A refreshing walk along the cliff top overlooking Benone Beach, Lough Foyle and the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal
Finish Point:C716 342
Point of interest:Binevenagh, Magilligan Point, Benone Strand
Getting to the start by car:To get to the trail head from Limavady - The Bishop’s Road begins a few miles north east of Limavady town. Take the Windy Hill Road (B201) and turn left onto the Bishop’s Road; Gortmore View Point is approximately 5 miles from this junction.
To get to the trail head from Castlerock/Downhill – Follow Mussendun Road (A2) signed as Causeway Coastal Route. When you descend into Downhill turn left onto Bishop’s Road as it rises steeply. Look for the brown & white signs for Binevenagh Scenic Loop and Gortmore. The viewpoint is approximately 2 ½ miles along this road.
Terrain:cliff top, open field,quiet road
Route:On entering Gortmore view point follow the concrete path past the basalt bench and as the path descends you should see a stile and way marker in front of you IC716 342. Crossing the stile you are now in the townland of Avish (The course mountain pasture); descend through the field keeping the fence on your left. This section is steep in places and can be slippy at times.
As you descend through the field take the time to look towards Inishowen, Magilligan Point and Benone Strand. You may be joined by some of the cliff nesting birds that nest below you such as fulmar and peregrine or by a paraglider above you.
After 600 metres you should find a stile over a fence at IC 719 347 which will then lead you across a rushy field. Head in a north easterly direction for a further 600 metres to IC 725 349 where you step across a stream before climbing the bank to meet another stile and fence.
Continue north east, as Eagle Hill comes into view on your right veer towards the fence and the cliff line that should be still on your left! Follow the fence which now is constructed in an old stone wall. Look out for feral goats which roam around the area, you’re sure to smell them before you see them, especially the big billy! Look over Benone Strand and the distinctive sweep of the beach towards Magilligan Point comes into view. Look down over Umbra nature reserve and the expanse of beach. Take in the corduroy lines as the waves meet the shore.
By now the rest of the North Coast should open up before you. Meet another stile at IC 729 355 and follow the stone wall to where it curves around above one of the many waterfalls along the Seacoast Road.
When you’ve had your fill of the view turn south and ascend through the field keeping the stream feeding the waterfall on your left. Pass through an old stone boundary wall at IC 732 353 continuing south to meet the Bishop’s Road.
Carefully cross the stile over a stone wall at IC 732 350 to return to the public road. Turn right to ascend the Bishop’s Road for 2 kms back to Gortmore Viewpoint or left for Downhill. Looking to the east there are superb views towards Mussenden, the Downhill Estate and the Bann Estuary.
Please note this walk can be combined with the Gortmore to Hells hole route to make a 5 mile long route.
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