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REVIEW: Irish Peaks - A Celebration of Ireland's Highest Mountains

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Irish Peaks montage

This attractive new large format guide is an inspiring addition to Irish hill literature, covering every major summit and upland area across Northern Ireland and the Republic. Dan Bailey feels a post-Covid Ireland trip coming on...



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 Fat Bumbly2 16 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Anyone remember the days of the slim guide book, 1/2 maps and hardly any gomls.

looking forward to a read. Irish hills are pretty good value... often very tough

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In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Over October this year my wife and I did Carrauntoohil twice, once in fog and once in lovely sunshine when we did the whole horseshoe (including the Beenkeragh ridge). A great day out and amazing views. I then when down to the Comeragh mountains and did 2 solo walks there, including the horseshoe around the coumshingaun corrie lake (one lovely sunny day a few years ago I took my children up and we had a swim in the lake, cold and clear! The reward was a bag of tatyos crisps).

One issue I found was lack of access and footpaths, some walks I had planned I could not do as the land owners had recently revoked access.

Anyway this book might go on my Christmas list.

Post edited at 09:55
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In reply to RX-78:

Here I am on the Beenkeragh ridge 


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 goatee 16 Nov 2020
In reply to RX-78:

Curious to know which places had access issues. Things may have become better

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 Steve Woollard 16 Nov 2020
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 Lankyman 16 Nov 2020
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 Fat Bumbly2 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Steve Woollard:

That sort of thing has tempted me to reducethe number of trips I make (along with the punitive ferry fares).  It's not unusual and it takes a bit from your day when you are constantly looking for the goml.  Only been caught once, and that was on a 160m "marilyn" in Donegal.  Very, very unpleasant and that was just the  shock of finally meeting an unpleasant Irishman.   Also had someone try to charge me for turning my car at the end of a road. 

Fortunately the many amazing people and encounters I have had over there overwhelms such unpleasantness.....  and the hills are still great.  

And the cycle touring is amazing

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In reply to goatee:

Hi I went to the end of the black valley near gap of dunloe to do some walks, when I got there the route I had planned was blocked off and sign posted to keep out. I had downloaded 3 routes onto viewranger from other Irish hikers all starting in the same place, all blocked. I rechecked viewranger and one guy had updated the route with comment that the farmer had stopped letting hikers on their land, it was an update in October this year do very recent.

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In reply to Lankyman:

This also affects local people who often have to exercise on the roads as no paths to run or walk on. My wife is from Mayo and when there we only walk on the local roads.

Out doors industry in Ireland is way under developed. I think the tourist board targetted rich Americans finding their roots hence all the nice restaurants, hotels, expensive gift shops, lack of outdoor shops etc. Ps. I was born in Ireland as well but this lack of access would stop me moving home.

Not to say we didn't have a great time and will be visiting again for hiking.

Post edited at 16:32
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 wilkesley 16 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

This looks brilliant and has gone on my Christmas List. The only guide I have is the Cicerone one by Paddy Dillon, which is very basic. I am sorry to hear that access to several areas have been blocked by the farmers. I can never understand this as the Irish are generally very friendly.

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 greg_may_ 16 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

One of the main reasons I stopped hiking in Ireland was due to the access, or lack thereof. Growing up in the 80's it was even worse. Got a bit better in the 90/00's but then degraded again.

Living in the Pennines now, so not so much of an issue! 

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 Tom V 16 Nov 2020
In reply to greg_may_:

Yes,  a first walking trip to Ireland will be a big shock to people used to the facilities of parking and mapped rights of way that we enjoy over here 

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 greg_may_ 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

However, some of the peaks are flipping excellent  

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 goatee 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Steve Woollard:

Where exactly was that sign??. And where were all the others you say are there??. I must be going blind...I seem to miss seeing them when I walk the Reeks.

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In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Looks very well done, and definitely more helpful as a practical guide than the Paddy Dillon book. Just wondered if it is likely to be distributed in the UK, as €50 inc postage is quite meaty.

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In reply to DH3631:

That's a good question: I'll ask Mountaineering Ireland

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In reply to Everyone:

I really wish I could argue with all the people who have encountered access issues and angry farmers to say they are wrong and Ireland is a great place for walking/climbing.

The access issues here are infuriating and depressing.

There are wonderful hills here but many are difficult to impossible to get to as they cross farm land

The situation is particularly bad on the west coast, Cork, Kerry, Connemara, Sligo and, Donegal.

Mountaineering Ireland work hard at negotiating access but the farmers are usually not interested or downright hostile.

Failte Ireland , the tourist board, are stuck in an old mindset which was largely based on the Irish diaspora visiting with bulging wallets and wanting to 'do Ireland'. So they bus people to places , extract maximum coin from them and wait for them to feck off again. Rich Americans golfing is one of their favourites. When walking is mentioned they point to way-marked trails around the country which are usually 60-70% on roads, often main roads. 

There is little political will to push for change as the agricultural industry is one of our key industries.

There was a minister a few years back who tried and was doing well before he was ousted.

On the plus side you often have the hills to yourself once you stray away from the well known areas.

I've found the locals much friendlier in places like the Galtees, the Knockmealdowns and the Comeraghs.

Even in the busier places, if you can find the local landowner and ask permission to cross the land they more often than not say OK.

I often despair , there are so many lovely places here its a shame so much is off limits.

I am , or was, a frequent visitor to England, Scotland and, Wales. The contrasting freedom to roam is so refreshing.

If anyone wants advice on walking in Ireland, where to go and where to avoid. Feel free to get in touch.




 

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In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

This is a good book. https://www.omahonys.ie/best-irish-walks-third-edition-p-29385.html

Note that a route in here doesn't imply freedom of access

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 Dominic Green 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Punter S Thompson:

The farming lobby is politically very strong in Irl so I imagine getting right-to-roam legislation passed could be a long and expensive process. It is also the most litigious legal culture in Europe and landowners fear of liability is an issue. 

I think there's an assumption that initiatives like the wild Atlantic way can corral the demand for the outdoors into designated places and not ruffle feathers too much. 

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 Flinticus 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Punter S Thompson:

Try walking in Ireland with a dog... Feck right off!

I've managed a few hills, mainly central / West, including parts of the Galtees & Comeraghs. The majority say No Dogs, whether under control or not, so, every time bar one, I went over, my dog was left at home. Means I go over less than I would otherwise.

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