News 2020


Title:  The Local Hundred - Pandemic Options: A Walker’s Nearest Peaks loom large.
Date:  19/08/2020

The Local Hundred

Pandemic Options: A Walker’s Nearest Peaks loom large.


By Colin Murphy and MountainViews

Of all the challenges available on, I’d never really considered the Local 100 as something worthy of serious consideration. The Highest Hundred, for example, as also used in the Irish Peaks book called for a high degree of effort in often demanding terrain. The Arderins offers a serious challenge of 406 summits of over 500m spread throughout the entire island, thus holding the prospect of some spectacular walking in remote and varied landscapes. But the Local 100, which included some hills that were barely 200m high, and in my case, largely concentrated in Wicklow, didn’t really appeal.

Even with the warnings, places like Glendalough, Wicklow can still offer Covid 19 risks.


But all of that changed for me in 2019, when through various circumstances, I found that I simply wouldn’t have the time to travel on long expeditions all over the land, but would have to content myself with more local hillwalking, so I turned my eye towards the locals, and the hills I usually drove by on my way to somewhere that I considered higher/more challenging/interesting. At the time of writing, Covid 19 is restricting all of our movements and even going for a walk in a spot popular with the general public like Glendalough in Wicklow, Howth Head in Dublin or Connemara National Park can prove somewhat hazardous for your health due to people ignoring ‘social distancing’.

The advantages of many of the Local 100 hills and mountains is that they’re largely untrodden, close at hand and offer a wide variety of options – enough that for some you can even take along those not too used to scaling great heights (as long as you all stay two metres apart!) My personal experience doing many of my own 100 was that I’d say that ninety per cent of my walks were completed without encountering another living soul. And isn’t keeping apart from everyone else just what’s recommended at the moment?

Be aware however that many on your Local 100 list are smaller and may be on private and actively used land.    Always be respectful to the wishes of owners.  See what advice there may be from local clubs or on the relevant MountainViews page about parking, routes and access.

Depending on where you live of course, your L100 might include Carrauntoohil, Mweelrea or Slieve Donard. But if you live in Tralee, for example, it would also include the likes of Gortnagan Beg, a minor reek just 298m high, but which offers tremendous views in all directions. Simpler still would be Callahaniska in the Glenbeigh Horseshoe. A short walk through the heather to the summit at 219m, but the hill has been described as offering the ‘best reward to effort ratio in the Kingdom!’



The views from the top of Callahaniska. (Glenbeigh Horseshoe)

The best reward to effort ratio in the Kingdom of Kerry.


Looking north, let’s say you’re a resident of Newry. In this case you have an equally eclectic mix of the challenging to the ‘simplicity itself’ category, encompassing the beautiful Mournes, the Cooleys, Belfast Hills and the Sperrins. If you’re up for a longer, tougher trek, the conical Slieve Bearnaghs or Slieve Binnian with its spectacular rock formations might be your thing. At the other end of the scale, if you fancy a more brief, gentler outing there’s fine walk through Castlewellan Forest Park to the summit of Slievenaslat at 272m overlooking Castlewellan Lake. Or there’s Slievenaglogh in the Cooleys at 310m, and which presents splendid views of Slieve Foye, the Cooley range and out over Dundalk Bay.


Land and seascapes await at the summit of Slievenaslat (Mournes)


I was sceptical when I first set about climbing the more minor hills of my L100, but I soon discovered that even the most unremarkable hills rewarded me in some fashion. Trooperstown Hill in Wicklow, for example, looked like a dull bump on the map but to my pleasure I discovered that the entire hill blanketed in a colourful mass of heather and furze. The diminutive Bray Head Hill, presents tremendous views along the east coast. Robbers Pass Hill, is probably the easiest top in Ireland to ascend (it took me about five minutes!) but the views over Wicklow with Lough Dan nestling between the slopes in the distance were very fine indeed.


Trooperstown Hill, Wicklow…often blanketed in colour.

The point is that wherever your location on the island of Ireland, your Local 100 offers a wonderful, eclectic mix of the more challenging to the ‘easy as pie’ if you just feel the need to get out, get some fresh air and exercise and do some ascending, however major or minor. So don’t just shop local, walk local!






Note: Click here for MountainViews Hundred Highest .  Some summits may be inadvisable to walkers for various reasons such as them being on seastacks or having access difficulties. The website therefore offers 110 summits and the completion challenge is to visit 100 of those.  To see your personalised list, you need to be logged in and to have told the website where you are based which is done in “Settings”, most easily with a laptop.  We invite you to collaborate on the information presented as you try them.  Improve suggestions, routes, photos etc.

This article is based on one first published here:



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