A series of well-used paths connect Oakfield Glen to the neighbouring Bashfordsland Wood. Together, the two woods offer an hour’s leisurely stroll. The Woodland Trust manage Oakfield Glen and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council manage Bashfordsland Wood.
Start Point:J415 899
Finish Point:J415 899
Point of interest:Sullatober Water, Puca tree sculptures, Ice House, Victorian stone bridges
Getting to the start by public transport:Ulsterbus Route 365D services Oakfield Drive and Prince Andrew Way. Timetables can be found at the Translink link below.
Getting to the start by car:From Carrickfergus, take the 'Irish Gate' road, off the main roundabout at Carrickfergus Castle. Continue along this road for approx 1.2km, until reaching Prince Andrew Way on your right hand side. Take the first left onto Oakfield Drive, and continue along this road until reaching a designated parking area with signage for Oakfield Glen (approx 1km).
Terrain:Concrete, compacted gravel paths
Route:From the car park just of Oakfield Drive, follow the path through the wooded glen along the Sullatober Water. There are several short loops off the main path to be explored. Follow the circular path through Bashfordsland Wood, and retrace your steps back to the car park.
Oakfield Glen, cared for by the Woodland Trust, was once a countryman’s residence, built in 1805 and decorated with fine gardens and exotic plantings. The big house was unfortunately demolished in the 1950s but some interesting specimen trees, including a Coast Redwood, remain. Other reminders of days gone by include an old icehouse, which has been uncovered and restored to its former glory. Walkers will also come across a charming burn which bisects this long linear site, while two newstone bridges echo the remains of a much older one, built in Victorian times.
The mature woodland and exotic trees have been enhanced with the planting of native saplings. Together young and old provide a much-needed habitat for wildlife, including bullfinches, sparrowhawks and wrens, with visiting willow warblers and chiff chaffs. Spring time visitors receive a colourful greeting from the bluebells, wild garlic and wood sorrel that carpet the woodland floor.
Unique sculptures, designed by Alan Cargo and Eleanor Wheeler, will guide you on your woodland adventure. Keep an eye open for ten mystical Púca creatures, no doubt hiding in the treetops.In Irish folklore, the Púca are said to be the most mischievous of all the fairies in Ireland.
At Bashfordsland Wood you will find wildlife-ponds, wildflowers,and thousands of recently planted native trees – over 20,000 in total. The trees already tower over the tallest of walkers and attract precious wildlife, including sparrowhawks and buzzards. New strategically placed sculptures in the shape of leaves will meet you on your journey. The steel sculptures were created by artist Kevin Killen, with input from Oakfield Primary School.
Facilities:Car parking, outdoor gym, orienteering trail
Publication availability:See downloads