Great views open up behind as height is gained and at a crossroads our goal, the hill called Barnavave, is revealed to the left ahead, while straight ahead is Slieve Foy.The name Barnavave is from the Gaelic Bearna-Mbeidhbhe or Maeve’s Gap, relating to the great Tain legend of the Queen of Connaught.Some of the pieces date back to the early years of the 20th Century, but the majority of the artworks date from the last twenty years.
Among the butterflies to look out for here is the relatively scarce, silver-washed fritillary. It’s rough and boggy in places, but soon you’re out on open moorland again, with Barnevave appearing over the eastern flanks of Slieve Foye. Reaching the wide grassy path of the Tain Way our route follows it up to the saddle between Slieve Foye and Barnavave, from where extensive views to the south open up across the peninsula.We now head for the summit of Barnavave at 350m above sea level.Dundalk Bay leads the eye down the coast past Dunany Point, Clogher Head, and the Wicklow mountains on the far horizon.Turn right and gently climb towards Slieve Foye Wood, with views of Carlingford below, the port of Greenore to the east, and directly below, across the fields, you can see King John’s Castle, attributed to the Magna Carta king, who visited here in 1210.Across the lough the Mourne Mountains line the horizon, and in clear weather the conical top of Slieve Donard, the highest summit in Ulster, can be seen in the background.
It is believed to be the longphort (ship fortress) of Linn Duchaill, founded in AD 841 – the same year as Viking Dublin.