16 August 2018: Carraig Una
Start point grid reference: SG 229 725
My wife and I started this walk just below the Rocky Valley Drive on the outskirts of Kilamacanogue. It is usually possible to find somewhere to park.
The road rises quite steeply. Near the top we stopped at a gate into a field to admire the view over Bray and the Irish Sea. (The stop also gave me a chance to get my breath back after the climb.)
The road loops round to the north. The paths over Carraig Una are not always easy to find but they are marked on the local maps. We took one we know, which took an immediate sharp left turn and sloped gently upwards until it met a wider path to the right, which we took. Some parts of Carraig Una had been affected by the recent fires while others were untouched. The vegetation is mainly gorse and heather. We walked up to just below the top, where there are some magnificent views over the local countryside.
We took the same route down before continuing along the Rocky Valley Drive, which skirts Carraig Una. It is a very attractive area with the occasional house.
Some distance along the road one can climb back on to Carraig Una’s lower slopes to look at the “Fairy House”, which has fascinated generations of local children for nearly 75 years. This is a large stone which is painted to resemble a tiny house. (See the picture.) It is regularly repainted. The identity of the painter is a closely-kept secret but we happen to know that over those 75 there have only been three.
We walked to the end of the Rocky Valley Drive, where it meets the R760. We turned left and walked the short way to the junction of the R760 and the R755. We continued to walk in the same direction along the R755, although care needs to be taken because of the traffic. There is a small religious shrine in the rocks on the left.
The R755 goes past the Healy Pottery before reaching the start of the Rocky Valley Drive. We turned up this, which again rises steeply at this point. We continued walking up Rocky Valley Drive until we reached point where we had originally joined it.