Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival 2020

Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Walking Festival takes place this year from 13th-15th March 2020. The entry is €20 a day or €50 over the 3 days. It is a great opportunity to see the amazing scenery of Mayo. Starting points are:

10th March – Car park across from Ballintubber Abbey

11th March – Aughagower Community Centre

15th 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.

Day 1: Friday 13th March 2020 17km

0830 hrs sharp Meeting Point at car park across from Ballintubber Abbey. Transport provided to starting point.

0900 hrs Registration Balla Community Centre. Tea/Coffee Refreshments provided.
0930 hrs Commence Walk from Balla to Ballintubber (17km)
Refreshment stop – Clogher Community Centre – Tea / Coffee sandwiches provided.
1500 to 1700 hrs Finish Day 1 in Ballintubber.

Day 2: Saturday 14th March 2020 27km
0830 hrs sharp Meeting Point at Aghagower Community Centre. Transport to starting point.
0900 hrs Registration at Aghagower Community Centre before walkers take a free bus to Ballintubber to start the walk. Tea/Coffee Refreshments provided.
0930 hrs Commence Walk from Ballintubber to Aghagower (27km)
Refreshment Stop – Killawalla -Tea / Coffee sandwiches provided.
1600 to 1800 hrs Arrive at Aghagower Village.

Day 3: Sunday 15th March 2020 19km
0830 hrs sharp Meeting Point in Murrisk – Car park at the base of Croagh Patrick. Transport to starting point.
0900 hrs Registration Aghagower Community Centre. Tea/Coffee Refreshments provided.
0930 hrs Commence Walk from Aghagower to Murrisk (19 km)
Refreshment Stop – Brackloon – Tea / Coffee sandwiches provided
1600 to 1800 hrs Arrive at Murrisk.

Benbulben Forest Walk

The Benbulben (or Benbulbin) forest walk is a great way to get up close views of the majestic Benbulben. The walk is about 5.5km around the base of the mountain and takes about an hour and a half to complete. For more details on this forest walk, check out https://sligowalks.ie/walks/benbulbin-gortarowey-looped-walk/

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

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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Beachwalk : Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty, Cork

Inchydoney Beach is a beautiful blue flag beach just 10 minutes from Clonakilty Town in Cork. Inchydoney itself is a small island, long connected to the mainland by two causeways.

This is a lovely beach to take a short walk on, anytime of the year. As the beach is quite sandy, it would not be very buggy friendly for a walk.

The Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa (link) also overlooks the beach, so this is a great option for a walk for its residences.

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There is a car park a short walk from the beach ( location shown below).

Laois Walks Festival (Guest Post)

Guest post by Peter Maher. Thanks, Peter.

Laois walks festival commenced on Sunday the 1st of July with a walk around the picturesque Derryounce Lakes and bogland in Portarlington. Now in its 17th year, the festival offers the opportunity for walkers to experience all that Laois has to offer with 27 guided walks throughout the county with varying difficulty during the month of July. The festival offers walks that are designed to encourage you to get out and explore the countryside and the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The scenic walks are varied; through woodland, over pastoral lands and along country laneways. For those who are interested in completing a pilgrim passport or a Camino challenge. The month of July will give you a total of 249 Kms of excitement and scenery walking in Co Laois.

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Laois Walks Festival Co-Ordinator Susan Lawlor “the festival offers something for everyone” according to Susan.
This festival could not happen without the goodwill and support of several private and state landowners, including Coillte, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Office of Public Works, and Inland Waterways, who provide access to the walkways”, said Susan. “I would also like to acknowledge the support we receive from Laois Partnership Company, Laois Sports Partnership and Laois County Council, which is key to organising such a successful festival”, she continued.

The Festival provides an opportunity to explore some of Laois’s stunning views and countryside in the company of local guides. This year’s packed programme features walks for all abilities, from the enthusiastic well-equipped walker who relishes the challenge on the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the gentle rambler who is out to enjoy a pleasant guided walk. So, whatever type of a walker you are, come to Laois this July where you are assured of a wonderfully warm welcome at our festival.

Further Information:
Copies of festival itinerary €2 per walk or €25 festival tickets, Registration takes place half an hour prior to each walk.
Laois Walks Festival 2018 , please contact:
Laois Partnership on 057 8661900. You can also keep up to date on our Facebook page www.fb.com/laoiswalksfestival or on (www.laoispartnership.ie)
Dominic Hartnett Group Leader, Susan Lawlor Festival Co-Ordinator ✆ 087 2574477 Laois Partnership ✆ 057 866 1900 info@laoispartnership.ie www.laoispartnership.ie/laois-walks-festival Peter Maher | Rural Recreation Officer ✆ 085 1742217 petermaher@laoispartnership.ie

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.