April 12th 2010

by Michael West, Founder I have long wanted to introduce a Walk in Northern Ireland, a region I have loved since I first visited in the 1970’s. Now that political stability has finally been secured, it seemed the right time to realise that ambition and I am thrilled with the success of our Inaugural Walks last year.
The welcoming warmth of the Ulster-folk exceeded even the legendary hospitality of their southern neighbours; the unspoiled countryside; the lush glens with streams bickering over waterfalls; thousands of seabirds screeching on the wing over Rathlin Island; standing on the cliffs of Ulster and seeing, to the west, the hills of Donegal in the Irish Republic and, to the east, the coast of Scotland, mirroring the fascinating and often bloody history; the stunning coastline, described by my co-Founder, Christopher Hague, who has hiked everywhere there is to hike, as 'coastal walking as good as anywhere in the world'. Above all, however, the highlight of any visit to Northern Ireland is the fantastic, phenomenal Giant’s Causeway – a UN World Heritage Site – whose 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns slope into the sea towards the coast of Scotland inviting, daring you to follow the Giant. No amount of reading or web-browsing can prepare you for the thrill of approaching the Causeway on foot along the cliff top; nothing can diminish the surprise and gasp of delight as the formation takes shape beneath you and the impact of this unique, awe-inspiring phenomenon makes its mark. The National Trust cares for the site and is doing much to preserve its awesome beauty and to mitigate the effects of mass-tourism. The Wayfarers low-impact, on foot visits to the Giant's Causeway, and many other sites throughout the United Kingdom, support the Trust in these endeavours financially and in practice. Find out more about The Wayfarers' 2010 Northern Ireland Walks in June, July and September.

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