MKB Law Cave Hill Dawn Walk for Charity
Published 4 June 2019. By Kym Horner
Having announced our charity partnership with Action Mental Health at the start of the year, our latest fundraising event was to be our most adventurous yet… a night-into-dawn walk of Belfast’s Cave Hill!
The five intrepid explorers from MKB Law – Anne Marie, Arie, Damian, Lynsey and myself – met at Belfast Castle around 1.30am. It was a mild morning and the torrential rain from the previous day had thankfully dissipated. We were joined by participants from other charity partners of Action Mental Health, including a group from Phoenix Natural Gas. Once kitted out with head torches provided by Bryson LaganSports, we commenced our walk shortly after 2am.
Beginning at the Belfast Castle entrance of the walk, the trail took us through a dark woodland area behind the Castle estate. From there we stopped to take in views of the city, before beginning our ascent uphill… and trying not to look at the sheer drops to the right of the trail! The iconic caves, located up and to the left of the trail, unfortunately were not visible due to the low light.
Once we reached the open top section of the trail, we were met with a bracing cold wind! With our hoods up, we ploughed on to reach the summit (368 metres above sea level). Volunteers from the North West Mountain Rescue unit greeted us at the top and very kindly provided warm beverages, fruit and muesli bars. The off-road MR vehicle itself also provided us with some much needed shelter!
While we refuelled we were able to take in the stunning sights of Belfast and the surrounding areas lit up in lights. As we had managed to reach the summit just shortly after 3am, dawn was only just breaking to the North. We then moved directly out on to the McArt’s Fort lookout point, with the fog rolling in just in time to obscure our views and celebratory photos!
After this, we began making our way down the south facing slopes, with the fog and wind continuing to follow us on our descent. We were able to take in the full dawn at around 4am, and were accompanied by the dawn chorus as we made our way down the meandering steps of the meadow part of the trail back towards Belfast Castle. We completed our 4.5 mile journey shortly before 4.30am… now that’s what I call overtime!
We all had a thoroughly exhilarating experience and were more than happy to forgo one night’s sleep in order to raise funds for Action Mental Health. The event also highlighted the importance of taking care of our own mental health – that simple things such as walking, stunning natural scenery and taking a ‘time-out’ from our everyday activities, can make a positive difference to us all!
At the time of writing, we have raised a fantastic £920 from the walk – taking our overall fundraising total this year to over £1,400, with more exciting events still to come! Check out some of our pics below…