Ballyhoura Walking Festival a big hit in County Limerick

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Walking festival: Happy adults and children on Bank Holiday Monday’s nature trail located at the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre

Walking festival: Happy adults and children on Bank Holiday Monday’s nature trail located at the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre

BALLYHOURA provided heaven on earth for ramblers during their sunny 23rd international walking festival over the weekend

With a total of 25 options in Ballyhoura country there was a stroll to suit everybody.

Fiona Walsh, business development manager Ballyhoura Beo, said walkers were blessed with amazing weather to explore all the tracks and trails. Manchan Magan, Irish writer and documentary maker, officially opened the festival on Friday night.

He spoke about eco-tourism and the potential of Ballyhoura country. The night was hosted by retired schoolteacher and Ballyhoura Bear walker, Diarmuid O’Leary.  

On Saturday morning’s A walk, over 20 headed to the summit of Ireland’s highest inland mountain, while raising funds for Liam’s Lifts.  

“It is a vital local charity that ensures locals have transport to their oncology appointments in Cork,” said Fiona. The B walks of the Benard loop, Glenstal loop and Slievereagh night walk also had great turnouts.

“Saturday was also the day for the singles walk on Keale River with a lovely bunch of people of all ages and from all walks of life - all with different reasons to come on the walk.  

“Walkers left on a high after making new friends and exploring a beautiful hidden gem in County Limerick. Some walkers had a quick dip at the waterfall plunge pool – it was that hot!” said Fiona.

People also gathered at the donkey sanctuary, historical Kilfinane town walk and Bruff historical walk. Saturday concluded in Kilfinane with music from Pilgrim Street and the Bootleggers in the town’s wonderful former Church of Ireland venue.

On Sunday, there was the Galtee walk, a yoga walk, mystical stroll in Lough Gur, historical walk in the medieval town of Kilmallock, interactive walk in Doneraile and mindfulness walk. Sunday evening concluded with traditional music in Kilfinane.

Monday featured the Slieve Felim walk, Castle Oliver estate wall walk in Ballyorgan and the popular nature trail. If you missed this family event, there is another chance  on Thursday, May 17, when Ballyhoura Beo launch their weekly Thursday evening events.  

See Ballyhoura Beo’s Facebook page or visitballyhoura.com to see the activities they have all year round.