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.

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.

Walking, history and scones in Whitegate

25 eager walkers joined us for a guided looped walk in Whitegate last Thursday, and although we got a little bit (or a lot) wet, it was an enjoyable morning.

This 7km looped walk was held in association with the College of Further Education, Scariff, to celebrate Heritage Week 2022, and we stopped Derrainy Cillín, a children’s burial ground, located in an extremely tranquil setting in Derrainy townland.
“Researching Sacred Sites along the East Clare Way” has been run through the College of Further Education, Scariff in 2021 & 2022 and Derrainy Cillín was one such site that was researched during this course, the findings of which were presented at the site on the day.

We were also lucky to have two very knowledgeable local historians with us to provide some fascinating information along the route – thanks to Tommy Holland and Michael Ryan.

Some curious donkeys and a pony came to say hello on our way back to the Half Barrell in Whitegate, where we got to enjoy fresh homemade scones and endless supplies of tea and coffee.


Be Mindful how you Walk….

I’m sure all you walkers are using this time and this fabulous weather to get out for a stroll!

But in these strange and uncertain times, it may not be the same as we can’t walk with friends or walking buddies, walk in places that we would like to walk (if it’s more than 2km from home), or maybe we are only taking shorter walks than we are used to taking!

Why not start practicing a bit of Mindfulness? Mindfulness is simply tuning your thoughts in to the present moment and what we can see, hear, smell…..it’s basically taking a brief break from worrying about what is happening around us!

Heather growing where there was once a No Parking bollard!

I have been finding it so amazing that even  the country, and the world, is in such turmoil, beautiful new growth continues every day! I have been taking time to pause and look at nature as I walk every day, noticing things that I may not have taken the time to notice before! I even tracked the growth of a fern over 10 days, taking photos of the same bunch every time I walked past!

Day 1 – 1st April

Day 10 – 10th April

You don’t even need to take photos …. just stop for a minute, look around and take a mental note of the marvels of Mother Nature. You won’t be sorry!

Enjoy🌷

 

 

Ramblers Guided Walks are back for 2020!

Clare Ramblers, Kilkishen, East Clare Way

We had a fabulous walk in Kilkishen yesterday with 32 walkers, and we were blessed with dry weather throughout our 5km loop.

We started at the Cultural Centre in Kilkishen and we would like to say a huge thanks to Mike and the committee for letting us use this stunning building as a base for the morning. For anyone that is interested in the history of the building and the story of it’s restoration, you can read all about it here!

The walk followed quite roads with a few hills, but they only made the cuppa taste even better when we got back to the Cultural Centre.

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 Flagmount on Thursday 27th February at 11am. See you then!

 

 

 

 

Ramblers Guided Walk in Kilkishen

Welcome back!

Our January Ramblers guided walk takes place on Thursday 30th January at 11am from Kilkishen Cultural Centre, just outside the village of Kilkishen.
This walk is 5km and follows quite roads and footpath and is mostly flat.
We will finish at Kilkishen Cultural Centre for the customary tea and scones.

These walks are primarily for over 50’s but all are welcome.
All walks are free with an optional donation which goes towards the future maintenance of both the East and Mid Clare Ways.
Please wear suitable footwear and clothing.
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

For further information contact 065 6835912 or email info@clarewalks.ie.
For full route map, click here!

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………..

Clare Ramblers, Whitegate, East Clare Way

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!