CAVEHILL

It’s a bit embarrassing for someone from Belfast to admit, but i’d never been to Cavehill before. I’d been to the area before, but not the actual County Park.

I had been thinking about it in the last few years, but never got around to it. A few years back, I drove up one sunny Easter Monday, but seeing cars having to park (very badly) in the streets nearby, not a space to be had, put me off.

The problems is, if i’m off work and the weather is nice, i’m straight out on my bike. I don’t usually do walking when i’m in Belfast on my spare time.

I could cycle there, but by the time I get there, i’d be too knackered to get home, I would have to drive there.

And drive there I did, entering by Innisfayle Street.

I was meant to go there last weekend, as I was using up Annual Leave last Friday. However, it was dark and wet outside. Nothing that would be tempting me to go outside.

The next day, no football, time on my hands. Again, dark and miserable.

So, I decided to wait until the next Saturday morning. And so it arrived, and the weather was a complete contrast, it was dry, and I had a lot of daylight.

I got up, dressed and washed. Just like my recent visit to Lithuania, it was all about layers, as it was a bit chilly.

I left the house at around 9.30am and arrived there just before 10.00am.

As I would be going to the Linfield match that afternoon, my visit would be timebound. I planned on returning back at 11.00am, no matter where I was.

At around 10.45am, I was near the top, so I decided to push on.

Unsurprisingly, throughout my visit, I managed to get some decent photos. The higher up I got, my photos had to be from longer range than I wanted to be, as I didn’t want to lose my footing and fall to my demise.

If anybody from BBCNI is reading, I might pitch a TV show where a member of Slade walks it, called Dave Hill does Cavehill.

Even though I got quite high, as far as McArts Fort. I definitely plan on going again, and exploring more of it when I have more time on my hands.

When I do go again, I might go really early, as the sun is rising.

I had three things I wanted to do, walk up Arthur’s Seat, Cavehill and Bray Head. I’ve done two out of three, and plan on finishing off Bray Head in 2020.

As a frequent visitor to Manchester, I might get myself into gear and properly visit the Peak District during spare time I have there. The problem is, I usually visit Manchester during Winter, so it’ll be a bit chilly. It’s a bit chilly at ground level though.

Feel free to hit me up with suggestions for places to walk. Nothing too strenuous.

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ARTHUR’S SEAT

I planned to do something, and I went and did it, walking up Arthur’s Seat during my recent stay in Edinburgh.

It’s a hill in Edinburgh, not particularly demanding, but far from easy.

I’d always heard people talking about it, and walking it, so I decided to have a go myself.

I set aside a morning to do this. I decided I would get up early. When I say early, I mean early, my taxi dropping me off just after 6am.

The reason for this, my logic being is that the roads would be clear for my taxi, and there wouldn’t be many people around.

Arthur’s Seat is based in Holyrood Park. I’d seen signs all over the city for Holyrood Park but never really knew where it was. Turns out it’s a very big park.

Thankfully, my Taxi Driver was very knowledgeable when I asked to be dropped off at the start. He took me from my accommodation in Sciennes to an entrance just after the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

I decided to see how far I could get in 30 minutes, turns out I was near the top, so I just continued my journey.

When I reached the top, I was disappointed to learn (Just a joke, I already knew) that there wasn’t a seat in Arthur’s Seat. I really needed one.

I just stood and look over Edinburgh, it was wonderful, I could look over the entire city, with clear views. The only downside was that it was a bit of a rubbish sunrise.

I could even see Easter Road, the first in what might be the only one in a series called Football Stadiums Seen From The Top Of A Hill.

Amazingly, I wasn’t the only one there, as it was surprisingly busy for just after 6.30am on a Monday morning.

Somehow, I ended up taking a different route down than the one I went up, and ended up in Canongate. No problem, I knew how to get back to my accommodation from there, and it gave me an excuse to call in somewhere for breakfast.

From now on, every time i’m in Edinburgh, i’m going to put an early morning trip to Arthur’s Seat on my schedule.

I’m hoping that 2020 will be the year I finish off Bray Head, do Arthur’s Seat again, and at some point between now and then, see how much of Cavehill I can do.

And then in 2021, Kilimanjaro. Just joking, I get knackered walking up Pleasance.

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