Slieau Whallian

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Just a short out and back walk this week to the top of Slieau Whallian above St Johns. The weather was a bit grim and whilst this hill can be part of a loop the obvious descent via the Slieau Whallian ‘greenway’ track is in no way pleasurable. It is extremely eroded, gullied, rutted and you are likely to be buzzed by off-road motorcycles.

I started from the lane to the east of the hill, heading straight into the plantation.

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Any route up through Slieau Whallian plantation is going to be steep but I tried to find a different way by heading over to the western side. It was a bit rougher going and followed a downhill mountainbike trail uphill for a while. This was ok on a weekday but probably not wise at the weekend.

Once near the top of the plantation the gradient eases, a stile over the fence is found and a permissive path to the summit starts.

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A large cairn is a superb viewpoint over the west coast of the island.

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Another stile leads over a fence to a long flattish section, a broken wall and then the steep grassy climb towards the summit.

Yet another stile goes over a broken fence onto the last heathery climb.

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The view form the top is excellent towards Peel, South Barrule and Cronk ny Array Laa as well as to the north and east to Archallegan.

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Deciding not to head south and then join the Slieua Whallian greenway I headed back down the ascent route, returning to the plantation through wintery showers on a strong wind.

I followed a more conventional route down through the trees, the sun came out and illuminated the autumnal colours.

So just a quick walk today – an hour and a half for 5.5 km – but it’s always worth going out even if the rain and hail on the house roof suggests otherwise!

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