This month, the brief for our jaunt into the wilderness took me to Carnmoney Hill & Rathfern Wood. What’s that, a wood in Carnmoney? Seriously? The more I go through this journey, the more I am amazed at what exactly lies within our boundaries. The little gems of nature waiting to be discovered. Here lies a little of something for everyone. When you enter the park itself at Carnmoney Community Centre, there is a short path for a quick walk around, some sculptures for the kids, a lake for the wildlife and some lovely open green areas to enjoy. However, short walks are for wimps and I had my sights set on loftier prizes. Beyond the initial area, there are no frills, no sculptures, no fanciness beyond a solid path to walk on. Here, nature has been left to its own devices and to what an effect. The hill and woods are teeming with wildlife, with birds so cheeky, one even landed on the end of my lens. It is so peaceful here, you would be hard reminded you are on the edge of the city. The only sounds are the wind in the trees and the song of the birds. The tranquility of this place is fantastic, moreso perhaps, given its proximity to such a troubled area in recent history. There are several entrances to this haven, as I said, from Carnmoney Community Centre, form the back of the service station on the main road, near Carnmoney Cemetery and way round the far end of the path. All worth a visit, there is plenty of opportunity to revisit this place a dozen times and find something new every time.
But back to the goal of the day. I had noticed a viewing point on the map, and had heard of the view it offered. Halfway up the hill you say, doesn’t look that far on the map you say, can’t be that bad you say. Needless to say I need to brush up on my map reading. However, I would not change a single step, nor do I claim any of the time it took to get there wasted.
Instead, I breathed in the fresh air, cherished every step and eventually climbed the stairway to a breathtaking view I never knew could exist. I honestly think more of us should see our city form up here. I believe if they could see the beauty of it, and how small each of our individual little parts are in the totality of it, that we would understand how we all exist together, how we bring our city together. It is a somewhat spiritual place.
Perhaps I did go up a hill on a crazy whim, but I certainly came down with a different view of our city, and an open mind to where we live. I can only recommend you go and experience it for yourself.