explore off the beaten path.

The walk sets off from the hamlet of Ballyroney and takes in two public rights of way — an old bog rampart across Lackan Bog known as the Green Road and another skirting the atmospheric Annahinchigo Lake.

The walk also takes in country roads, one of which, the Dromara Road, is quite busy.

Directions

This walk starts at Ballyroney on the B7 Rathfriland to Dromara Road. Park with care in the hamlet, off the Dromara Road, near the attractive old post office.

The bridge carried the road over the former 9.5 mile railway line which ran south eastwards from Banbridge. Walk along the Tirkelly Hill Road, towards Rathfriland, for a short distance, passing Ballyroney Presbyterian Church. On passing the church take the first road on the left, Bannside Road.

Follow this narrow country road along the River Bann. Follow the Bannside Road to where two other roads branch off it, and take the road on the left, Crabtree Road. Continue along this road looking for a footpath sign beside a house pointing into a lane on the right. Follow this lane and the way-marks, bearing left at the junction, then right to meet an old bog rampart or path, across a remnant of bog here. You will see a house on a rise to the left but bear away from this along the bog rampart exercising caution on its uneven surface.

After a short distance you will reach a stile and a wooden gate leading into an open field. Keep close along the field boundary to the left, walking straight ahead — pass through a gap to another open field again keeping along the left boundary. Looking straight ahead you will see a rambler stile with galvanised chains — push the two sides apart and bear left (away from the lane leading to a farmyard) along the beaten track running down to Annahinchigo/Hunshigo Lake.

You will come to gates and stiles — follow these along an enclosed section along the lakeshore. After passing through the last stile, bear to the left along the left hedge boundary of an open field. Walk on the open field side of the hedge until you come to gates and stiles — cross through and follow a rough path until you meet a surfaced farmed lane. At this junction bear right and stay on this surfaced lane until you meet the Crabtree Road. At the road, bear right and walk along to a crossroads where the road meets the Lackan and Flush Roads.

At this junction bear left along the Lackan Road, passing a new house, and turn into a lane on the right with a wooden footpath sign for the Green Road Public Footpath. Follow this lane until you come to a wooden gate and stile — cross the stile and you will be on the bog rampart of the Green Road Public Footpath which runs for about a mile north-west then north across Lackan Bog. Keep to the beaten path.

Pass over the bridge of the old railway. Continue across two short wooden footbridges, to a rambler stile leading to an open field. At the stile look straight across and you will see the road and another stile and signpost.

Walk to this stile on Dicksons Hill Road (a no-through road) — turn left until you meet the busy Dromara Road. Turn left into this road.

THE BACKDROP

Ballyroney takes its name from Baile Uí Ruanaí meaning ‘O’Rooney’s holding’, after a number of townlands held by the O’Rooney family. It was also a stronghold of the Norman invasion in the 12th century. The popular adventure writer of the 19th century, Captain Mayne Reid, was born in Ballyroney in 1818.

Patrick Bronte, father of the famous Bronte sisters was born near Ballyroney, in the townland of Emdale, in 1777. You will find Drumballyroney Church and old school at the top of the Hill.

Further information

For further information on walking or any other outdoor activity, please contact Countryside Access and Activities Network on 028 9030 3930 or walkni.com.

Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) in association with Belfast Telegraph have provided this information. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the information. CAAN and Belfast Telegraph, however, cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions but where such are brought to our attention, the information for future publications will be amended accordingly.

Walk Name: Ballyroney Walk.

Area: Co Down.

Nearest big town to start: Rathfriland.

Distance: 5.6 miles.

Terrain: A mix of on-road walking, public rights of way using farm lane and bog ramparts (lanes) with uneven and, at times, muddy surfaces — it also takes in open fields in which livestock may be grazing.

Restrictions: All dogs must be kept under proper control especially where there is livestock.

Refreshments: Facilities in Rathfriland

Walk Developed By: Banbridge District Council.

Map: Sheet 29 of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Discovery Series, available from LPSNI Map Shop, Colby House, Stranmillis, Belfast BT9 SBJ. lpsni.gov.uk. Please note that the 2002 edition of this map incorrectly names the public right of way around Hunshigo Lake (locally know as Annahinchigo Lake) as The Green Road. The public right of way shown to the north of Crabtree Hill running towards Moneyslane is, in fact, The Green Road.

Belfast Telegraph