Active Agers head to Connolly

The sun shone down on Connolly last Thursday as our Active Agers descended on the village to walk the newly developed Cloontabonniv Bog.

The walk started at Carney’s Pub, just outside the village. We would like to say a huge thanks to Julie who opened up especially for us and who provided very welcome cups of tea and coffee and sweet treats on our return.

We were joined on the walk by a large number of committee members from Connolly who have been, and are still, involved in the development of this bog walk to make it an accessible amenity and also to preserve it for future generations. It has certainly been a labour of love for this group over the last number of years.  The stories we heard on route, from people who came to this bog as children, to the history of the bog and the families who worked it, made the morning all the more enjoyable for the walkers. A neighbour on the route even picked plums from the tree in his garden for us, and they were possibly the sweetest I have ever tasted.

With stunning views of Mount Callan, surrounded by forestry, with streams running down the side of the road, we crossed over the start of the Inagh River and a even had a quick stop to watch a baby frog crossing the road – this was certainly a walk in nature. We all agreed that it was a very enjoyable walk.

Well done to all involved in the Cloontabonniv Bog.

 

Great turn out for Tulla Famine Walk (& we didn’t get wet!!!)

Over 60 people joined us in Tulla on Thursday evening last for the Tulla Famine Week. This guided historical walk was jointly organised by Tulla Reaching Out and Clare Walks Ltd. to celebrate Heritage Week 2018. Jane Halloran, Dalcassian Origins, provided the historical information for this Famine Walk.

The walk started outside Tulla Library and provided information on the people and buildings associated with the Great Famine 1845 – 1849 in Tulla.

We heard of Fr. Patrick Sheehy, the Parish Priest of Tulla during the Famine and his Church of Ireland counterpart, Rev. Richard Brew who joined forces and seemed to put aside their religious differences to try and ease the suffering of the people of Tulla.

The route took us passed the site of the former Coffin House on Main Street, where coffins for those who died during and after the Famine were made;    The Soup (or Souper) School, a small Church of Ireland school which at its height, had about 160 Church of Ireland and Catholic pupils in 1846 & 1847.  During the Famine, many children attended the school as by doing so, they were also entitled to a free meal; Tulla Courthouse, which was erected in 1838 and was the main judicial building for the Tulla district for almost 163 years.  During the Famine, cases were heard for those accused of stealing.    However, the Courthouse was also used for the meetings for the Tulla Poor Relief Committee; Tulla Bridewell or Gaol (now Minogue’s Bar) throughout the 1800’s was the building where prisoners were often kept overnight to appear in court the following day and also prisoners who were due to be transported to a new country as punishment for their crime would have been held here overnight.

The final part of the walk brought the group down to the  entrance gates of the former Tulla Workhouse. The Workhouse was completed on 22 February 1850 and started to take in the impoverished people of the area  in 1852. Within several months of opening, it was overcrowded.  These conditions continued to persist for several years. The high stone walls and galvanised gates guard the spot where the workhouse once stood – only one small pillar marking a former entrance and a very eerie tree remain inside the gate today.

On our return to Tulla we were treated to a welcome rest in Minogue’s and an even more welcome cup of tea and biscuits.We would like to thank Minogue’s bar for making their facilities available.

Again, we would like to say a huge thank you to all who joined the Tulla Famine Walk and we are already looking at ideas for future historic walks on the East Clare and the Mid Clare Way walking routes, so make sure to keep an eye on this website or follow us on Facebook.

 

A fantastic day on one of our newest Looped Walks

It’s not often in this country that we are worried about walking 7km in such heat but this happened us recently with our Guided Walk for Active Agers from Tulla on 28th June.

Despite the heat, even at the early start time of 10:30am, 12 brave walkers joined us at our office in Tulla armed with sun-cream and bottles of water to walk the Cloondorney Looped walk. This loop took us from Tulla along the banks of Cloondorney Lake and we returned  to Tulla on a track which was previously only used to get access to the bog.

Up until recently this track was waterlogged and impassable by foot in some parts. However, with grant funding through the Outdoor Recreation Scheme administered through Clare County Council, we were able to do some repair work to this route which has now created a fantastic 7km looped walk which follows quiet county roads, forestry and bogland. We were glad of the gentle breeze while walking along the banks of Cloondorney Lake, which is 40 acres in area and holds most species of coarse fish.

Welcome cups of tea & coffee and some fresh baked scones from Flappers Restaurant in the Clare Walks office on our return gave us a great opportunity to have a chat and cool down.

The next Guided walk for Active Agers will take place on Thursday 26th July @ 11am (Route TBC).

 

 

Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery and tea & scones for €3.50!

What a beautiful day we had for our Active Agers walk yesterday in the lovely village of Whitegate in East Clare.  22 walkers took off from The Half Barrell following the Auld Road, a 7km looped walk, towards Dereney Bridge, with a brief stop at the ancient burial ground here, which was used up until 1943.

Continuing on from here, we were out of the shade previously provided by the trees and we were starting to get hot. But it was well worth it to be out on such a beautiful day. We concurred that we have seen enough rain this year to give out about the heat.

We were treated to tea/coffee and scones in the Half Barrel on our return which was very welcome, and we all agreed, was great value – a cup of tea or coffee (including a top up) and a scone with jam and cream, all for €3.50. I think we’ll be back to Whitegate for another walk soon.

Thanks to the staff in the Half Barrel for allowing us to use their facilities before and after the walk.

The next walk is planned for Thursday 28th June in Tulla.

See you then!

 

 

Active Agers head to Kilmaley

The rain did not stop the 20 enthusiastic walkers who headed off from Kilmaley GAA club last Thursday for a 7.5km looped walk, taking a brief detour to see the stunning cascades.

A huge thanks to our group member Gerry O’Malley for helping to plan the walk and also a huge thanks to the Kilmaley GAA club for allowing us to use the complex for a much needed hot cuppa on our return.

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 31st May in Whitegate in East Clare.

 

“Heaven on Earth”

16 eager walkers put on their hiking boots last Saturday, 21st April, to ‘Battle Ballycuggaran’ – a 6km looped walk along part of the East Clare Way.

This guided walk was organised to highlight and promote the activities available on/near the Lough Derg Blueway. The Blueways in Ireland are a set of multi activity trails and sites which are closely linked with the water. The Lough Derg Blueway encompasses a series of Blueway paddling trails with many complimentary walking and cycling trails.

The Ballycuggaran Looped Walk  starts at Two-Mile-Gate, just outside Killaloe. The walk follows forest road, forest track and minor road through dense forest and open hillside on the shoulders of Feenlea Mountain and Crag. The beautiful expanse of Lough Derg lies below you.

It would not have been possible to have better weather for this walk. The sun shone down, there was hardly a cloud in the sky and the views were spectacular.

It was such an enjoyable walk that I think we will have to organise another guided walk at some stage during the Summer months, so watch this space! However, if you would like to try this walk yourself, here is a link to a map of the walk. 

 

Guided Walk on the Lough Derg Blueway – Saturday April 21st @ 11am:

Want to experience the Lough Derg Blueway? Come along and enjoy a free Guided Walk on the Ballycuggaran Loop, along the East Clare Way walking route, where you will see the beautiful expanse of Lough Derg beneath you.
This walk is 7km and follows forest road, forest track and minor road through dense forest and open hillside on the shoulders of Feenlea Mountain and Crag. Please bring suitable walking shoes/boots, waterproof clothing and fluid. MEETING POINT: Two-Mile-Gate, Killaloe @ 11am.

Click here for a detailed map of the walk

Guided Walks for Active Agers (Over 50’s) – Thursday 15th March 2018

Due to current weather warnings in place, the Clare Walks Ltd. Guided Walk in Tulla will NOT go ahead as planned tomorrow (Thursday 1st March). We have re-scheduled this walk for Thursday 15th March 2018 at 11am. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

This guided walk will now take place on Thursday 15th  March 2018 at 11am near Tulla.

This walk will start at Ardboula Farmhouse which lies 4km from Tulla town. Ardboula Farmhouse is an 18th Century beautifully refurbished farmhouse located within a 33 hectare working cattle farm. Owners Christine and Willie O’Brien have been running this as a self-catering business since August 2014. There is free and secure parking at Ardboula Farmhouse.

See directions to Ardboula House here

We will leave Ardboula Farmhouse and follow quiet country roads, which will lead us past rivers, forestry, unspoilt landscape and historical features. This looped walk is just under 9kms and will finish with an optional refreshment stop at Ardboula Farmhouse.

The walk is mostly on flat surface. Please bring suitable walking shoes/boots, waterproof clothing and fluid.

See details of the walk here

For further details contact us on 065 683 5912 or 086 358 6293

info@clarewalks.ie  or Find us on Facebook

Time to Grow

Have you ever wondered how to go about growing your own seeds or starting your own garden? It doesn’t really matter where you live, you can start growing. So why not buy one of our herb gardens hand made from left over wooden pallets?  And check out these useful tips from our neighbours at Irish Seed Savers in Scariff.

Hand Made Herb Gardens – €12.50 each