Claudy Park on the Cumber Road outside Claudy village occupies the grounds of Cumber House, the former country estate of the Browne-Lecky family. Built in 1810, it was used as an Allied troop billet during World War II.
The gentle, 4-kilometre riverside walk starts at Ballynameen Bridge, immediately providing a fine view of not one, but two, St Patrick’s ‘churches’ across the River Faughan. The first of these churches opened in 1820 and the current one over a century and a half later.
Keeping the river and its many small weirs to your right, walkers can admire the mature woodland rising off to the left. Soon you reach a perfect picnic spot – a large clearing, surrounded by oak, beech, willow and silver birch.
Proceed along the side of the Faughan until it joins Glenrandal River. On the far bank you will see the ruins of Cumber Old Church (the name Cumber comes from the gaelic, ‘cumar’, meaning confluence). A ‘tunnel’ through the trees leads to a small car park beside Cumber House, from where the upper path leads back through the woods to Ballynameen Bridge.
If the youngsters need any incentive, Claudy Park has a well-appointed children’s play area which is beside the car park marked on the map.