The Ballyhoura Walking Festival takes place from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10
Ireland’s first walking festival takes place from October 8-10 in Kilfinane, County Limerick, and this year is in collaboration with the Joyce Brothers Music Festival.
The autumn evenings may be starting to close in, so there’s no better time to get your walking boots on for the 25th Ballyhoura Walking Festival, taking place from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 October in Kilfinane.
Established as Ireland’s first-ever walking festival back in the day, it provides an opportunity to explore some of Ballyhoura Country’s stunning scenery. Many of the walks are led by members of the Ballyhoura Bears Walking Club–and are suitable for all abilities.
Amongst the walking programme’s highlights are the ever-popular Darragh Hill Moon Light Walk (C Walk) on Friday evening, Saturday’s breath-taking Sunrise Walk to Seefin (the highest point of Ballyhoura Mountains) led by Britton Outdoors, as well as the Walking Half Marathon (A Walk), where each participant will be awarded with a certificate.
The Slievereagh Loop Walk (B Walk) takes in part of the Ballyhoura Way and traverses streams, woodlands, forest roads and tracks, scaling its highest point of the pinnacle Slievereagh at 465m; meanwhile the easy Canon Sheehan Loop Walk (C Walk) follows glorious forest tracks, woodland paths and riverbank through Glenanaar Forest and along the banks of the Ogeen River.
There’s lots for families to enjoy too at the festival! Ballyhoura Nature Trail Family Scavenger Hunt is a fun 40-minute, 2km investigation of over 20 hidden creatures in the woods that children have to uncover on their walk. While, the Forest Welly Waddlers session led by Ballyhoura Beo will guarantee lots of morning fun for the 2 to 5 year-olds.
My personal favourite, Sunday offers a relaxing Festival Yoga Walk by Yoga Walks Ireland. However, if your walking boots are still on a quest of discovery, you’ll have several opportunities on Sunday to satisfy them! Discover the local history, heritage, folklore and archaeology at Lough Gur (free admission to the Visitor Centre), learn about the history of people, castle and medieval town of Kilmallock, or join a guided tour of Doneraile Park & Gardens.
This year’s Walking Festival is collaborating with The Joyce Brothers Music Festival, which complements and enriches the walking programme with its own jam-packed schedule, featuring historical talks, musical performances, concerts, workshops, all aimed at highlighting the remarkable work of the Joyce Brothers, who were renowned for collecting and documenting Irish music, songs and poetry from the 1800s.
Further information available from: Ballyhoura Centre, Kilfinane / 063-91300 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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