Knocklayde Mountain

Knocklayde Mountain stands at 514 meters high and dominates the landscape surrounding Ballycastle on the north Antrim coast.  It is the last of the rolling hills before the green terrain meets the sea and is in plain view of the surrounding countryside. Striking in appearance,  Knockladye’s isolated exterior means it’s accessible for most walkers.

Photo by F. McCarry

Taking about 2 hours from bottom to top, the best route to the summit starts from Ballycastle Forest car park located just outside the town. From the roundabout at the harbour, follow the Glenshesk road, turn right onto the Dunamallaght Road, and follow the brown tourist signs to Ballycastle Forest.

From the car park, head straight up the gravel path, keeping left at a couple of junctions.

As you ascend, the path becomes less grit and more dirt.

The forest path leads to a farmers gate, which can be easily hopped over.

From here follow the stone wall. The ground is solid thanks to the resident sheep, but gets slightly boggy in places as you near the top.

There are at least 3 fake peaks so be warned you may not be at the top as soon as you think.

For the final ascent, you need to climb over a wire fence near the peak. This is ideally done at the stakes for support and to avoid damaging the fence. It’s not barbed, don’t worry.

The views  from the top are amazing  with an uninterrupted  visual of Ballycastle, Rathlin island, and Scotland in the distance. It is believe that there is a neolithic passage tomb dating nearly 5000 years old at the peak of Knocklayde, but due to the thick covering of peat and grass there are no external signs. It is guessed to be over 3 meters tall and about 20 meters wide. The site has not been excavated so remains a hidden secret, and the steep mound provides a shaded place to stop and have a  warm cup of tea.

Photo by F. McCarry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s