Lough Shannagh

Lough Shannagh from the north Those of us who watched the weather forecast on the Wednesday night (30th May) before our walk to Lough Shannagh will have prepared well for wet weather because rain was expected for most of the day in the Mournes. However, as we often find, we were blessed with unexpectedly good weather - in fact hardly a drop of rain fell on us and as we neared the end of the walk we were even treated to some sunshine. So once again, we had nearly perfect walking conditions.

Climbing up the Bann's Road to Lough Shannagh Phyllis drove the mini-bus and we all met up initially at Spelga Dam car park for a comfort stop before driving down towards Kilkeel, alongside the White Water river to the car park at the end of the Banns Road - beside the equestrian centre which nestles under Slievenagore, the mountain immediately to the east.

Climbing up the Bann's Road to Lough Shannagh Phyllis had no difficulty reversing the mini-bus into a space only slightly wider than the bus itself which earned a well deserved round of applause. Most of the party then set off for Lough Shannagh together, although a couple of latecomers, who shall be nameless, had to sprint to catch up with us.

The Banns Road was rocky and rough in places, testing our ankles and our boots, but for the most part the gradient wasn't very steep and, with the usual lively chat, it seemed no time at all before crossed over the Miners Hole River and arrived at Lough Shannagh where we enjoyed our lunch and the wonderful views, enhanced by clouds hiding the peaks of the mountains. To the south we had a clear view of Aughrim Hill (not Slieve Croob) with its mast on top and at other times we could see across Carlingford Lough to Bellagan Point, east of Greenore on the Cooley Peninsula.

After lunch, a small party put their trust in John to guide them over the col between Carn Mountain to the south and Slieve Loughshannagh to the north. Perhaps fortuitously, the clouds appeared to lift as the party progressed up the slope and navigation proved to be less difficult than John might have wished - he needs the practice with a compass! However, he set a challenge to find "faces in the stones", a theme borrowed from the exhibition at nearby Slinet Valley Reservoir. Only one example was found which met the criteria - just!

Study in blue at Lough Shannagh
Study in blue at
Lough Shannagh
Happy trio at Lough Shannagh.
Joan, Pat and Kathy
at Lough Shannagh.
Face in the stone
Can you spot the
face in the stone?
Betty crossing in style
Betty climbs over style
on Mourne Wall