Coumduala Loop Ramble

What a wonderful day we had in the Nire Valley!

20 determined ramblers headed off to the Loop most ably led once again by Veronica Curran & gently urged on by Dick Waide. Lots of weather prayers (offered by Veronica’s mother!) ensured the sunshine & we had many stops along the way to appreciate the great views even as far away as the bridge in Waterford. The trek was bookended by early morning tea & scones followed later by delicious sandwiches & home baking in Hanora’s Cottage.

Truly a “la brea brothallach…….”

With thanks to Liam for the group photos here :

The following photos of the beautiful landscape were kindly submitted by Elizabeth and Joe. No doubt the views helped to ease any strain on the muscles – go maire sibh, a spaisteoirí!

Dolmen Loop Ramble

In the village
Lisvarrinane village is the starting point for the Dolmen Loop walk.
What a wonderful hike we had on Wednesday  4th May,  in the Glen of Aherlow! The weather obliged & ensured we had spectacular views of many counties.
We were ably led, guided, minded and assisted by Dick & Helen Waide- mile buiochas libh! To crown it all we had a delicious feed in The Marketplace Restaurant in Mitchelstown.
Thanks to  Clare, Liam and Joe for the words and photos.
Radharc álainn!
You can find out more about the route by clicking Dolmen Loop Walk

Rambling the Seven Heads



On 21st April the Ramblers took to the Seven Heads in iarthar Chorcaí. Here’s a report submitted by Seán Ó Callanáin. Míle buíochas le Seán as an tuairisc, agus le Joe Carroll as na griangrafanna.

A well earned lón beag!


Some ramblers’ walks can have a long planning gestation. Naomh Molaga in the seventh century picked our point of assembly at the site of his monastery in Timoleague.
Keeping with the monastic theme, we adjourned at once under the leadership of Dónal Wooley to “Monks Lane”!!! From there “the wheels of the bus went round and round” until we reached Butlerstown,  where our walking began.

Hearing of how the local children in 1914, had seen the Lusitania sink from the schoolyard, ensured Dónal had our rapt attention from the off. One by one we ticked off the seven headlands, crossing fields newly clad in spring grass, while a short sos on one of the several deserted beaches pointed our minds to summer.


With 37 walkers, we made a happy throng, ambushing the occasional solitary walker who crossed our path. As Ramblers, we were conflicted between enjoying the views and a self-inflicted “threat” that our lunch venue might be shut if we tarried!

There’s a better lunch to come

At Courtmacsherry (with the weather holding dry), the wonderful amenity walk along the old railway line to Tigh Molaga  was taken at a fair clip. Going monastic yet again, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at “Monks Lane”, a pub and grub spot worthy of many stars.
Ár mbuíochas d’aon, Clare agus Dónal agus don RTAI.

At the Monk’s table!

Tuile ‘snaps’ thíos.

Buíochas le Elizabeth O’ Connell as na griangrafanna seo.

There’s more to Blarney than just a Castle

On 14th April 2016 a group of Amblers assembled in Blarney Castle Gardens for a very relaxing and extremely informative guided walk of the grounds. Many people admitted that they hadn’t been inside the gates in decades! As the Teddy Bears’ Picnic song goes: they were sure of a big surprise!

Just inside the gate- a beautiful cherry tree. A sign of delights to come.

Group under cherry tree
Assembled Amblers under the Cherry Tree

This walk was organised by Máiréad Twomey, who arranged for Horticulturist Alan and his assistant Rory to guide us around the gardens. It was very interesting to hear about how certain areas have been reclaimed from the overgrowth and returned to a thriving native woodland. There are about 12 Horticulturists, as well as ground staff and volunteers who  work in the grounds.

The park has all the native species of animals and a wide variety of native birds too.

Blarney ducks
Diving ducks

There are 5 km of walking trails throughout the park, and certain areas are dedicated to particular plant types, e.g the Fern Garden, Belgian Beds (azaleas), Himalayan Walk (eastern plants) and the intriguingly named Poison Garden which contains many plants which are of medicinal value.

blarney fern group
Fern Garden path
Blarney fern steps
Fern Garden steps
Fern Garden Waterfall

As well as the horticultural aspect, we visited areas of the garden that were developed in the 19th Century, such as the Rock Close, the Wishing Steps and the Witches’ Kitchen. And then there was the interesting tale of the Seven Sisters and their two fallen brothers, now commemorated by a stone circle.

Witches' kitchen
At the Witches’ Kitchen
By the Wishing Steps
Ambling along

All agreed that it was a most interesting guided tour, and many people were surprised to discover the beautiful gardens they never knew existed beyond the castle!

Magnificent Magnolia

The azaleas and rhododendrons will be in bloom at the end of April and into May. It would definitely be worth a visit to see the spectacular colours throughout the garden then.

Just click for more information about the Blarney Castle Gardens

After our walk we retired to the Mill restaurant for refreshments, and a long chat!


Ag Spaisteoireacht i gCiarraí

The Ramblers took to the Black Valley on Wednesday 16th March.

Thanks to Claire Shelley for the report, and to Elizabeth O’Connell and Derry Keogh for the pictorial evidence!

A great day was had by all -29 of us walked through the Black Valley (my first time) & it stayed dry! A bus took us from Kate Kearney’s cottage to Derrycunnihy Church, where we began our descent through undergrowth to lunch at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, arriving just ahead of a large group of French students. Then on through the Black Valley where we met fear an phoist & later hassled a poor teacher of the Black Valley school, which was just about to close for the Easter hols, by telling her we had arrived to inspect the place! After a 15km hike we had well earned refreshments in Kate Kearney’s.

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