Walks Scheme comes to East Clare

Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, announced on Wednesday, 4 December 2019, the addition of 10 new trails to the Walks Scheme operated by his Department. These are the first trails to be added as part of a phased expansion that will see the Walks Scheme doubling in size to 80 trails when all phases of the expansion are complete.

There are currently 39 trails covered by the Walks Scheme, involving 1,962 participant landowners and farmers. The Scheme contracts them, or their nominees, to undertake maintenance work on sections of National Waymarked Ways and other priority walks that traverse their lands. The Scheme is administered at a local level by Local Development Companies.

In announcing the expansion of the scheme, Minister Ring said:

“This expansion reflects the success of the Walks Scheme to-date in delivering high quality walking trails, and will help realise the Government’s commitment to double the number of trails in the scheme over time. Up to 40 new trails will be added when all phases of the expansion are complete.

 Minister Ring continued:

“The expansion of the scheme follows a call for Expressions of Interest earlier this year which saw more than 50 applications being received.

“Up to 30 more walks will be added to the scheme over the next year, once my Department has completed a review of the Scheme and further trails are assessed to ensure that they meet the necessary standards to be included in the scheme.”

Minister Ring concluded:

“This is good news for landowners and for the ever increasing number of people who want to get out and experience the beautiful outdoor areas that we have in such abundance. Investing in our trails also pays economic dividends. Thousands of tourists make walking, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits an important part of their stay in Ireland.”

Last year alone, almost 2.7 million overseas visitors engaged in some form of cross country walking or hiking. In addition, one in four of us included walking or hiking as part of our domestic holidays last year.

The 10 new trails included in the first phase of the expanded Walks Scheme are:

County Name of Trail No of Landowners(approx.) Length of Private Land (approx.)
Clare East Clare Way 33 36.5 km
Galway Hymany Way 40 60 km
Kilkenny Gathabawn Loop Walk 4 2 km
Kilkenny Kilmacoliver Loop Walk 3 3km
Laois Binninea Walk Cullahill 10 4 km
Leitrim Leitrim Way 120 24 km
Sligo Keash Hill Trail 3 1.8 km
Tipperary Ormond Way 49 31 km
Tipperary Multeen Way 16 9.4 km
Wicklow St Kevin’s Way 5 2.5 km

 

A wonderful morning in Whitegate………..

We had a fabulous walk yesterday for the last Ramblers walk of 2019.
Twenty two walkers arrived in Whitegate to a beautiful bright morning  – perfect for a walk.


While we had initially planned a 6km looped walk, we decided that we couldn’t miss the opportunity to extend our walk a little and make our way to Williamstown Harbour.

On return to Whitegate village, we were welcomed in The Half Barrel Bar & Restaurant for beautiful homemade scones and numerous cups of tea and coffee.  We would like to thank the Half Barrel for looking after us so well.

We would also like to thank all our walkers and we hope you enjoyed it.

Our guided looped walks will start back again in January 2020 and we look forward to seeing you then!

Dawn Walk on Ballycuggaran

We couldn’t believe our luck last Sunday morning when we realised that it wasn’t raining……we were nearly ready to start building an Ark after Saturday’s downpour.

Huge thanks and congratulations to the 15 walkers who were at Two-Mile-Gate ready for road by 6:30am.
While we didn’t see the sun rise, it was still a beautiful morning to be out and it actually stayed dry for the entire walk!

We will take a bit of a break for the Winter but will be back walking in the Spring. We will continue with our monthly Ramblers Guided Walks on the last Thursday of the month.
If you would like to keep up to date on all our walks, check out our website or Follow us on Facebook.

You can’t beat a bit of home baking……………

Our recent “Ramblers” guided walk took place in Ogonnelloe in the stunning East Clare. Although the weather forecast was not looking good, 17 brave walkers (and 2 dogs) joined us for a 7km looped walk starting at the Piper’s Inn Bar & Restaurant. We headed uphill to St. Mary’s church, towards Ballylaughan with stunning views over Lough Derg, and returning via Ballyheefey to the Piper’s Inn, where some freshly baked scones and biscuits, just out of the oven,  were waiting for us, along with fresh made jam, and a very welcomes cuppa.
A huge thanks to Cian and Tess, and all at the Piper’s Inn for looking after us.
And thanks to all who walked with us on the day and contributed towards the future maintenance of the East Clare Way and the Mid Clare Way long distance walking routes.

In case you missed the walk, or you would like to do it again, check it our here!For best results, click on the walker icon and then satellite icon.

Our next Ramblers Guided Walk will take place in Quin on Thursday 31st October at 11am.
See you then!

Lunch at Bohatch Dolmen for Heritage Week

15 walkers headed off from Mountshannon Harbour last Saturday for a 12km looped walk to Bohatch Portal Dolmen, said to be the burial place of local chieftains over 3,000 years ago.

We followed quiet roads with a upward climb to start but the views were well worth the climb – lough derg and over towards Tountinnna and Keeper Hill in Tipperary.

We had a lovely refeshment stop at the dolmen, sitting in lovely sunshine, admiring the views below.

For details of our upcoming walks, check out www.clarewalks.ie/events. We hope you will join us for a ramble some time soon.

 

 

 

Walkers head to Whitegate

38 “Ramblers” hit the trails recently in Whitegate for an 8km looped walk taking in Williamstown Harbour, Hollands Quay, Dromaan House and returning to Whitegate, and the good old reliable Half Barrel Bar & Restaurant for some fresh scones and a well earned cuppa!


Thanks to Tom Holland and Michael Ryan for providing us with some fascinating history and great local stories on route!

If you didn’t get to walk with us, or you would like to do this walk again, please see route map here. For best map results click walker icon and satellite.

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 29th August at 11am – check out route here. 

We hope to see you then!

 

 

 

Sunshine and Sausages….

What a fantastic day we had for our monthly “Ramblers” walk in Tulla. The sun shone down on our 23 walkers as we headed off from Ardboula House for a 6km looped walk taking in unspolit surroundings and the beautiful Clondorney Lake.
On our return, we dined Al Fresco in a stunning shaded area beside Ardboula House, where our chef Brendan, treated us to cooked sausages, fresh rolls, scones, tea and coffee all prepared outdoors.
A great ending to a fab morning of walking.

Thanks to Christine and Willie O’Brien for the use of Ardboula House as our base for this months walk.

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 25th July at 11am from the Half Barrel in Whitegate – full details here.

We hope to see you then!

 

Active Agers “Shut up and Dance”

Although the forecast was not looking good, 26 eager Active Agers joined us in Ogonelloe last Thursday for our monthly Guided Walk. Surprisingly we experienced only warm and sunny weather throughout the walk and it was so enjoyable to be out.

We started at the Ogonnelloe Hall/Exchange, which is the recently renovated Ballybran School on the main road between Scariff and Killaloe. The building and the facilities are absolutely fantastic and there is huge credit due to the committee and the community who made this happen. There is a fab Community Cafe open here every Saturday from 11am, so if you are passing make sure to pop in for a cuppa.

Before we headed off walking, we did a quick warm up to the song “Shut up and Dance”. We organised this in conjunction with Today FM’s Dare to Care/Be a Dancer for Cancer campaign and all donations from the day will be going to the Irish Cancer Society. We are delighted to have raised €178 on the day! Thanks and well done to everyone who donated. Thanks to Concepta for leading the warm-up.

Although this was a moderate walk of approx. 8km with one or two steep climbs, it was well worth it! We passed through forestry paths parallel to the lake and had to stop to admire the blanket of bluebells. We had fantastic views of Lough Derg to Holy Island,  Mountshannon and to Tipperary on the far shore and Ballyloughnane on the Clare side, and the unexpected beautiful weather greatly added to this.

Thanks to Antoinette for the great photo (above).

On our return to Ogonnelloe Hall/Exchange, we had a well deserved cuppa, scones and biscuits (but nobody was counting calories….)

If you missed this walk, or you would like to walk it again, check out the route details here (Don’t forget to click on the walker at the top)

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 30th May at 11am – see details here!

We hope to see you then!

Sampling the delights of Mountshannon

42 eager walkers headed off from Mountshannon Harbour last Thursday for our second Active Agers walks of 2019 for a 7km looped walk following quiet roads. There were a few hills at the start but the views over Mountshannon, Holy Island and Lough Derg on the way back were worth the climb!

We luckily arrived back to Mountshannon just before the first rain shower of the day.

The newly opened Seasons Restaurant was a welcome stop for hot drinks, home baking and home-made soup. Thanks to Geraldine for welcoming us in to her beautifully decorated restaurant and we wish her the very best for the future.

If you missed this walk, or you would like to walk it again, check out the route details here (Don’t forget to click on the walker at the top)

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 28th March at 11am – see details here. We hope to see you then!

 

Guided Heritage Walk & Mince pies go down a treat!

It looked like it was going to be a wet day, but despite that, 18 eager walkers turned up last Thursday for our 5km Guided Heritage Walk for Active Agers in Tulla, and we actually managed to stay relatively dry!

The walk was guided by Jane Halloran, an accomplished Genealogist and Local Historian, who provided some fascinating information on some of the historical residences and some stories from the townlands we walked through, including Cragg House, Cloondorney More, Cloondroney Lake, Annagh and the Bog Road.

Thanks to Jane for sharing her wealth of knowledge with us.

As always, we finished off the day with a welcome cup of tea, some scones and gorgeous home-made Mince pies which were made especially by one of our walkers Mary Carmel. Whatever calories were burnt off during the walk were certainly put back on by the time we had finished our mini-feast.

We would like to say a big thanks also to Mike Hoey and the Tulla United Soccer Club for the use of their club house on the day. All were in agreement that this was a fantastic facility and great credit is due to the committee/club for their dedication to providing such a great facility here in Tulla.

We will probably take a break for Christmas now but we will be back walking again at the end of January 2019 so get ready to come along and walk off the extra Christmas pounds………..

This Guided Heritage Walk was kindly supported by