Exploring the fictional town of Blackwater

What a fantastic day for a walk, and what a fantastic walk we had!

46 walkers came out in force today for our Blackshore Guided Walk in Killaloe. As many people will know, the recent RTE series, Blackshore was filmed around Killaloe and East Clare.

Starting at Two Mile Gate (where plenty of filming took place), we walked into Killaloe along the boardwalk with fabulous views, that were also regularly seen throughout the series.

We made our way to the stunning 13th century St. Flannan’s Cathedral and visited the graveyard where “the Lucey family” were buried.

We then had the opportunity to visit Kincora House on Church Street, which was the home of Dr. James Whelan and his deeply religious wife (their daughter had gone missing 20 years ago). A huge thanks to Deborah Dudgeon for allowing us to take a peek inside.

Kincora House, Killaloe – aka the home of Mr & Mrs James Whelan in Blackshore

Our final stop was The Lakeside Hotel in Ballina where much of the filming took place, as it belonged to murdered victim Roisin Hurley.
And the icing on the cake … or the cream on the scones …. was when we were treated to complimentary tea, coffee and fresh scones, kindly supplied by Eoin Little, Manager of this stunning hotel situated on the banks of Lough Derg.

Our next guided walk will take place on Thursday 11th April Ballinruan
(route details to follow).

Exploring Feakle

Eighteen walkers braved the elements last Thursday to come to Feakle and join our 8.5km loop.

This was on relatively quiet roads with no inclines and was a most enjoyable walk, with only two short showers on the way.

We had never walked in this part of East Clare so we enjoyed experiencing this new area.

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 14th March in Mid Clare (route TBC).

A slightly wet day in Spancilhill

20 brave walkers showed up for our looped walk in Spancilhill last Thursday.
Our group was made up of mostly women so we argued that either the men were soft, or they had more sense and stayed at home out of the rain……..

Starting at the Spanchilhill Inn, we walked an 8.5 km loop passing some great sights like O’Brien’s Castle, O’Brien’s Lake, and the former Drumbaniff National School from 1890.

We arrived back to the start point just before the worst shower of rain, thankfully, and sone of the group made their way to nearby Barefield for some well deserved refreshments.

If you would like to do this walk yourself here is a link to the route.
One section of the walk is on a slightly busy road, so make sure to bring your high-viz.

Our next walk will take place on 8th February in Ardboula, Tulla – we will post about that soon!

Great neighbourhood watch in Spancilhill

Our first walk of the year

We were joined by 39 eager walkers last Thursday in Ogonnelloe for our first guided loop walk of 2024.

Our walk was just under 6km, breaking us in gently after the Christmas holidays. The weather was absolutely beautiful, bright blue skies and no rain – what more could you want for a walk.

Many made their walk back to Josie Anne’s for a coffee and a tasty treat. Sadly this was our last visit to Josie Anne’s as it closed a few days later. We would like to wish Elaine and her team the very best in the future and thanks for all the sweet treats 🧁

Our next guided walk will take place on Thursday 25th January in Spancilhill. If you would like to come along, you can text or WhatsApp Arlene on 086 358 6293.

Calendar of Clare Walks 2024

For the last number of years, we have been taking photos while we are out on the trails and we thought that producing a calendar might be a nice way to share these with you.

You can experience the beauty of the East Clare Way and the Mid Clare Way in the comfort of your own home, or you can get your walking boots on and hit the trails to experience it for yourself!

Most of the pics are courtesy of Brendan, one of our maintenance team and our guided walks leader, and you will see that he knows the best spots.

The calendar is €10 (plus €3 for postage within Ireland). Here is a link to our PayPal account if you would like to get one posted to you – just make sure to include your address. If you would like one posted outside of Ireland, please get in touch with us directly.

All monies raised will go towards the future maintenance of the East Clare Way and Mid Clare Way walking routes.

Coole Park – a cool place to visit

56 of our Ramblers group headed to the fabulous Coole Park Nature Reserve last week for a guided tour with the very knowledgeable guides, Aine and Jenni.

As well as learning about the history of Coole Park Demense and Lady Gregory and her family, you get to wander through woodland paths following in the footsteps of some of Ireland most renowned writers – WB Yeats, JM Synge, George Bernard Shaw, and Sean O’Casey. The autograph tree which stands near the former site of the great house is an historical monument in itself, containing the autographs of Lady Gregory’s visitors to Coole Park.

Do not leave without a visit to the tea rooms for a home baked tasty treat!


A trip to Newmarket on Fergus

30 eager walkers joined us for our guided walk in Newmarket on Fergus on 23rd February last.

We left Newmarket on Fergus town walking towards Mooghaun and continuing to Carrownakilly, before returning to our start point for a well earned cuppa.

We had surprisingly warm weather for this time of the year and we were treated to beautiful birdsong along the way.

Our next guided walk will take place on Thursday 9th March in Flagmount.

If you would like to come along, or find out more, please text or WhatsApp 086 358 6293.

A walk along the Shannon in O’Brien’s Bridge

We were delighted to see 38 walkers arrive in O’Brien’s Bridge this morning for our ‘Ramblers’ guided walk on the Errinagh Bridge Loop. And the weather could not have been nicer.

We were led by the very knowledgeable Maura Turner, who brought us along the embankment on the Shannon Headrace, taking a slight detour to one of the the old locks on the Killaloe – Limerick canal.

We started our return trip following the old towpath along the River Shannon. Sections of this path have recently been repaired by the local community group.

Arriving back to O’Briens Bridge village, we had a well deserved refreshment stop in B14 coffee shop, offering soup, sandwiches and delicious array of sweet treats.

If you would like to do this walk, it is very well marked – https://www.sportireland.ie/outdoors/walking/trails/obriensbridge-errinagh-bridge

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 23rd February. If you would like to find out more, please text or WhatsApp Arlene on 086 358 6293.

View from the embankment on the Headrace

A guided walk in Fanore – and we’ll all be going back for more!

We were joined by 31 walkers last Thursday 1st September for the most amazing walk in Fanore.

The walk was led by Joe Queally, who was born and reared in Fanore, and shared stories of local history and folklore with us.

Joe encouraged us to spend some time lying on the rocks taking time out to forgive ourselves and others who may have hurt us in the past.

Once Joe coaxed us all up from lying peacefully in the sunshine we took off again over limestone rocks and climbing stone walls; it was an adventure to say the least; But we were treated to some tasty brown bread, black pudding and bacon provided by Joe.

We collected €180 in donations on the day towards the RNLI, an essential organisation with which Joe is very involved.

A huge thanks to Joe for leading this amazing walk, and thanks to all those who came along and donated.

Our next walk is on Thursday 15th September just outside the village of Feakle.

A stroll through Ireland’s former capital, Killaloe

On Thursday last 35 walkers came along to take a stroll through Killaloe and learn a bit about it’s ancient history.

At Beal Ború

Starting at St. Flannan’s Catholic church at the top of the town, which was the former site of Brian Boru’s Royal Palace of Kincora, we walked down the historic main street, along the Canal boardwalk stopping at the Pier Head and Tobermurragh. It was at this Well that Brian Boru’s son Murrough was said to be baptized.

From here we continued to Beal Ború (Brian Boru’s Fort), the homestead of Brian Ború, who became High King of Ireland in 1002. Breaking with tradition he chose to rule the country from Killaloe, making it the capital of Ireland for a period of 12 years.

This 5km looped walk was held in association with the College of Further Education, Scariff – “Researching Sacred Sites along the East Clare Way”, a part-time course for adult learners was run through the College of Further Education in 2021 & 2022. Tobermurragh and Beal Ború were two sites that were researched during this course, the findings of which were presented at the sites on the day.

Thanks to Colette and Cora for the great photos from the day.