Derrybawn Mountain, Wicklow Mountains – Guest Post

Thanks to Caitriona and Tara from Scenic Irish Walks for offering this as a guest post. They are planning a hike every Sunday in 2019 and you can follow them at https://scenicirishwalks.home.blog/.

Enjoy the post below on Derrybawn mountain, Wicklow.

Difficulty – Moderate to Hard.

Time – 3 hr.

Equipment needed – Rain gear, hiking boots, hat, scarf, gloves, sunglasses, water, snacks.

Families: Not suitable for buggies or young children.

Rating – 5 stars.

This is our favourite walk of 2019 so far. There were beautiful views all along the way. We parked in the first Glendalough carpark to start this walk. We followed way markers for the initial part of the walk and then went off the trail to climb Derrybawn. Although it was very busy at the carpark, we were the only people on Derrybawn – awesome. This was a real adventure. We had to navigate using OSI maps and google maps. It was a challenging walk heading up to the summit, but doable at the same time. If we were to do this walk again, we’d do it in reverse – we did a fair bit of unnecessary meandering at the beginning.

Our planned route
The route we actually did wasn’t the best one
The way we should have done this walk
Glendalough
Beautiful views all around us
The trail
Just Tara and Caitriona on this one
At the top of Derrybawn

The Slieve Bloom Walking Festival

The Slieve Bloom Walking Festival takes place this May Bank Holiday from the 3rd to the 6th of May, 2019.

This is the 25th anniversary of the Slieve Bloom Walking Festival, Ireland’s longest running walking festival. All levels of walker are catered for and a full programme of events can be seen by clicking on this link: Slieve Bloom Walking Festival programme.pdf (size 193.6 KB)

The festival will be based out of two picturesque villages over the weekend, Clonaslee in Laois and Kinnitty in Offaly. Both of these villages are set on the foothills of the mountains and provide a splendid base for which to explore the region from. After a good days trekking they are ideal locations to kick back, relax and enjoy a chat and a drink with the locals, with entertainment provided both nights.

Looking to stay overnight? There are various options to choose from, including; Glamping and B&B options in the area and hotel accommodation in the near by towns of Birr & Tullamore (20 mins drive), or transport yourself back in time with a stay at Kinnitty Castle.

 Included are specially designed themed walks, such as: an Alpaca walk, photography walk and Geological walk.

For more information, click into SlieveBloom.ie

Contact by;

Phone – +353 86 8210056

Email – enquiries@slievebloom.ie

Killarney Mountain Festival 2019

Following on from a hugely successful inaugural festival in 2018, Killarney Mountain Festival 2019 will take place on the weekend of the 8th, 9th and 10th March 2019! This exciting spectacle and celebration of everything mountain and adventure- related will be run in close association with the hugely successful and world-renowned Kendal Mountain Festival in the beautiful lake district of the UK, of which Killarney is twinned.

Killarney Mountain Festival is sure to inspire and invigorate visitors with its jam-packed programme of events, some of which are free, such as live musical entertainment across the weekend including Friday and Saturday night, film screenings,  family-fun activities, and well known inspirational guest speakers.

Venues for the various events taking place include Basecamp, the hub of the festival, located in a large festival tent just behind The Killarney Plaza Hotel,  St. Mary’s Church of the Sloes, The Killarney Plaza Hotel,  Cinema Killarney,  as well as pop up events in various venues, all located in Killarney Town Centre.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to attend free talks by Motivational Speaker and Writer –  Nikki Bradley, Adventurer and Long Distance Hiker – Olive McGloin, Mountaineer, Explorer and Adventurer – Mike O’Shea and British record-breaking Adventurer, Author, Keynote Speaker, and sustainability campaigner – Adrian Hayes.   

Killarney Mountain Festival, 8th – 10th March 2019.

For more information, visit www.killarneymountainfestival.com or check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Tipperary Trails

A collection of trails and walks around Tipperary

Tipperary County Council kindly shared this great brochure of Tipperary Trails. A copy of the brochure can be found here.

Some great ones to get you out and about. I will do more detailed individual posts on some of the trails in the future but for now, I hope ye enjoy this.

Tipperary Trails

Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival 2019

Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival takes place this year from 8th-10th March 2019

Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival takes place this year from 8th-10th March 2019. The entry is €20 a day or €50 over the 3 days. It is a great opportunity to see the amazing scenery of Mayo. Walks start each day at 8:30am sharp. Starting points are:

8th March – Corleys Pub Ballintubber

9th March – Aughagower Village

10th March – Murrish Carpark (Base of Croagh Patrick)

Full details below and find out more at http://www.croaghpatrickheritagetrail.com or email info@croaghpatrickheritagetrail.com

Also take a look at our post on Croagh Patrick itself here.

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See below exciting footage from last year’s Heritage Trail.

Route & Distance:

Friday 8th March – Balla to Ballintubber (18km)

8.30am Sharp – Meeting point at car park outside Corleys Pub Ballintubber across from The Abbey.

9am Registration Balla Community Centre. Tea/coffee refreshments provided.

9.30am Commence walk from Balla to Ballintubber (18km).

Refreshment stop – Tuffys Pub – Tea/coffee and sandwiches provided.

3pm – 5pm Finish day 1 in Corleys Pub Ballintubber.

Saturday 9th March – Ballintubber to Aghagower (27km)

8.30am Sharp – Meeting point Aughagower Village (rear of church). Transport to start.

9am Registration Corleys Pub Ballintubber. Tea/coffee refreshments provided.

9.30am Commence walk from Ballintubber to Aghagower (27km).

Refreshment stop – Killawalla – Tea/coffee and sandwiches provided.

3pm – 6pm Finish day 2 at Aughagower Village.

Sunday 10th March – Aghagower -Murrisk (19km)

8.30am Sharp – Meeting point Murrisk – Car park at base of Croagh Patrick. Transport to start.

9am Registration Aughagower Community Centre. Tea/coffee refreshments provided.

9.30am Commence walk from Aghagower -Murrisk (19km).

Refreshment stop – Brackloon – Tea/coffee and sandwiches provided.

3pm – 6pm Finish day 3 at Murrisk.

Refreshments provided each day.

Transport will be provided each morning to ferry walkers from the Meeting point to the Starting point. This means that your personal transport will be at the end of your destination on arrival each day. Register online. For more details call 094 9030687 or email info@croaghpatrickheritagetrail.com. You can also visit www.croaghpatrickheritagetrail.com for information.

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 Offaly Way

The Offaly Way is a linear route linking the Slieve Bloom Way, (at Cadamstown) to Lemanaghan Monastic Site, and to the Grand Canal Way. Only 37kms long, it nonetheless includes areas of mountain and riverside as well as long stretches of bogland. Though the highest point is only 140m, much of the Way commands wide views over a comparatively flat landscape. The route has ecclesiastical and prehistoric interest.

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The Way starts in Cadamstown, with the Slieve Bloom Way less than 2 km away. Just north of here is an interesting geological formation where a fine outcrop of rock has been exposed by erosion caused by the Silver River. The waterfalls and gorge along here are most attractive features. The Way crosses the Black River and ascends Knock Hill, at 140m the highest point on the Way, before descending into Ballyboy. Here the Way crosses the Silver River and runs along its bank into the town of Kilcormac. The town holds the Kilcormac Pietà, a 16th century representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of Christ. For 60 years, during a time of persecution, the pieta was hidden in a bog.

20181109_230329.jpgBeyond Kilcormac, the Way enters Boora Bog, an area of peatland formerly harvested for turf. Now a wide variety of uses, including amenity use, are being encouraged. Nearby is Lough Boora, formerly a lake and now a fen and nature reserve. This area is of great historical interest since excavations have revealed Mesolithic remains. Close to the end of the present phase of the Way at the Grand Canal is Turraun Nature Reserve, formerly a cutaway bog and now an area where more than 80 species of birds and 150 species of plants have been recorded. The birds include a flock of 200 Whopper Swans.

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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Weekly Walks in the Slieve Bloom Mountains

Weekly Walks in the Slieve Bloom Mountains

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a mountain range in the midlands of Ireland that span through Offaly and Laois. The highest point is a modest 527M but the scale of the mountains are extensive. The mountain range is bordered by towns such as Clonaslee, Mountrath, Roscrea, Rosenallis, Clonaslee, Cadamstown Kinnitty and Mountmellick. The Slieve Bloom mountains are amongst the oldest in Europe and once they stood at 3700M before weathering and erosion reduced them to the current size of 527M.

The walking trails range from looped walks, long distance way-marked walks or unguided walks but don’t forget a map and compass if you are not going as part of a group! Organized walks are held every week by the Slieve Bloom Mountains Walking Group and it’s a great way to learn the full mountain history from the local experienced guides. A full list of the walks can be found at the following link.

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Please refer to calendar for full list of walks
Peter Maher | Rural Recreation Officer ✆ 085 1742217 petermaher@laoispartnership.ie

For more information, check out http://www.slievebloom.ie/cms/walking/looped-walks/

Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival

Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival takes place this year from 9th-11th March. The entry is €20 a day or €50 over the 3 days. It is a great opportunity to see the amazing scenery of Mayo. Walks start each day at 8:30am sharp. Starting points are:

9th March – Corleys Pub Ballintubber

10th March – Aughagower Village

11th March – Murrish Carpark (Base of Croagh Patrick)

Full details below and find out more at http://www.croaghpatrickheritagetrail.com or email info@croaghpatrickheritagetrail.com

Also take a look at our post on Croagh Patrick itself here.

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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.