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

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.

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/

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.

 

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.