Beautiful Bog

The Killamuck Bog Loop Walk (Coill na Muc, Hill of the Swine) is part of almost 500 beautiful acres of recovering raised bog, cutaway bog, meadows, and carr woodland. It’s not always been so. In the 1980s, Bord na Móna (Irish Peat Board) cut extensive drains into the Abbeyleix bog in preparation for stripping the… Continue reading Beautiful Bog

Just Djouce

Feeling both ambitious and restless, our latest explorations led us south to the Wicklow Mountain National Park and one of its most accessible peaks, Djouce (Irish: Dioghais, ‘fortified height’) which has a short but steep climb to its 725 metre (2,379 ft) summit. Although there are a couple of ways to approach Djouce, the route… Continue reading Just Djouce

Much Mór

It started as a grand soft day in County Clare. This was the first weekend since March we Irish were allowed to travel farther than our own counties and a friend had decided that once she could leave Dublin, she would head west and climb Mullaghmór, the iconic mountain in the Burren (Boireann in Irish, “great… Continue reading Much Mór

A Grand Canal Day Out

Dublin is a city divided by a river and bisected by two canals, one north of the river (Royal Canal) and the other south (Grand Canal). A true Dub, they say, is one born between the canals. The construction of the Grand Canal began in 1757 but it was 1804 before the first boat reached… Continue reading A Grand Canal Day Out

C is for Carrauntoohil

Like most good ideas, this one started with a random comment — although almost immediately regretted by the commenter. My son is a scout who is taking part this year in Scouting Ireland’s Mountain Pursuit Challenge: weekend mountain hikes in each of Ireland’s four provinces. This month they were due to hike in Kerry so… Continue reading C is for Carrauntoohil

Slieve Bloom

Like I’ve said before, Ireland is criss-crossed with walking trails traipsing through hills, fields, along rivers, canals and the seashore. Unlike many of Ireland’s other way-marked trails, the Slieve Bloom Way, a 75 km circuit, has only 14% (5 km) on actual roads. In a small country it is impossible to have the remote and… Continue reading Slieve Bloom

Cairn T for Two

My now-husband used to say his proposal would be a simple “Will you be buried with my people?” The answer was no, but also yes and so like any good honeymoon, ours included a walk in a graveyard, starting — as they say — as we meant to continue. Often places of beauty and with… Continue reading Cairn T for Two

Walking a Grassy Path

“Like walking in a Constable painting,” or so a visitor described the Barrow Way, a 113 kilometre trail linking Robertstown, County Kildare and St. Mullins, County Carlow, following the original 18th century towpath alongside Ireland’s second longest river. I’d love to let you believe we waltzed through the entire hundred or more kilometres, but being… Continue reading Walking a Grassy Path

A Four Season Cycle

It hailed. Of course it hailed: it is Ireland and Easter. Also: rain drove, wind gusted and sun shone. It’s what keeps this country green and gives everyone something to talk about. Once you have four seasons in the one day, you’ll never be at a loss for words. During the break, we wrangled in… Continue reading A Four Season Cycle

Two Lough Walk

Back in the bog we were, for our December walk. Like November’s, only this time we included a glacial valley, two lakes, a ruined mining village and one of Ireland’s most important monastic sites. After our traditional Christmas eve afternoon tea at the Westin and the general feasting of the 25th, we were ready for… Continue reading Two Lough Walk