Wee Binnian WalkersLocation: County Down
Wee Binnian Walkers, based close to the north-eastern border area around Newry, Co Down and Dundalk, Co Louth was founded in 1987 by Veronica McCann. Veronica, a lifestyle tutor with the “Change of Heart” coronary prevention programme, began with eleven women but with an ever-increasing membership the time came, in 1994, to formalise things and so began the club we now know today.
The club more commonly referred to as ‘the social club that walks’ has no office and is run by a committee of volunteers. Membership is open to anyone over 18 years of age and is drawn from as far north as Antrim and south to Dublin.
Our membership year run from 1 April to 31 March and costs £25 / €30 per person.
Newcomers are always welcome to join as ‘casuals’ for two free walks after which you must become a member to continue walking with the club.
The club provides guided hill walks on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month, all year round. All walks start and finish at the same location. The walks are in the Mourne and Cooley Mountains and Sliabh Gullion. Four grades of walks are catered for each walking day, Grade A, B+,B and C.
As part of the Newry 850 celebrations, in 1994, the first Wee Binnian walking festival took place. Every year since, on the second weekend in September, the club has run this very successful event. The festival offers a variety of graded walks to suit all abilities with the social highlight of weekend being the popular ‘Blister Boogie’.
The Club’s Christmas ‘get together’, after one of our winter walks, is also a very popular event and 2023 saw the return of the summer barbeque.
In addition to our Sunday walks the club organises two weekends away each year to other parts of Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales.
The Club has 35 trained leaders and a great emphasis is placed on safety. The club provides a training weekend and regular REC first aid training for our leaders and a basic navigation course for interested members.