Sallagh Braes and Agnews Hill, Antrim Hills

18 March, 2012 @ 10:30 – 17:30

Meet: 10.30am Mynt
Leave Mynt at 10.45am sharp!

    Or meet at Lindford Car Park adjoining the Sallagh Braes – OS Map Sheet 9 – 335-0725

    This is an interesting and easy linear walk (about 10km long) so we will need to park cars at either end of the walk.

    Best route from Belfast is to head north along the M2. Then take the A8 towards Larne.
    Cars without passengers should head straight to the car park on Shane’s Hill Road (A36).
    Google ref for this road is http://maps. uk/maps?f= q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=Shanes+Hill+ Rd,+County+ Antrim,+United+ Kingdom&sll=54.884063, -5.883007&sspn=0.016811, 0.038495&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FfGiRAMd- uql_w&split=0&hq=&hnear=Shanes+ Hill+Rd,+ County+Antrim, +United+Kingdom&ll=54.827392, -5.903778&spn=0.139624, 0.307961&z=12&iwloc=A
    [Turn left off the A8 onto the A36 at Kilwaughter; continue for 5-6 km; after the junction with the Upper Ballyboley Road, look for the lay-by on the A36, just beside the forest.]
    Wait for the other cars to arrive from Linford – and if possible, offer the drivers a lift to Linford.
    Cars with passengers should drive to Linford:
    [Follow the A8 towards Larne; turn left onto the B148 in the direction of Cairncastle; in Cairncastle, turn left onto the Ballycoose Road leading to Feystown Road, heading for Linford; continue uphill until the saddle where there’s a car park on the left at Linford enclosures.] Google ref for Feystown Rd (marker is too far along it, but you will not mistake the Sallagh Braes as they are so distinctive! ):- http://maps. uk/maps?f= q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Feystown+Rd, +Glenarm, +Ballymena, +County+Antrim+ BT44,+United+ Kingdom&sll=54.930226, -5.953913&sspn=0.069634, 0.15398&g=Feystown+Rd, +Glenarm, +Ballymena, +County+Antrim+ BT44,+United+ Kingdom&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Feystown+ Rd,+Glenarm, +Ballymena, +County+Antrim+ BT44,+United+ Kingdom&ll=54.957216, -6.008835&spn=0.069588, 0.15398&z=13
    The plan is for all cars to let passengers dismount at Linford, and the drivers will then drive to the car park on the A36, where they will leave their cars. Drivers can then pile into as few cars as possible, and return to the car park at Linford.
    Whilst cars are being parked at Shane’s Hill, all passengers will have a chance to visit the enigmatic earthworks at Linford: http://irishantiqui ties.bravehost. com/antrim/ linford/linford. html
    We should also have time to check out the cairn on the other side of the road:
    http://ads.ahds. search/fr. cfm?rcn=NISMR- ANT035:003
    When the drivers return, the walk can begin [estimated time ca. 12:30].
    Maps for the Antrim Hills way can be downloaded from http://www.walkni. com/Walk. aspx?ID=51
    Starting from the car park at Linford, we will head past the enclosures, and then uphill onto Knockdhu (tr. black hill).
    This is an inland promontory fort cut off from the surrounding land by a combination of ditches and banks, 300m long. See http://ads.ahds. search/fr. cfm?rcn=NISMR- ANT035:005
    The site was excavated by archaeologists from Time Team and Queens University Belfast in 2008:
    http://www.channel4 .com/history/ microsites/ T/timeteam/ 2009/knock/ index.html
    During the excavation, four roundhouses were discovered (and another 18 possible roundhouses identified). A scattering of rough flints suggests the site was used during the middle Bronze Age (ca. 2000 BC).
    From Knockdhu, we will proceed along the top of the Sallagh Braes, a vast natural amphitheatre. The views from here are spectacular on a good day.
    We will follow the Ulster Way south-south- west from Sallagh Braes. The path heads over peat, then farmland, until we reach the base of Agnew’s Hill. After a tough, but short, ascent, we will head south along the top of Agnew’s Hill, then Hightown, and finally descend gently onto the track leading to the A36 and the awaiting cars.
    Afterwards, we can head to Ballygally castle for a drink / meal.