Lough Boora Discovery Park

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Transformed from its previous incarnation as a commercial bog where peat was harvested to heat homes around the country, today Lough Boora Discovery Park is home to countless species of birds and wildlife, fish-filled lakes and a permanent exhibition of huge outdoor sculptures. These sculptures give the park an other-worldly feel, created using the old industrial materials of the bog such as locomotives, rail-line and timber, all crafted into magnificent works of art.

The park is in a continuous state of flux depending on the season. Birds depart or arrive, breed and rear their young. Plants flower and fungi appear and disappear, while the resident animals go about their lives. Leave all traces of urban-living behind as you hop on your bike and cycle around the wide open spaces of Lough Boora bog and sculpture park. Watch out for fast-moving hares that skip across the paths as you cycle by and don’t forget to stop-off at one of the many bird-hides for a glimpse of our feathered-friends up close and personal. There’s also 4 lakes in this 2,000 hectare site of cutaway bog, now a nature-lovers’ paradise. We promise you’ll feel free as a bird in Offaly’s own big sky wilderness.

The raised bogs of the Midlands of Ireland evolved after the last Ice Age, around 15,000 years ago. Mesolithic people wandered through Ireland and one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Ireland is at Lough Boora.  Two sites were excavated in 1977.  You can visit the site of the ancient settlement by following the Mesolithic Route.

Experience all that Lough Boora Discovery Park has to offer outdoor enthusiasts, keen botanists, nature lovers, and arts and culture fans including:

Free to visit Lough Boora Discovery Park (Car Parking €2)

Thanks to Killian O’ Brien from Offaly County Council for sharing this info.

Please check out http://www.visitoffaly.ie/ for more great things to do in Offaly!

 

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The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin is a brilliant place to visit. It is free to enter the gardens and is a great place to go for a walk.

The gardens were founded in 1795 by the Dublin Society (later the Royal Dublin Society) and are today in State ownership through the Office of Public Works. They hold 20,000 living plants and many millions of dried plant specimens. There are several architecturally notable greenhouses (from wiki).

The gardens have a cafe and restaurant on site and plenty to see. Here are some photos from a recent trip.

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By the way, it is right next to the Glasnevin Cemetery so you could always combine the two for a days visit!

There is a carpark on site but it can get busy at peak times. Location below.

 

Connemara National Park – Diamond Hill Walks

The Connemara National Park is 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. It has a visitor’s centre located in Letterfrack and from this center you can easily do a number of walking trails of Diamond Hill. This allows you to enjoy the scenery of part of this fantastic national park. Not all the trails are buggy-friendly so ask at the centre.

Along with the Diamond Hill trails, the visitor’s centre also has a children’s playground, picnic areas and a tea room. It is also only about 10 minutes drive from Kylemore Abbey, another fantastic place to visit.

For more information, see http://www.connemaranationalpark.ie

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The carpark to the visitor’s centre is in Letterfrack at the location below.

Waterford Greenway

The Waterford Greenway (or Déise Greenway) opened in March of 2017 and offers 46km of off-road cycling and walking trails from Waterford City to Dungarvan.

While we concentrate on walking and hiking at takeahike.ie, cycling the greenway is highly recommended and bikes can be rented from a number of companies such as:

The map and images below are taken from waterfordcouncil.ie (WaterfordGreenway2017Map)

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From the Waterford City side of the Greenway, the start is shown below.

Bushy Park, Dublin

Bushy Park is a large park in Terenure, Dublin that stretches to the borders of Rathfarnham and Templeogue. The wooded area to the south of the park is particularly beautiful with the River Dodder running alongside it. The park is a great place to take a walk and has a children’s playground and a duck pond.

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Merrion Square

Merrion Square is a great green space in the centre of the city. The Georgian square is surrounded on three sides by Georgian redbrick houses along with the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland (both are free to enter).

It contains the National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces who died in the Service of the State. There are also some sculptures such as the Joker’s Chair in memory Dermot Morgan.

There is also a playground in the square and every Sunday the Open-Air Art Gallery is held on the external railings of the square (www.merrionart.com).

Some photos below. Check it out for yourself some day.

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Cabinteely Park

This is another great park to enjoy in Dublin. Cabinteely Park has great facilities. There is a decent sized car park, playground, coffee shop and plenty of space for walks. The park is close to Cornelscourt off the N11 or if you take exit 15 on the M50.

Cabinteely Park Car Park https://maps.google.com/?cid=9240937456546682405&hl=en&gl=ie

Beachwalk : Ardmore Beach, Waterford

Recently visited the lovely town of Ardmore in Waterford. It is believed to be the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. It offers many attractions including cliff walks and an open farm but if you are looking for a nice short walk check out the beautiful beach. It’s about a mile long and there is parking available by the beach. Enjoy!

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Below is the location of the carpark to the beach.

Druids Glen Hotel – Walking Trial

Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort in Newtownmountkennedy, Wicklow  is a fantastic place to visit and offers its own walking trail.

The walking trail is about 4km starting at the hotel to the Woodstock House. The trail goes along the edge of the golf course itself and the scenary is great. See photos below, enjoy.

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