Ireland day 0658. Tuesday 18 July 2023- Hidden Lake *

Ireland day 0658. Tuesday 18 July 2023- Hidden Lake
Today’s summary Took Val to the airport first thing, went to the gym, then searched for (and found) a hidden lake on Paddy’s Hill
Today’s weather Persistent heavy rain which started in the middle of the night and didn’t stop until about 1pm.   Overcast but mainly dry and some sunny intervals later.   Moderate to strong north westerly wind, dropping away to dead calm in the evening.   Appx 17C
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Searching for hidden lake on Paddys Hill

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

I happened it be in the library yesterday, renewing a book, and came across an exhibition of  photos taken by children in the local schools before they broke up for their summer holidays.   One of them was entitled “The beauty of Malahide’s hidden lake – Paddy’s Hill”.  Well, I’ve been up Paddy’s Hill dozens of times and never seen any sign of a lake, and I spoke to a couple of people in the library who had never heard of it either.   So I made it my objective today to try and see if I could find where it was.

But first, I had a couple of important jobs to do.   Val was going back to the UK today for an important wedding later in the month (I will be following her next week) so we were up at 5:45 am (ugh) and speeding round to the airport for her flight shortly after 6.   Once back, I promptly went back to bed for a couple of hours, then after breakfast I headed out into the pouring rain for job no. 2 – a quick session in the gym.   I hadn’t been for a few days and was already beginning to feel in need of a bit of exercise again.

Once that was out of the way, and I’d had lunch, I set off on my lake-hunting expedition.   I had looked at Google Earth to see if I could see anything in the satellite imagery of Paddy’s Hill which might resemble a lake, but could see nothing apart from an incongruous looking whitish spot just down from the Jameson Orchard estate.   I headed up there and found I couldn’t get to the candidate lake as there was a hugely overgrown field blocking the way.  But a bit further on, I thought I’d sneak into the Portmarnock AFC grounds and see if I could cut through from the other side.   At the back of the grounds, I found a rough path which beat its way through the overgrown field and there, lo and behold, suddenly in front of me, was the lake.

Quite how it didn’t show up on Google Earth I don’t know – maybe it dries up from time to time, and only refilled recently after the heavy rain.   Anyway, there it was, hidden in plain sight tucked away behind the football club.   So now, it seems, I know about a feature that even most locals have never heard of.   Anyway, I wasn’t sure that the land was exactly public, so I didn’t linger and swiftly headed back out through the football club, up to the top of the hill, and then down to the coast at Portmarnock (following the newly tarmacked and quite excellent “desire line” shortcut path across the green near Limetree Avenue).

Once down on the coast, I bought a drink in the corner-shop, then crossed over to the bathing shelter to enjoy it while a brief shower passed overhead.   From there, it was a simple but enjoyable stroll back along the coast, through Malahide and into the flat just in time for what by that stage I felt was a well-earned cup of tea.

An altogether excellent day which I think I will look back on with satisfaction


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Accident or design?   A rather happy, if wet, -looking leaf on the pavement near the gym I had been worried that my favourite tree – the giant redwood (Sequoia) near the cricket pitch in the Castle Demesne – might be dying.   Earlier in the year, the needles were going brown and I thought it could have caught a fatal Phytophthera infection – one of the sequoias in the botanic gardens died of it late last year.   But it was looking much healthier today.   Perhaps the recent heavy rain has reinvigorated it and it was just suffering from drought.   Let’s hope so
The child’s photo, on display in the Malahide Library, which first sparked my interest in “Malahide’s Hidden Lake”.   Thanks to the observant young photographer! I couldn’t resist posting this picture of a white Buddleia outside the Avoca shopping area by the castle.   Just because I really like all shades of this plant, and especially the deep purple and pure white ones.   The white ones soon start to go brown but this one looked to be in near-perfect condition
“This is the voice of the Mysterons” (you need to be very old and remember Captain Scarlet to understand this one).   Alternatively it might just be a couple of rather healthy looking fairy-rings on Paddy’s Hill, near the playing fields Down on the coast again, by the Low Rock swimming area
With the elusive lake!
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 11495 m
Max elevation: 50 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 184 m
Total descent: -183 m
Total time: 02:20:49
Download file: Searching for Malahide’s hidden lake compressed corrected.gpx

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