nitially, we thought this little beauty was called the Glen Of The Downs Woods…
Then someone smarter let us know, hey, that’s the woods just across the N11. This one is, of course, Downs Hill.
We’re guessing the entire area may have once been Glen Of The Downs Woods, of course, with us local yokels adding the likes of The Octagon, Downs Hill and Bellevue as colloquial reference points.
Whatever the name, Max, Loopy and GG reckoned the first day of summer was as good a day as any to take a stroll up one of the lesser-known treks that’s just a hop, skip and a short drive away from Greystones.
Inspired by our recent local history ramble chat with Shay Clear, covering the nearby St Mary’s Church, Rocks Bar and the old Downs school, we headed up to the same spot again, parking the car outside the gate of the 16th century ruin and heading by foot, up past the small industrial yard, and on past the former Silver Springs Hotel. Within 10 minutes, you’ll get to a pathway to your left; take it, and after about another 10 minutes, you’ll hit the main trail.
Given that you’ll probably want to return the same way, left or right works. We took the right today. Because, well, GG is always right.
If you head right, for an anti-clockwise walk, take the left at this junction [right] late on. Not one bastard sign post in sight, and the right lane just leads you out of the woods in a totally different direction…
It wasn’t the most beautiful of summer’s days, with a little mist in the distance hiding the likes of Dalkey, Newcastle, Wicklow and beyond, but with the bright yellow gorse framing the likes of the nearby Sugar Loaf mountains, panoramic views of Greystones, Kilcoole and all the rest, along with half-buried remains of old stone walls, there was much to take your mind off the everyday hustle and bustle below.
We’ll be paying another visit to this deceptively plain woods again over the summer – when we may actually get a panoramic video worthy of the view – but, for now, suffice to say, Downs Hill got an 11 out of 10 from Max…
Check out more local rambles in our Take A Hike section here.