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Walk Route

Slieve Croob Pass Loaning



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  • Completed this walk (2) and ignored the additional transmitter road to the summit of Slieve Croob.

    By good fortune and some debate we decided to use the car park at the top of Dree Hill and to follow the route anti clockwise. At this time of the year the uphill route from Ferris would have been extremely difficult to traverse due to wet, boggy conditions.

    The route is well signed although sometimes needed diversions to attain.

    The views on the descent from Slieve Croob are spectacular 180 degrees, and the sheep population is interestingly varied!

    From the bottom of the walk at the strat of Drin Road, the climb back up to the car park is long and quite daunting unless you are younger and fitter than our 70+ years!

    Definitely easier than the Slieve Binnian walk.

    Keith & Harold at 9:59 am
  • County Down

    Distance 6 miles

    OS Map Sheet 20

    Terrain Road, farm lane and hill

    Nearest Town Finnis a.k.a. Massford/Dromara

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J28450 47709

    Route Type Hill

    Route Description

    Finnis/Massford is a hamlet on the River Lagan nestling at the foot of Slieve Croob, approx. 2 miles south of Dromara on the B7. Park with due care and consideration on road in the hamlet. Walk along the Dree Hill Road, past the Massford Close development before turning L into the Drin Road. Continue along this road for approx. 1 mile and look out for a concrete lane on R marked ‘Pass Loaning’ – there is a bungalow just opposite the entrance to the lane. Turn into this concrete lane and follow to its end at a stile leading onto Slieve Croob. Look ahead to see the waymarker posts which indicate the route, these may not be visible in mist or fog and it is easy to become lost in poor visibility – only walk the route in clear weather or carry appropriate maps and equipment. There is a steep climb along the remains of an old path but once the 2nd stile has been reached at the fence line, the land levels off. Keep looking ahead to spot the waymarker posts and orientate yourself and follow these to reach the transmitter road. On reaching the transmitter road, turn left to reach the summit of the mountain. Follow the transmitter road to its end and look on the mountain to see stiles leading to triangulation point. Slieve Croob or in Irish, Sliabh Crúb – the mountain of the hoof – rises to a height of 534 metres (1,755) feet and is the source of the River Lagan. Locally the mountain is known as ‘The Twelve Cairns’. Though the beauty of the mountain is marred by the transmitter masts and compounds near the summit the walk, on a clear day, offers lovely views over the surrounding countryside and further afield. It is said “… on a clear day you could see with the naked eye Lough Neagh, Belfast Lough, Carlingford Lough, Scrabo Tower, the full range of the Mourne Mountains, the coastline from Warrenpoint to County Antrim, and if you knew where to look you could pick out Armagh Cathedral.” Little remains of the once massive ancient cairn which marked the summit of the mountain. This was the focus of the annual ‘Blaeberry Sunday’ or ‘Cairn Sunday’ walk which took took place each year when people from all sides of the mountain used to converge on the top on the last Sunday in July for an afternoon gathering of music, fun and catching up. This tradition continued until the 1950’s. In recent years there has been a revival in the form of annual walk organised by the local communities to the top of the mountain. Retrace steps back along the transmitter road – you will see the River Lagan cutting its way down the mountain. Keeping to the path head towards the Dree Hill Car Park. At the car park turn R and follow the Dree Hill Road downhill, back to the starting point. The sculpture at the Dree Hill car park is a public art piece created by local artist Christ Wilson entitled ‘Source of the River Lagan’. It consists of slabs of Mourne granite sandwiched together with a window to view the landscape and etched plates representing local heritage in the form of the nearby Legananny Dolmen and the continuation of ancient traditions in the form of the Blaeberry/Cairn Sunday walk.

    Getting to the start

    Park with due consideration on road at the hamlet of Finnis/Massford – approx. 2 miles south of Dromara on the B7 Rathfriland to Dromara Road.

    Public transport

    Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

    Dog Policy

    No dogs allowed on the Slieve Croob Transmitter Road or surrounding land due to sheep grazing.

    Facilities

    Turnip House – Teashop and Crafts 64 Dromara Road, Ballyward, Castlewellan, Co. Down, BT31 9UF. t: 028 4065 0848 e: info@turniphouse.com Pub in hamlet of Finnis/Massford (limited opening). Garage and shop along B7 to south of Finnis/Masford. Shops, petrol pumps, pubs, takeaways and restaurants in Dromara. Turleys Bar and Restaurant is on the B7 to the south at Lowtown (limited opening). Surrounding Area Attractions: Photos of souterrian and Legananny Dolmen are included in the gallery – are not on walk route. For directions see link below – also map in downloads section to right. Finnis Souterrain, Carrigagh Road (near Finnis/Massford) – hidden gem – scheduled historic monument opened to the public by Banbridge District Council in 2003. Underground structure dating from c. 9th century – lit by solar lighting. Narrow space – requires bending and stooping to enter. Normally open at all times but prone to flooding after periods of heavy rain so may not always be accessible. Legananny Dolmen – state care monument – one of the most photographed dolmens in Ireland, located off Dolmen Road. 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Dromara & 5 miles (8 km) n.w. of Castlewellan – tripod portal tomb – has been standing here for around 4000 years.

    Accessibility Grade

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.