Walking Jul – Dec 2018

Convenor: Brenda Nicholl   Phone 07816 756 478  

Walks for July to December 2018 are listed below in date order.
Details of walks that took place January to June 2018 are still available.
Pictures and comments submitted by walkers are available here.

I hope these will grow as each of you send in pictures, comments or even short reports of your day out.

Details of each walk will be posted as they become available.
At that time the date will become a link so that you may jump directly to the description.

IMPORTANTInformation for Walk Leaders
13 July, No Walk
20 July, Lisburn to Cutters Wharf, Long, Robin Connor
27 July, Carnfunnock Country Park, Short, Vera Scott
10 August, Ligoniel Dams, Short, Robert & Frankie McDowell
17 August, Ballymena to Broughshane , Long, Robert & Frankie McDowell
24 August, Belvoir Forest Park, Short, Frankie & Robert McDowell
14 September, Ballymoney River Walk, Short, Robert & Frankie McDowell
21 September, East Belfast Walkway, Long, Frankie & Robert McDowell
28 September, Ballymena to Leighinmohr, Short, Liz Whitthall and Margaret Kelly
12 October, Six Mile Water, Short, Anne Bodles & Maureen Hayes
19 October, Derry/Londonderry – Two Bridges, Long, Robin Connor
26 October, Ormeau Park , Short, Brenda Nicholl
9 November, The Balancing lakes, Short, Brenda Nicholl
16 November, Larne Leisure Centre to Carnfunnock, Long, Maureen Hayes & Ann Bodles
23 November, Hillsborough Lake, Short, Brenda Nicholl
14 December, Lurgan Park then Brownlow House for Christmas Lunch, Short, Vera Scott
21 December, Belfast to Whiteabbey – Maritime walk , Long, Frankie & Robert McDowell
28 December, Broadwater at Moira, Short, Rodney Luring  Cancelled



Title: Lisburn to Cutters Wharf, Belfast via Lagan towpath
Date: 20 July 2018
Leader: Robin Connor MOB. 07805830550
Meeting Point and Time: Lisburn Train Station 10:45am
How to get there on public Transport: 9.15am train from whitehead to Great Victoria Street Station
arriving at 10.00am. Calling at Downshire (9.21) , Carrickfergus (9.24), Clipperstown (9.26) , Troopers Lane (9.30), Greenisland 9.33), Jordanstown (9.36), Whiteabbey (9.40), Great Victoria Street (10am) Change to 10.10am train to Portadown alighting at Lisburn Railway station at 10.32am

Returning home: Metro bus at Stranmillis College to Botanic railway station or Great Victoria Street railway station, train every ½ hour
Duration / Distance in Miles: 8 miles although the walk can be exited at a number of locations.
Terrain: level path, mainly tarmac
Refreshments: Lock keepers café at Shaw’s Bridge or Cutters wharf at the end of the walk or bring your own refreshments. Do carry water especially if the weather is hot


27th July – Walk Leader Vera Scott – Mobile Number – 07453038201
Carnfunock Country Park

Members are asked to meet at Drain’s Bay Car Park at 10.30
If you have not done this walk before or are unsure of where the car park is please contact Vera or Brenda for information.

From the car park we walk along a pathway parallel to the road which leads into the park. The paths are mostly tarmac surface but a little steep in places.

Refreshments and toilets at the centre cafe.


Title: LIGONIEL DAMS (c 4 miles north of Belfast City Centre)
DATE: 10th August 2018.
SHORT WALK – c.4 miles/c.2 hours. 
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone No 028 93373084 (land line)
07711 706022 (mobile)
MEETING POINT/TIME: EITHER at 9.50 am at Cityside (formerly Yorkgate) Shopping Centre, Belfast (Brougham Street entrance into shopping mall) OR at 10.45 am at the corner of Mill Avenue, off Ligoniel Road.
Outward Journey:
Train – Dep Whitehead 9.15 am; Dep Carrickfergus 9.24 am; Arr Yorkgate 9.46 am. Disembark Yorkgate Railway Station, cross York Street to Cityside Shopping Centre. Group will walk along North Queen Street to (Upper) Donegall Street, turning left at North Queen Street/Donegall Street junction and crossing Donegall Street.
Bus No 57/57A – 10.25 am bus to Ligoniel. Alight at Mill Avenue c10.45 am (last stop before Ligoniel terminus).
Return Journey:
Bus –depending on whether or not we walk across the ford at the Forth River, either bus No 11c from Ballygomartin Road to Belfast city centre or bus No 57/57A from Ligoniel Road to Belfast city centre (buses leave c. every 20 minutes). Alight at Donegall Street/North Queen Street junction and walk to Yorkgate Railway Station.
Train Dep Yorkgate 1.29 pm; Arr Carrickfergus 1.50 pm; Arr Whitehead 2 pm. (Terminus)
Train Dep Yorkgate 1.59 pm; Arr Carrickfergus 2.20 pm; Arr Whitehead 2.30 pm; Arr Larne (Town) 2.46 pm.

Take the Shore Road towards Belfast, pass Fortwilliam Park, pass Skegoneill Avenue and, just after the Grove Leisure Centre (on your right), turn right into North Queen Street. Proceed along North Queen Street until you reach the junction with Donegall Street. Turn right into Donegall Street and go straight on at Carlisle Circus onto the Crumlin Road. Stay on Crumlin Road (passing Mater Hospital) which becomes Upper Crumlin Road. Just after Ballysillan Road (RHS) Crumlin Road sweeps around a right hand bend. Just after this bend, turn left onto Ligoniel Road. Park in Mill Avenue (left hand side of Ligoniel Road, last turn-off before bus terminus).

Flat and well surfaced around the two (former) mill dams. There is an option to climb c50 steps between the lower and upper dams, or you may walk a slightly sloping path between them. There are good views over Belfast from either dam. We will walk down the Glencairn Road (c 200 yards) towards the Forth River where there is a ford. Depending on rainfall, the ford may be passable, in which case we will walk down Glencairn Road to Ballygomartin Road and catch the bus into town. If it is not passable, we will retrace our steps past the dams, along Mill Avenue and cross the Ligoniel Road into Ligoniel Park for a short walk.

There is nowhere in the immediate area of the dams for lunch, neither are there loos. Lunch/loos are available at Cityside Shopping Centre.




LONG WALK – 7 miles/c 4 hours plus breaks.
DATE: 17th August 2018
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone No 028 93373084 (land line)
07711 706022 (mobile)
MEETING POINT/TIME: Ballymena Railway Station at 10.03 am
Outward Journey:
Train – Dep Whitehead 8.45 am; Dep Carrickfergus 8.54 am; Arr Yorkgate 9.16 am, change to L’derry line. Dep Yorkgate 9.24 am, Dep Mossley West 9.33 am; Arr Ballymena 10.03 am.
Return Journey:
Bus – Dep Broughshane 3.29 pm, Arr Ballymena Railway Station 3.45 pm.
Train – Dep Ballymena 4.00 pm, Arr Mossley West 4.26 pm, Arr Yorkgate 4.35 pm. Change to Larne line. Dep Yorkgate 4.59 pm, Arr Carrickfergus (terminus) 5.20 pm. OR Dep Belfast Central 5.16 pm (no stops before Carrickfergus); Arr Carrickfergus 5.31 pm, Arr Whitehead 5.42 pm, Arr Larne (town) 5.58 pm.

Take M2 Motorway following signs to Ballymena (c 30 miles from Belfast city centre) or the A36 from Larne to Ballymena (c 18 miles). There is a car park at Ballymena Railway Station but as it has very few parking spaces, you could park in one of the avenues off Galgorm Road (beside railway station). For those who wish to drive straight to the Ecos Centre or Raceview Woollen Mill and start a shorter walk from either of these, there is ample free parking at both. If you wish to travel by car direct to the Ecos Centre, do not take the Ballymena turnoff from the M2 but stay on the motorway and take the next turnoff to Broughshane/the Ecos Centre, the latter of which is clearly marked.

Begins at Ballymena Railway Station which is c 2 miles from the start of the Ecos Centre walk via Broughshane Street and Suffolk Street (both in Ballymena town centre). Our walk of c 1.5 miles in the Ecos Centre which follows the Braid River is flat and well surfaced. From there, we walk c 2.5 miles along the Broughshane Road to Raceview Woollen Mill. After lunch we will do the Riverside Walk and Buttermilk Bridge Walk (1 mile) which follow the Braid River and are level and fairly well surfaced. Our walk will finish at Houston’s Mill in the centre of Broughshane near to our bus stop.

We will take a break at Raceview Woollen Mill where we can have lunch in the Red Brick Café before starting the last part of our walk. There are toilets at Ballymena Railway Station, the Ecos Centre, Raceview Woollen Mill, Houston’s Mill and at various cafés in Broughshane.


BELVOIR PARK FOREST (c4 miles South of Belfast City Centre)

SHORT WALK – 4 miles/c2 hours.
DATE: 24th August 2018.
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone No 028 93373084 (land line)
07711 706022 (mobile)
MEETING POINT/TIME: Car Park, Belvoir Park Forest at 10.45 am.
Outward Journey:
Train – Dep Whitehead 8.45 am; Dep Carrickfergus 8.54 am; Arr Great Victoria Street 9.30 am. and then take –
Bus – No 77/78 Beechill/Belvoir Drive – departs from Wellington Place, Belfast (left hand side outside “Oasis Gaming Centre” – on block between Queen Street and Fountain Street) at 10.00 am, arrives at Belvoir Drive in Belvoir Housing Estate at 10.20 am; disembark at corner of Castleboy Avenue (first bus stop in Belvoir Housing Estate), cross Belvoir Drive; follow road to forest car park, c0.25 miles from bus stop.
Return Journey:
Bus No 77/78 – leaves from Belvoir Drive every 30 minutes at 21 minutes past the hour; OR
catch any bus from stop at corner of Malone Hill Park, Malone Road (see ‘ Final Mile of Walk – PUBLIC TRANSPORT USERS’.
Train – from Great Victoria Street railway station to Whitehead leave every half-hour at a quarter to, and a quarter past, the hour. Trains to Larne leave every hour at a quarter to the hour.
Join the M5(M2) motorway at Shore Road and bear left onto M3 (over River Lagan bridge). Take the A24 marked ‘Newcastle’ which takes you onto Ravenhill Road, Belfast (the B506). At the junction with Ormeau Road, continue straight on – the road becomes Saintfield Road. At Forestside Shopping Centre, turn right onto the A55 Ring Road (dual carriageway) signposted “The West/The South/Lisburn/ M1”. After 0.5 miles turn right into Belvoir Park Housing Estate which is clearly signposted (this is Belvoir Drive). After 0.25 miles, follow the brown sign pointing right into Belvoir Park Forest. The car park is 0.25 miles from the turn-off.
Begins at Belvoir Park Forest car park at 10.45 am. The walk is mostly flat, but with some inclines, and well surfaced, taking in sites of historical interest. Note that there are no loos in Belvoir Park Forest. We will finish the first 3 miles of the walk c12.45 pm. when we will have lunch at the Lock Keeper’s Cottage.
Final Mile of the Walk
After lunch we will complete the final mile of the walk. We cross the small stone bridge, go through gate at start of laneway and follow the path back to the car park in Belvoir Park Forest – 1 mile; OR
For those who are using public transport, you may wish to return by bus via Belvoir Drive in the Belvoir Park Housing Estate – 1.25 miles;
On crossing the small stone bridge, instead of going through the gate at the start of the laneway, continue along the laneway past the side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Turn right at its junction with the A55 Ring Road in the direction of Shaw’s Bridge and continue to the roundabout at House of Sport – 1 mile.
Turn right towards Malone Road for buses into Belfast City Centre.

Lock Keeper’s Cottage, where there are loos.


BALLYMONEY RIVER WALK (c48 miles north of Belfast City Centre)

SHORT WALK – 3.5 miles/1.5 hours.    DATE: 14th September 2018
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone 028 93373084 (land line) 07711 706022 (mobile)
MEETING POINT/TIME: either at 10.30 am at Ballymoney Railway Station or at 10.45 am at Riverside car park, Armour Avenue


Outward Journey:
Train – Dep Whitehead (terminus) 8.45 am; Dep Carrickfergus 8.54 am; Arr Yorkgate 9.16 am. Disembark and change to Londonderry line.  Dep Yorkgate 9.24 am; Dep Mossley West 9.33 am; Arr Ballymoney 10.30 am.
Return Journey:
Train – Dep Ballymoney 1.32 pm; Arr Mossley West 2.26 pm; Arr Yorkgate 2.35 pm. Disembark and change to Larne line.  Dep Yorkgate 2.59 pm; Arr C’fergus 3.20 pm; Arr Whitehead 3.30 pm; Arr Larne (town) 3.46 pm
(Note that trains leave Ballymoney every hour).


Take M2 Motorway north, following signs for Ballymena/Ballymoney/Coleraine (M2/A26/M2/A26).  Take Antrim/Ballymena turnoff from M2 onto the A26 towards Ballymena and continue towards Ballymoney.  Take first turnoff to Ballymoney ( left hand side, sign-posted ‘Ballymoney Town Centre’).  At roundabout, go straight on towards town centre.  After a few yards turn left into Armour Avenue , then immediately right into Riverside Park car park.

Flat and well surfaced.  Two miles beside Ballymoney River through woodland and 1.5 miles through suburbs of Ballymoney.

We can have lunch at “The Clock Tower” restaurant in High Street, in Ballymoney town centre.  After lunch there is a 10 minute walk to the railway station or a 20 minute walk to Riverside Park car park.  There is a loo upstairs in “The Clock Tower”  restaurant; there is a loo at the railway station on the Belfast bound platform; there are 3 loos in the Riverside car park.  




LONG WALK – 8 miles/4.5 hrs (including breaks).  DATE: 21ST September 2018.
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone 028 93373084 (land line)  07711 706022 (mobile)
MEETING POINT/TIME: either at 10.15 am at Titanic Quarter Railway Station or 10.40 at Eastside Visitors’ Centre, CS Lewis Square.

Outward Journey:
Train – Dep Whitehead 9.15 am; Dep Carrickfergus 9.24 am; Arr Lanyon Place (Central Station) 9.51 am.  Disembark and change to Bangor line.  Dep Central Station 10.12 am; Arr Titanic Quarter (first stop) 10.15 am.
Return Journey:
Bus – Glider Buses leave Newtownards Road (Holywood Arches) every 8 minutes for Central Station via Albertbridge Road – distance 1 mile/journey time c7 minutes.
Train – Dep Central Station 2.55 pm; Arr Carrickfergus 3.20 pm; Arr Whitehead 3.30 pm.

Join the M5(M2) motorway at Shore Road and bear right onto M3 (over River Lagan bridge).  Take the A20 Newtownards Road, pass the Albertbridge Road junction, turn left into Connswater Street (opposite McDonald’s) where there is a large free car park. Walk across CS Lewis Square to the Eastside Visitors’ Centre from where we will resume our walk at 11 am.  (We recommend this car park as parking at Titanic Quarter is very limited and expensive.  Note that those walkers who park at Connswater Street will forego the first mile of the walk).

The first mile of the walk from Titanic Railway Station to CS Lewis Square is via Sydenham Road, Airport Road, the Sam Thompson Bridge and Victoria Park.  We will leave time for everyone to view the sculptures in CS Lewis Square, have coffee, visit loos etc.  We will start the main part of the walk (6 miles) at 11 am.  The walk is circular and flat with well paved walkways along the Connswater Community and Comber Greenways.  (For those who want a shorter walk, buses into central Belfast are nearby at all stages of the walk).  The final mile of the walk to Central Railway Station may be on foot or by Glider bus, as preferred.

Lunch will be at c1.30 pm in the Orchard Café, corner of Newtownards Road/Bloomfield Avenue.  


Date: 28th September 2018
SHORT WALK– C.3¼ miles/ Approx 1-1½ Hrs
LEADER: Margaret Kelly Telephone 07712671996 & Liz Whittall Telephone 07745094471
MEETING POINT Ballymena Bus & Railway Station. 10-15am

Outward Journey
Train –Dep Whitehead 09.45a.m Carrickfergus 9.54a.m Yorkgate 10.16a.m. Change to 10.24a.m train to Ballymena.
Alternatively- Train 10.33a.m Mossley West arrive Ballymena 11.03a.m.
Return Journey
Train 14.00p.m, 15.00p.m 16.00p.m

There is a car park at Ballymena Railway Station but like Mossley Car Park, spaces are limited.

Short distance from Railway station to start of walk. Mostly Flat terrain with small incline. The walk takes us along the side of Braid river.

Toilet facilities are available in the Bus Station.

Refreshments are available in the Leighinmohr House Hotel.


Sixmilewater Walk Friday 12th October
Length: Approx 4 miles
Duration: 1hour 40 mins. Approximately.
By Train from Mossley West leaves at 09.33am and arrives Antrim station at 09.46am
We will walk from the train station to the Antrim Forum to meet up with any members travelling by car.
By Car Meet at Antrim Forum Cafe. Walk will start at 10.30am
Terrain: Mostly level paths
Lunch : Old Court House, Antrim.
Leader: Anne Bodles Mob 07799592635 & Maureen Hayes.


Two Bridges, Londonderry 
Long Walk 19th October – 
Train times :- Whitehead 8.45am; Carrickfergus 8.54am; Greenisland 9.03am; change at Yorkgate for the 9.24am train to Londonderry which calls at Mossley West at 9.33am. Arrival time at our destination is 11.22am and the walk starts at 11.30am from the Waterside Railway Station.
Terrain: The walk is on a level path along the Waterside shore of Lough Foyle to the “new ” Foyle bridge, crossing to the city side and following the shore path to the Peace bridge,
Lunch: Call in to Sainsbury’s (if you want to!)
Return to the Waterside railway station for the journey home via the peace bridge.
A train leaves every hour. At 38 minutes past the hour

LEADER – Robin Connor` MOB 07805830550


Ormeau Park 
Short Walk – Friday 26 October
Length Approx 3 ½ – 4 miles
Duration 1-1 ½ hours
Terrain Flat with good paths
By Train Larne 09.58 – Whitehead10.15 – Carrickfergus 10.24 – Trooperslane 10.30 –
Greenisland 10.33 – Jordanstown 10.36 – Whiteabbey 10.40 – Lanyon Place 10.51
Route Walk From Station alongside riverside to Ormeau Road, across bridge and back through Ormeau Park and back to Restaurant.
Lunch Seasons Restaurant at the Mount Conference Centre
Leader Brenda Nicholl – Mobile 07816756478 – Home – 02890843920


The Balancing Lakes, Craigavon
Date – 9th November 2018
Short Walk – 31/2-4 miles – Duration – around 11/2 hours
Leader – Brenda Nicholl – Mob – 07816756474; Home – 02890843920
Travel – Train – Larne Harbour 08.55
Whitehead 09.15
Carrickfergus 09.24
Troopers Lane 09.30
Greenisland 09.33
Jordanstown 09.36
Whiteabbey 09.40
Gt Victoria St 10.00
Walk round to Europa Bus Centre to get Ulsterbus Goldline Express Number 250 to Armagh via Rushmere Centre, Craigavon, leaving at 10.30
Walk starts from the rear of the Shopping Centre.
Toilets and refreshments are available in the Centre.
Terrain mainly flat tarmac paths

Returning Home
Buses leave the Shopping Centre at
No 51: 14.05 arriving Belfast 15.45
14.30 “ “ 16.15
No 250: 15.40 “ “ 16.30


Larne Leisure Centre to Carnfunnock Park
Long walk on the 16th November  2018
The walk will be from Larne Leisure Centre along the promenade and then following the Coast road North, into Carnfunnock Country park.
Length:  Approximately 7½miles
Meet:     10am in Larne Leisure Centre Car Park
Duration:  2½ hours
Refreshments: There will be a short stop in Carnfunnock Country Park for tea or coffee
Leaders:    Anne Bodles and Maureen Hayes     Mob.  07799592635
                   Please ring if you need a lift
Lunch:       Larne Leisure Centre
Please wear walking shoes or boots for the Carnfunnock section


Hillisborough Lake and Forest – 23rd November 2018
Leader – Brenda Nicholl – Mobile 07816756478 Home 02890843920

Short Walk – Distance around 3/31/2 miles – Duration 1/11/2 hours

Travel: Train –Whitehead      08.45
                              Downshire       08.51
                             Carrick             08.54
                             Trooperslane   09.00
                             Greenisland    09.03
                            Jordanstown   09.06
                           Whiteabbey     09.10
                           Gt Victoria St   09.30


Bus –                   Europa Bus Station  09.45  to   Hillsborough War Memorial   10.10

Return Bus
Bus – 238 Hillsborough War Memorial 14.05 arrives 14.28 takes 23 minutes
Bus – 38     Hillsborough War Memorial 14.17 arrive 15.10 takes 53 minutes
Bus – 238 Hillsborough War Memorial 15.05 arrives 15.28 takes 23 minutes

Walk is from the bus stop up main street and follow Park Street path into the Lake area.  There are two marked trails one round the lake and the other through the forest, both circular. Hopefully we will follow both.

Paths are mostly flat with a few steeper gradients in places.

Refreshments locally and public toilets close to bus stop.




LONG WALK – c7 miles/4 hours (including breaks). DATE: 21st December 2018.
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone 028 93373084 (land line)
07711 706022 (mobile)
MEETING POINT/TIME: Lanyon Place Railway Station (formerly Central Station) at 9.51 am.
Outward Journey:
Train – Dep Larne Town 8.58 am; Dep Whitehead 9.15 am; Dep Carrickfergus 9.24 am; Dep Jordanstown 9.36 am; Arr Lanyon Place 9.51am.
Return Journey:
Train – Dep Jordanstown 2.09 pm; Arr Carrickfergus 2.20 pm; Arr Whitehead 2.30 pm; Arr Larne Town 2.46 pm.
Note: For those who want a short walk (c3 miles), a return journey may be made from Yorkgate Railway Station at 11.29 am (all stations to Whitehead, terminating there at 12.00 noon) or at 11.59 am (all stations to Larne Town, arriving there at 12.46 pm).
The walk is flat and well paved. The first 2 miles are alongside the River Lagan and within the Belfast Harbour Estate. A further half-mile is in Duncrue Industrial Estate, where we will stop at “The Pump House” café for coffee and a comfort break. Those who want a short walk can walk to Yorkgate Railway Station (c half a mile) after the break. The rest will join the shared walk/cycle path alongside the M2/M5 motorway to Whiteabbey (c4 miles). After lunch in Whiteabbey village, there is a half-mile walk to Jordanstown Railway Station – this totals a 7 mile walk.
There is a choice of c4 places to eat in Whiteabbey – a pub and several coffee shops.



1] Walk Leaders are asked to pick up and return the rucksack, containing first aid kit, notebook, contact information etc, from/ to the office in Nelson Street so that it will be available for the next Leader to collect and so ensure that both the short and long walk leaders will be able to access it.  To comply with General Data Protection Regulations it is important that the personal information kept in the rucksack is stored correctly and returning the rucksack to the office removes that responsibility from the individual leader.    

2] Please could you ensure that a description of the walk and all relevant details regarding travel arrangements, leader’s contact number etc, are forwarded to James Carroll 3-4 weeks before each walk. If possible use the blank document ( Walk Details ) provided by James in order to maintain consistency in presentation and content. If you do not have a computer please give me a handwritten copy and I will type it up and forward to James.




Neither East Antrim U3A nor the Walk Leader/Organiser can control the environment, weather, animals or any other walkers and whilst taking normal precautions, providing reasonable help and assistance as necessary, they cannot accept responsibility for any circumstances affecting the Health or Safety of the walkers in the walking group. Walks organised by EAU3A and lead by EAU3A members are covered by Public Liability Insurance through the Third Age Trust. This is designed to protect leaders against claims for damage to property and for injury or death which might have been occasioned on the walk.

This is NOT a personal accident insurance and accordingly participants are responsible for their own Health and Safely and the safe keeping of their equipment, clothing and belongings.

Participants on Walks should follow the advice/instructions of the Walk Leader in order to minimise any risk to themselves and should also ensure that they do not endanger others in the group.