A Walk in the Woods

Going for a walk is so much more than just forward momentum or aiming for a destination. It’s your state of mind that usually asks your feet to get moving. Who’d have thought that placing one foot in front of the other would have such mental health consequences?

So in honour of National Walking Day I’ve complied a list of my favourite walks. In ascending order:

5. In at number five is the Blackhead path at Whitehead – recently re-opened just in time to allow lockdown-easing jaunts along the path; waving hello to sleeping bats in the caves, climbing hundreds of steps to stand beside the lighthouse looking out at the pier disappearing into lough mist. It’s official: I heart lighthouses.

4. Non-mover at number four is the route from Dunseverick Castle to Whitepark Bay via Portbraddon at the Causeway coast. Oh how I miss the north coast! Nothing can compare to causeway waves and that big, grey sky.

3. New entry at number three is a rainy saunter around Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, preferably with autumn leaves strewn romantically about the place. A haunting and hallowed place all its own.

2. Not able to push number one off the top spot but holding firm at number two is a walk in the woods at Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey. Put simply, this place kept me sane during lockdown. A wee gem in the neighbourhood. 

1. Nothing can shift this from the number one slot – it’s the Norwegian glacier at Dalsnibba. Astonishing viewpoint over the fjords, bright green glacial melt and a sense that nowhere else on earth is this beautiful. And was that a wolf howling in the distance?

To all five, from the bottom of my heart and the top of my head, thank you.