Off the Beaten Track

Off The Beaten Track

Benaughlin Mountain

 
        benaughlin

*Crown Copyright. Route and Distances are approx. Only for guidance.*

 

Binn Eachlabrhra - "Peak of the Speaking Horse"

There are many myths and legends surrounding Benaughlin. It was thought to be a fairy mound, the dwelling place of "Donn Bin", a fairy king who roamed the area on horseback every May eve, looking for "changelings". If you hadn't a piece of mountain ash above the door it was "God help you". The mythical white horse or "copal ban" was a powerful figure and came out once a year on the last Sunday of July, "Bilberry Sunday" to speak oracles to people. Up until recently there was allegedly a large white outline of a horse carved into the hillside, visible for miles from the road from Swanlinbar.

Height: 373 metres (1221 feet)

Round trip: 6.3 Kilometres (3.9 miles)

Time: 3 to 4 hours

Level 3: Moderate

This is a good, slightly more-than-beginners walk for an afternoon.

Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Discoverer Series 1:50 000

Map 26 Lough Allen
Map Coordinates: 178315

Refreshments

There are no cafes or restaurants in the near vicinity. Best to bring a packed lunch with you.

Start and Finish

Take the Enniskillen to Swanlinbar Road (A 32). The actual start (198316) is about 4 km (2.5 miles) past the crossroads where you turn to Florence Court and Marble Arch Caves. Look out for a forest type road entrance on the right after passing a shop/filling station. It is almost exactly 800 metres (0.5 miles) from the shop to the entrance.

Terrain

This is forest road to start and rough, mostly unsurfaced track. The gradient on the forest road is moderate but after that is fairly steep but steady, along an established zigzag track up the mountain. Keep to this track. It has been slightly eroded in parts and is partly covered in heather, which can make the going slippery particularly in wet weather.

Route

Go up the forest road and once in the plantation, continue straight on past two side roads. Approaching the cliff face go round a sharp right bend and at a sharp left bend your route goes straight on to the end of the forest road. Going round the sharp bend would take you into the quarried area at the bottom of the cliffs. There are great views of Upper Lough Erne and its islands from here and on the way up the mountain you will be afforded great views of Floencecourt house and Estate. Belmore mountain and Lough Macnean. Head north towards a dense forest and follow the fence line on the left to a stile to the left. Cross over that and follow the narrow zigzag path which hugs the side of the mountain. The route eventually follows the line of a fence and near a left turn in the fence so to the right and follow a roughish, not well-defined path to the top, part of which is along a sunken gully/track which can be slippery and muddy. Eventually you will see the pillar or trig-point on the top.

Local Walking Contacts and Association

Points of Interest

From the top there are wonderful 360 deg views of County Fermanagh. To the east is Upper Lough Erne. To the south-east you can see the wind farm on Slieve Rushen. To the west the skyline is dominated by Cuilcagh Mountain and to the north is Florence Court, Lough MacNean and Belmore Mountain.

On a flattish area near to the pillar, is a mystery memorial but broken stone, lying flat. When it was intact it is supposed to have read:

"Maxwell and Stewart. This stone was erected here on 3rd November eigthteen hundred and one, by Lord E. Stuart as a memorial to his esteem the above first mentioned officer. The virtues that men have live after them; so it may be with Caesar. Si quid novisti rectius illis candidus imperti si non, his utere mecum (the last two lines of the poet Horace's letter to his friend, Numicius translated as - If you know anything more honourable than these, be frank and let me know. If not, then you must agree with me about this). What deserved this homage on top of Benaughlin is unknown.

 

Gallery

Looking south from the summit of Benauglin.

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