I’m sure like many of you, climbing the Mourne Mountains has been on my bucket list, and although G Spotters will know I’m a keen hiker, climbing Cave Hill and Divis was as adventurous as I’ve been. 

After an Easter full of eating I decided it was time to tackle the chocolate belly so headed to Donard Park to climb Slieve Donard. Starting the climb at 9.30am, it took us two hours to get up and two hours down, and it was a adventure of mixed emotions. Here are a few things I learned along the way…

  • Setting off early was the best advice as the road into Newcastle was like a car park when we were leaving. 
  • Bringing lots of water is important – we went on a coolish day but we were still very thirsty.
  • Wear layers – one minute we were hot and one minute cold so layers are a good option. I couldn’t believe people just walked up with a t-shirt on and nothing else. 
  • Bring sunglasses & a hat – the weather is so changeable up a mountain so it’s good to be prepared.
  • Wear proper footwear – I saw people wearing plimsoles and I don’t know how they survived back down on the rocky path!
  • When you get to the top take a big deep breath and enjoy the view! And if you have an iPhone, check your ‘health’ app as you’ll be able to see the steps you’ve done (18,000 for us) and it gives you a real sense of achievement!
  • And when you’re finished, call into Niki’s cafe on the corner of Donard Park for a delicious scone and hot chocolate – you deserve it!

Inspired? Well check out WalkNI for more interesting routes across the province and here are a few items to make sure you look and act the part!

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Red Herring @ Debenhams

Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch @GSpotsBlog or grainne@gspots.biz