The traditional St Patrick’s day Slemish Climb will take place this week and a series of events are planned to make it a rewarding experience for all.
Hundreds are expected to make the climb on Thursday and they will enjoy spectular views and some traditional entertainment on offer.
Raceview Mill, Broughshane, will be the hub for the event, with storytelling, traditional music and children’s entertainment among the attractions laid for walkers on route to or returning from Slemish between 12.30 and 3.30pm and visitors can also enjoy delicious traditional Irish fayre at the onsite cafe. Mid & East Antrim Borough Mayor, Cllr Billy Ashe is urging everyone join in the fun along the slopes where the Saint reputedly tended sheep.
He said: “Reward yourself with one of the most beautiful sights around – many miles of rolling countryside in every direction and great views across large areas of County Antrim – by taking part in this now well established annual hike.”
Council is once again providing a park and ride facility for ease of access to the 3,000 visitors who are expected to attend this year. There are numerous ways to access the mountain. Visitors can park at Raceview Mill, Buckna Presbyterian Church car park or Buckna Gospel Hall car park. Park & Ride services will run continually from Raceview Mill, between 9am-2pm and Buckna Car parks from 9am-3pm. For foot passengers a bus departs from ecos approximately every 30 minutes between 9am and 2pm for a connecting bus to Slemish. Last coaches will return from Slemish from 4pm.
There is a small charge for this service -adults £2, children £1.50 from Raceview Mill and adults £1.50, children £1.00 from Buckna. Children under five-years go free. Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult. Only disabled badge holders will be allowed to park at Slemish car park (limited parking) and no parking will be permitted along the Carnstroan Road or the Carnstroan Lane approach to the Mountain. General parking is otherwise only available at Raceview Mill and Buckna car parks and for anyone using the shuttle service. For further information, contact Ballymena Visitor Information Centre on 028 2563 5010/1.