Banagher Glens- 21/07/2018

**Update – 23/07/2018 – We are only just realising that the walk we did wasn’t actually the glen walk. It was the Banagher Dam walk. You would think that we would have realised that when we saw the big sign saying Dam and pointing down the path that we took….. DOH!! There is actually a separate walk for the Glens that you can do which takes you on a different route than the one we took. **

Having made out bucket list for the summer we thought that we’d make a start on it and head off somewhere that we’ve never been before. Banagher Glens is a spot just south of Dungiven. About a 35-minute drive from our starting spot in Coleraine. We decided, however, to take a slightly longer route so that we could stop off and get some munchies for the walk so that Tom had nothing to complain about like last time when we walked along the Ballykelly Bank. For the images I decided to take along my big camera (Canon EOS 500D DSLR) to see if I could get any better shots than I would with my phone; I did, however, forget to bring the proper lens for it, so some the images turned out a little blurry. I have included some of them so you can see what the place is like and get an idea about it for yourself.

The short walk (2 miles) itself is one through the steep wooded Banagher Glen, which is one of the oldest ancient oak woodlands in Ireland and leads to the Altnaheglish Reservoir and Banagher Dam. Something which is a sight all on its own.

Heading down the narrow path to the entrance we weren’t met by any cars meaning that either the weather was too dull for people visit, or it wasn’t a path that people would think of to go to. When we arrived at the entrance we were met by a gate and a small spot which looked like a carpark, so we thought that we would just park-up and make our way from there. We however found further in through the gate a larger carpark which we could have parked at. It wasn’t something we were too bothered about going in, on the way down though was a different story.

On the way up the path although it was steeper than anticipated none of us seemed to mind, either because the surface was very compact or the sights around us were just so nice we didn’t notice.

We found this walk a little more enjoyable than the walk along the Ballykelly Bank because there seemed to be more to see and more the talk about. We were all fascinated by the way the rocks had been worn away to make what seemed like small waterfalls every so often. Tom was particularly fascinated with the way that some of the trees had grown facing toward the sun, how there were thicker branches on one side of the tree compared to the other side.

The only downside I found from the walk was there were no signs to let you know how far you had gone or how far you had to go until the end. I think these would have been very helpful to us as we reached the top as we nearly turned around and if my OH didn’t go on and check Google maps I think we would have just turned around and we would have missed out seeing the dam.

When we arrived at the top we were a little disappointed to find that we were unable to climb to the top of the reservoir to get an image looking down, as the gate to the stairs were locked. It was probably a good thing that it was as half way down again Tom started complaining that the fronts of his legs were sore and that he couldn’t wait until we got to the car. It was then that we thought it would have been nice if we had parked the car in one of the inner carparks and not the outer one.

Overall I thought that the walk itself was a very satisfying one. Even though we were climbing some steep slopes it really didn’t feel like it. It is one that I would definitely do again. I am particularly proud of Tom who managed to do it with little to no complaining until the end. We did, however, have to bribe him with V-bucks to get him to be quiet because he wouldn’t keep quiet, and kept talking about anything and everything. This is where the thought of the day came from for that day.

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