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Walking Holiday In Ireland

Croan Cottages are close to some beautiful walks in the Blackstairs, Comeragh, South Tipperary and Galtee Mountains. We have briefly described some of the walks available through these ranges below. However, more detailed information is available from the Tourist Information offices and from some excellent online resources such as http://www.mountainviews.ie

The following hills and mountains are visible from Croan:

Brandon Hill (Blackstairs Mountains)

Cnoc Bhréanail An alternative name in Irish (Ir. Cnoc Bhréanail [OSI], 'hill of Bréanal')
Brandon Hill is the 425th highest summit in Ireland. Brandon Hill is the most westerly summit and also the second most southerly in the Blackstairs Mountains area.

Height: 515 metres OS 1/50k Mapsheet: 68 for top
Grid Ref: S69701 40276 Latitude: 52.509156 Longitude: -6.974204

County Kilkenny

Slievenamon Mountain

Sliabh na mBan An alternative name in Irish (Ir. Sliabh na mBan [OSI], 'mountain of the women'). Slievenamon is the highest mountain in the South Tipperary area and the 95th highest in Ireland. Slievenamon is the most southerly summit in the South Tipperary area and also the most westerly.

Height: 721 metres OS 1/50k Mapsheet: 67 for top
Grid Ref: S29782 30722 Latitude: 52.427429 Longitude: -7.564135

Address: County Tipperary



Knockmealdown Mountains

In many views, the Knockmealdown Mountains appear as a series of rounded heathery summits separated by deep gaps. Motor roads offering easy access to a range of fine hill walks cross some of the gaps. The mountains are also crossed by three major way marked ways, so that a variety of walking opportunities can be enjoyed.

Hill walkers can climb the Knockmealdown Mountains from Newcastle and Clogheen on the northern side, or from Lismore and Cappoquin on the southern side. Any of these bases give good access to the higher parts of the range. Ground conditions are often dry and heathery, while forest tracks and narrow roads can be used to make easy approaches. The East Munster Way passes through the forests on the northern side of the range, while St Declan’s Way crosses a broad gap in the middle.

One of the features of the higher Knockmealdown summits is a prominent linear ditch. This marks the boundary between counties of Waterford and Tipperary, rising and falling over a series of rounded tops and broad gaps, offering a useful navigational aid throughout. Views embrace everything from the coast to neighbouring mountain groups.

Further westwards, the Knockmealdown Mountains dwindle in height, but still offer a fine variety of easy walks over gentler hills. Approaches can be made from the little village of Ballyporeen or the wonderfully quiet Araglin Valley. The Araglin Valley also features a good stretch of the way marked Blackwater Way, which can be followed to or from The Gap above Clogheen, where it links with the East Munster Way.

Address Tipperary/Waterford Border

Walking the South Leinster way:

This varied trail leads the walker between some very fine lofty summits in County Carlow, and along the forest tracks over the northern slopes of Mount Leinster. The trail then drops into the neat little town of Borris and, from there, follows a towpath a long the River Barrow where life sometimes seems to stand still in old world solitude. Graiguenamanagh (the outfarm of the monks) soon comes into view, with its graceful 18th century bridge and medieval Abbey Church. Far above the town Brandon Hill becko ns, and beyond it the Nore Valley at Inistioge, an ancient place with a fine bridge and medieval church. The final section to Carrick On Suir crosses wide, lonely uplands, with horizons stretching to Waterford and Tipperary.


Route detail: Kildavin, Borris, Graiguenamanagh, Inistioge, Mullinavat, Carrick On Suir

Total distance: 100km / 62 miles. Longest stage: Mullinavat to Carrick On Suir - 22km / 14 miles. Highest point: Mount Leinster TV Gate - 450m / 1480ft

Maps and guidebooks:
South Leinster Way Map Guide, Ordnance survey maps, Number 68, 75, 76

Details from: Kilkenny Tourist Office
Rose Inn Street
County Kilkenny

Phone: 056-7751500

  Nire Valley Annual Walking Festival

The name "Nire Valley" comes from the Gaelic "Gleann na hUidhre" which means Glen or Valley of the Yellow/Brown stone which is to be seen along the river bank. This Nire River tumbles down through the valley from its source high up in the Comeragh mountains to the smooth flowing Suir river near Newcastle. The Irish language was the spoken tongue here until the early part of this century and to this day many of the old Gaelic phrases and customs survive in ordinary everyday life.

Address Nire Valley
Co Waterford

Telephone: +353 (0)52 36134
Fax: +353 (0)52 36540
E-mail: hanorascottage@eircom.net

Web www.hanorascottage.com

Date Start: Second weekend of October

Blackstairs Walks Barnahaskin And Kiltennell

A pleasant little summer's evening walk, which includes a fine view point, but it has some rough going, and there are stepping stones which might be submerged after heavy rain.

Starting Point: Barnahaskin Crosd

Time: Three hours

Total Distance: 9.5km

Address Blackstairs Mountains


Knockahunna Mountain

Cnoc an Chonnaidh An alternative name in Irish (Ir. Cnoc an Chonnaidh [LL], 'hill of the firewood')
Knockahunna is the second highest mountain in the South Tipperary area and the 453rd highest in Ireland. Knockahunna is the most northerly summit in the South Tipperary area and also the most easterly.

Height: 502 metres OS 1/50k Mapsheet: 67 for top
Grid Ref: S30310 32753 Latitude: 52.445374 Longitude: -7.556605

Address: County Tipperary

Comeragh Mountains

The Comeragh Mountains are a remarkably varied range, stretching from the coast near Dungarvan inland as far as Clonmel. The Nire Valley reaches into the heart of the range, not only offering good access, but also featuring an annual walking festival, introducing hundreds of walkers to the joys and challenges of walking in these mountains.

The central part of the Comeragh Mountains features a boggy plateau, while the fringe features phenomenally rocky coums filled with a wonderful assortment of little Loughs. Here you will find the rock-walled Coumshingaun and Coum Iarthair, as well as Crotty’s Lough, which was named after an outlaw who lay low in these remote fastnesses. Other deep hollows include Coumstillogue, Coumalocha, Coumfea and Coumtay.

Searching for them all can make for some quite interesting explorations.

The fine rocky peak of Knockanaffrin rises between the Nire Valley and Clonmel, along with a range of gentler, less often walked hills. The Munster Way runs nearby, crossing the hills between Clonmel and Newcastle.Heading southwards from the Nire valley, towards Dungarvan, there are some fine rounded hills, such as Seefin and Crohaun, while a network of forest tracks offer easier walking.

The Comeragh Mountains Walking Festival is held every October and is centred on the Nire Valley. Experienced local guides offer leadership and plenty of background knowledge about the area. A range of routes includes tough mountain walks, gentler valley walks and a number of short and easy walks suitable for beginners. Experienced walkers often try to complete the full traverse of the range between Clonmel and Dungarvan.

Address Ballymacarbry
Co Waterford

Telephone +353 (0) 51 875823
E-mail info@southeasttourism.ie


Black Rock Loop

The Ballhoura area is already famous for its summertime walking festival, but the Seefin climb on part of the Ballyhoura Way is an equally beautiful walk, which won’t take all of three days. A long-distance trek, the 90km walk along the Ballyhoura Way follows the historic route of the O’Sullivan-Bere clan as they fled north from Cork in 1602.

Part of the circuit includes Seefin Mountain, and takes in spectacular views across all six counties in the province of Munster. Taking you up mountainsides, along forestry tracks and criss-crossing roads, the landscape is peppered with fascinating archaeological sites, old abbeys, churches and castles.

Ascent: 300m
Distance: 11km
Grade: Hard
Route Summary: From Glenosheen, County Limerick, make your way to Greenwood Forest to commence your walk around the Black Rock Loop.
Set off on the Goat’s Path towards a quiet lane heading southeast along the valley, with Seefin Mountain rising to the right.
Swinging around northwest, cross the road and use the stile to access the mountain for your climb to the summit.
Check out Castle Philip, an outlaw’s hideaway, before you reach the 528m high peak of Seefin.
Follow the mountain track downhill to a parking area and out onto an old road. Take a left onto the forestry track and you will gently descend through Greenwood Forest. Watch out for the interpretive boards along the way, so you can identify the flora and fauna of the area.
When you return to the finish point, why not explore the local area: the Lough Gur Heritage Centre, Doneraile Court and Wildlife Park, the Mitchelstown Caves and the medieval fortress town of Kilmallock are all worth the detour.
Start and Finish: Greenwood Forest
Terrain: mix of minor roads, paths and forest tracks

Address Ballyhoura
South Tipperary

Telephone +353 052 41453
Web www,ballyhouracountry.com

Saint Declan's Way

From historic Ardmore in Co. Waterford to the celebrated Rock of Cashel in Co. Tipperary. The route uses roads, tracks and paths, passing the ruins of many remarkable ecclesiastical sites, as well as holy wells and assorted prehistoric remains. Most of the route is low level, though it has one high section where it crosses the Knockmealdown Mountains.

Leaving Ardmore, St. Declan’s Way progresses around a fine rocky headland, then turns inland and commences its journey northwards. The route crosses the Lickey River and there are other walks downstream around Clashmore. The route follows St. Declan’s Road and passes through the tiny settlements of Cross, Geosh and Knocknascagh. The ‘Path of the Saints’ converges further along before Cappoquin. The historic towns of Cappoquin and Lismore, the latter dominated by its huge castle, are both easily reached by making short diversions. The ancient Track of St. Patrick’s Cow is traced gradually uphill, with a steep and exposed crossing of the Knockmealdown Mountains. Descending through forest, the route crosses the Munster Way near Goatenbridge, and then heads for the village of Ardfinnan. The track of ‘St. Patrick’s Cow’ makes a beeline for Cashel, but is also possible to loop westward and take in the historic town of Cahir and its prominent riverside castle.

The bustling town of Cashel is dominated by its world-famous Rock. Perched on top of this cliff-bound limestone hump are a ruined Cathedral and Chapel, Round Tower and sundry stone monuments, all within a stout curtain wall. It was the seat of the Kings of Munster before becoming a renowned ecclesiastical site. There are plenty of other interesting features around Cashel, which can be explored on an easy town trail.

Address: Ardmore, Co. Waterford

Telephone +353 (0)24 94444
Fax +353 (0)24 94056


Mount Leinster

Mount Leinster rises well over two thousand feet above Borris. It is the tallest peak in the Blackstairs Mountains, which run for fifteen miles or so. The best access to Mount Leinster from Borris is to drive five miles to the Nine Stones, where you can park your car nearly a thousand feet up.

Mount Leinster is, of course, a Mecca for hill walkers. There is the well-blazed Mount Leinster way, or you can walk off the track. Alternatively, a road leads from the Nine Stones to the very top of Mount Leinster, so walking up to the summit is straightforward. You can even push a pram up or walk up on crutches. At the top, you can enjoy views like the photos on this page. No need to worry about cars on this road, it's normally closed to traffic.

We'd be happy to help you plan a trip to some or all of these locations during your stay in one of our self catering cottages.

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What our Guests say

Sunday Times Ireland

Really impressive course and renewed my respect for the animals I love to eat but donít think about nearly enough. Venison was delicious and it was a privilege to see her handled with such care by the

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