The 25th Ballyhoura Walking Festival takes place from October 8 to 10
THE 25th Ballyhoura Walking Festival takes place from October 8 to 10 in Kilfinane, with a bumper, jam-packed weekend schedule to suit all abilities and ages - from experienced hikers to gentle ramblers
The festival is happening in collaboration with the Joyce Brothers Music Festival; they were renowned for collecting and documenting Irish music in the 1800s.
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–who have in-depth knowledge of the area and its heritage, history, flora and fauna–and are suitable for all abilities, from the enthusiastic well-equipped walker who relishes the challenge of the A and B level walks to the gentle ramblers who are out to enjoy pleasant C walks.
Amongst the walking programme’s highlights are the ever-popular Darragh Hill Moon Light Walk (C Walk) on the Friday
evening. The breath-taking Sunrise Walk to Seefin (the highest point of Ballyhoura Mountains) led by Britton
Outdoor takes place on the Saturday as does the Walking Half Marathon.
There’s lots for families to enjoy too at the festival with the Ballyhoura Nature Trail Family Scavenger Hunt. This family-fun event is a 40-minute, 2km investigation of over 20 hidden creatures in the woods that children have to uncover on their walk.
Meanwhile, the Forest Welly Waddlers session led by Ballyhoura Beo will guarantee lots of morning fun for the 2 to 5 year-olds and their parents, with a natural play session in the Ballyhoura Woodlands!
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.
It starts in Kilfinane on the Friday evening with a talk by local historian Angela Hennessy on the legacy of the Joyce Brothers, followed by an evening concert of their tunes by acclaimed traditional musicians Liam Flanagan and Derek Hickey, and finishing with an open session in McGrath’s Pub where local and visiting musicians will get a chance to play.
The Saturday afternoon schedule includes a series of workshops, which teach the music and songs of the collection, followed by a concert from Joyce Brothers’ expert Liam O'Connor and renowned signer Dónal Clancy,
On the Sunday afternoon, historian Angela Hennessy will lead a walk to the Joyce Brothers’ homestead in Glenosheen followed by Music and Storytelling at Kilflynn Church, and an option to witness the unveiling of a land-art sculpture of
local legend Oisín of na Fianna on the Keale River Walk.
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