I have a new friend in my photography life and it is a website called WalkNI.
In photography it is important to explore new places with the camera to avoid taking pictures of the same locations.
New locations present new challenges, especially when learning camera settings.
While I am familiar with the sites of Northern Ireland, I am unaware of the ancient paths and trails that straddle our beautiful countryside and towns.
I have used WalkNI several times and have loved the discoveries. Discoveries right under my nose.
Good Friday 2023 was a beautiful sunny day and after browsing the location pins on WalkNI, I selected a route that would take me from Dundrum to the Murlough Nature Reserve, County Down.
Dundrum, from Irish: Dún Droma, meaning 'fort of the ridge', is a village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland.
Dundrum Castle is located on a wooded hill north-west of Dundrum village near Newcastle. It was built some time around 1177 by John De Courcy as part of his coastal defence after he invaded Ulster.
The route, four miles each way, begins at the car park in Main Street. Heading up to Dundrum Castle, you walk along an old pathway, Castle Lane. Castle Lane leads to the Dromara Road. Turn left before turning right into Moneylane Road, then first left is Dam Lane, another old path across fields to Dundrum Reservoir, behind the town. I missed Dam Lane first time as its entrance is unremarkable, looking like entry to someone's yard. I was also distracted by some locals felling a tree. Realising I had missed a turn, details on the smartphone helped me get back on track.
Returning to civilisation I crossed the main road to Keel Point. Along Dundrum Bay and the Causeway, over the bridge at Ballybannon River, on a path called The Cut, takes you to Murlough.
Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old dune system owned by the National Trust and managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967.
Click on the gallery to open the images in full.
The weather that day was the best of the Easter break and I will return to the route with the camera, and perhaps with my running shoes.