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on 26 March 2016
Donegal, Sligo & Leitrim: A Walking Guide

Seems a good book. You need the Irish maps ideally and it does give the coordinates in the book in the Irish mapping system although there are web sites to convert to normal Google coordinates (which have a proper name, see below) which you can put into car satnav and GPS systems.

Footpaths to an extent isn't something that the Irish do whether Eire or Northern Ireland. There isn't a right to roam you have to be friendly to the land owners. The book suggests taking a bit of split rubber tubing to put across barbed wire fences to cross them.... Most of the walks in the book cover Donegal, until I field test it in the summer I won't know how good the book is. I suspect that the walks are fairly energetic. Checking with Openstreet I can find some of the tracks others have never been put into Openstreet. The maps in the book themselves unlike the British OS series of walking guides do not include OS maps. They would be OSI for Ireland, but possibly the author didn't get copyright for them (1 : 50,000 scale). Saying this the book is well laid out, you get the Irish map reference grid way point codes, colour pictures and schematic maps. I also bought the OSI maps for Donegal and working my magic on them for personal use with the GPS app I use.

(Irish map codes go, A NNNNN NNNNN, where A is alpha, space, followed by 5 digit numeric code, with space and again, it's those you can covert to WGS84 the standard world GPS coding system. Useful convertor on Biology.ie that gives a Google map of the OSI point for cross check. The book says switch your GPS into Irish codes.... no mine doesn't do this but you can convert with this website, converting to WGS84 allows you to put them into your cars satnav to at least find the start of the walk and to put into Google Earth etc)

Edit.... OK now field tested some of these walks. As anticipated some of these walks are difficult like probably all. Had a Rothers walking guide to I think Sardinia where the walk were like over a non existent route and a giant rockery. Bogs and fences for these... because of the lack to right to roam in Ireland and presumably squabbling overland rights historically you don't get a footpath network. OSI maps do mark up what footpath there are with lines that follow roads and tracks. These might not always be accurate or disputed by landowners on the ground. The book as has been said are hill walks in the main so will be hard going. The category by I think Dr Rob in the reviews is about right. Did complete some but others are for the very fit with 40 years less than me. Since many hike on non existent paths you need GPS, the book is designed for it, but one that does Irish. I converted Irish to international, marked up way points and that's how I did part of the Urris Hills. I then did my bit for mankined when I got home and added it to Openstreet. Saying this the Southern Urris Hill here hard going which is why the track stops when it poured with rain and a decision was made we would never complete the walk in the gully ridden ridge walk.
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on 20 June 2012
I'm a late starter to walking, only discovering it when I moved from Scotland to Ireland; and I've now been walking the mountains on Northern Ireland for 2 years now. I've a number of walking books covering various areas and I find they tend to be mostly wordy and in black and white.

That's why this book by Adrian Hendroff is such a welcome addition to my collection - it's in colour. And not just colour, it's lovely and glossy as well - it reminds me of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide's (and I love these books - so full of information and illustrations - I always take one on holiday with me).

I'll walk through the layout and add my comments.

Initially you have a diagram/map of the area covered, along with markers designating each of the walks in the book. It's so easy to pick it up and identify walks that you can participate in - too often I have to sift through a book to identify the location - here it's right on page 1.

There are a couple of pages of information on walking in Ireland (again I found this useful, not realising the rights of way are different here then in Northern Ireland).

The book then splits in to the four areas - Donegal Inishowen , North Donegal, South Donegal and Sligo and Leitrim. Each of these sections has an information about the area in question - again useful to get an overview for where you may be walking, along with some history as well.

The walks for each area are then presented with a description, start/finish locations and time, as well as a summary map of the walk and area. The description of the walk is comprehensive, although you are expected to think for yourself; you are given grid references and directions to follow, and not given step-by-step directions of how to get to your goal.

The real joy are the photos of the mountains and the landscape - the publishers certainly didn't scrimp with the photo printing - the pages are littered with them, from what I see none of the walking route pages are just text - there's at least one photo on each double page and they really are a joy to look at. He also has a great book "From High Places", which contains more stunning imagery from Ireland (No I'm not in any way related to him - I just enjoy the photographs!).

I've still to read more of this book, however I'm looking forward to it and hopefully there will be more books released in the future detailing more walks.

I'd definitely recommend it, just remember to take your maps and be safe when you are out walking.
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on 21 September 2015
Just back from walking holiday in Donegal, based in Dunfanaghy (September 2015). I walked two of the walks in this guide - the Horn Head walk and the Muckish hike (wished I could have done more as it's a beautiful area).

As a planning aid, it was very useful. The guide is beautifully illustrated and well laid out, providing a good overview of the walks on offer.

In practice, I found the guide not particularly helpful in finding the routes to follow, despite regular map references - a GPS is a definite requirement for identifying your location. I found some of the features described to be missing on the ground (e.g. gates & stiles) - I suspect that the guide may be a little out of date. However, by applying commonsense, it was not difficult to complete the walks successfully.

As the footpath details on the OS maps 1:50000 series are limited, this guide is a good for planning walks.
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on 5 June 2017
Just a warning - walk 5 (The Coastal Delights of Horn Head) is now largely on private property, which we discovered when a farmer started charging towards us to tell us to get off his land! He was friendly after we explained we were just using the guidebook, but he said he had been trying to contact the author for some time to get the walk removed, with no success. Anyway, as this was the only walk we ended up doing, it was a big disappointment and a waste of money.

Note also that this book requires a GPS, not so helpful for the casual walker.
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on 26 February 2014
Very well compiled guidebook to North and west hills. Descriptions are good and plenty of background info. Well worth having if you're looking to plan trips.
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on 17 August 2015
Inspiring read though I have not yet had the chance to actually trial the suggested walks. They all seem to be mountainous rather than (eg) coastal or lowl-level routes.
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on 10 January 2015
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on 14 September 2014
This item was as stated. Thank you for a pleasant transaction
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on 1 July 2015
This a beautiful, very well written book. Hendroff is a fine photographer as well as very experienced Irish hill walker. He gives fascinating detail of the geography, history and especially legends of each area.

It is important to read his introduction about the difficulties in doing serious walking in Ireland - and you will need a good map/and or GPS as well as this fine guide. Be aware this book was published in 2012 and so there will have been changes since. We found costal erosion, new barbed wire fences and footpath closures made some routes very difficult. Also be aware that the recommended 1:50 000 OS maps don't really give you the detail you need though we found the OS co ordinates given by Mr Hendroff in each walk invaluable. This book is for serious, experienced walkers. Each walk is categorised as easy, moderate and difficult, though I suspect the average casual walker would rate them as difficult, extremely difficult and f@@king impossible!
Don't be put off though, you wont find a better walking guide to the most beautiful part of the most beautiful island in the world!
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on 8 January 2017
This book is a must for anyone interested in exploring the mountains of the north-west of Ireland. I have completed most of the walks contained within this textbook. The detail given and the fine images presented make the routes very easy to follow. I found the strategically located grid coordinates to be a valuable asset, particularly during times when the visibility was less than perfect, and my wrist GPS was activated!

Hendroff has an uncanny ability to get the most out of the landscape for each walk, leaving you fulfilled when the day's hiking is over. If you are planning a trip to this picturesque part of our great island, then don't leave home without it.
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