Fair Head (Irish: an Bhinn Mhór) is a rocky headland at the north-eastern corner of Northern Ireland, in County Antrim. It lies 3 miles (5 km) east of Ballycastle town, and is the closest part of the mainland to Rathlin Island. Geography books have long measured the length of Ireland "from Fair Head to Mizen Head". It is a very highly-regarded rock-climbing location, and is believed to be the biggest expanse of climbable rock in either Ireland or Britain. It is Ballycastle's most outstanding landmark rising 196 metres (643 ft) out of the bay. Goats can be seen roaming among the rocks beneath the clifftops, where a walkway called 'The Gray Man's Path' winds around the rugged coastline.
I had previously only seen Fair Head from the ferry on the way over to Rathlin Island ( buntcone.deviantart.com/galler…
)but this was my chance to walk it! There's a lovely (not in summer when the fucking spikey bushes have grown to 6 feet) coastal walk up to it and then the choice is yours about how you want to tackle it, if at all!
The top of Fair Head is an eerie tableland all rocks and heather. The vegetation of the heath land is a montage of mauve Lousewort, Bog Orchid and the small delicate pink spotted flower of the Heath Spotted Orchid. In the distance you can see the much more tranquil Murlough Bay. It is known for its outstanding beauty and remote location, with views across the ocean to Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre, Islay and various other Scottish islands. The local geology is typical of the Antrim topography with basalt overlaying sandstone and limestone. The area has many kilns used in the production of lime.
The mines of Fair Head made up part of a series stretching some 2 miles East and West of Fair Head and formed an important link in the industrial chain that supported the area. At the peak of production in the 1750's, one hundred miners where annually extracting between 5 and 8000 tons from these mines.
This is one of the old dwellings from the mining days - now looking a little worse for wear in the shadow of Fair Head!
Full view this ruined fucker!