Pure mile


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Leaning on gates

I start the Baltynanima Puremile walk at the Baliliam lane junction, walking towards Lough Dan, stopping at gateways along the way to view the scenery.

At the first gateway on my left I see the outskirts of Roundwood village, the GAA hall and grounds. Also, I see the hill of Ballinacor Beg, with Derrylossary church below, where; President Erskine Childers was buried in 1974.


       I  turn the corner at "Malones lane" where the road climbs up the Newline section. At this point the landscape is diverse with original bog land, fields grazed by animals and expanding views of the Wicklow hills. When I reach the junction signposted for the Wicklow way, Lough Dan and Roundwood, I pause to take in the view of Scarr and the adjoining mountains. Then I turn right onto the Green Road, so named as one of the last roads in Roundwood surfaced with tarmac. This is quite narrow, with a parking lay-by and a large stone engraved with the road name. To the left is Ballinafunshoge hill. I enjoy the peaceful nature of this stretch as I turn south- west to view the beautiful, panoramic hills and mountains


     At the top of the Green Road I turn right to finish the loop on to Balislam lane. I cross over to the  wire fence and in the distance I see Sugarloaf mountain to my left as well as the Roundwood reservoir. Further east, nestled between the hills I can glimpse the Irish Sea. Continuing down Balislam lane, I stop at the first gate to my left where Djouce mountain comes into view. I note that his field has several hawthorn trees. I smell  the woodbine in the air. I carry on, stopping as I go, to feed from the wild berries.

     This beautiful walk took me past wide open fields with sheep, cattle, farms, houses, traditional, granite, gate posts, at least two traditional iron gates and some beautiful, reclaimed stone walls. Further along there are several gaps in the hedgerows, where, on a clear day you can see the east coast and the Wicklow Hills in all directions.

     Most of the traditional hedgerows along the route are still intact and are such a precious inheritance, supporting an infinite variety of trees, plants, birds and insects.

There are bat and bird boxes placed high in some of the trees which further encourage wildlife.

     The narrower stretches, with high hedges and no views, offer the opportunity to go inward, breath the pure air, slow down, listen to nature and still the mind. What comes to mind is the unspoilt nature of this stretch of the Puremile where generations of footsteps have gone before us, and, if we care for this landscape, generations will follow in our footsteps. The walk was just over three km. A wonderful way to spend an hour.