Flask Fillers For Twixtmas Walks
The days between Christmas and New Year are still full of celebrational mood. But they also provide a chance to swap the need to shop for a day out in the fresh air, with the family in tow. A bracing walk on a mid-winter day helps clear the head and the system, after the excesses of Christmas Day, and before the onset of New Year partying.There are plenty of places in Ireland to enjoy a great day out. Here are five spots we love for winter walking:
Sheep’s Head Peninsula, West Cork.
The whole walk around this magnificent peninsula is just over 200km (approximately). But there are lots of smaller walking trails where you can take in the Wild Atlantic Way in all its glory. The peninsula is narrow, so the ocean is always close by. Zig zag your way along, following the dedicated signposted walking trails. Take in the fresh air. Enjoy the extremes of nature. This is no ‘chocolate box’ pretty. Here is powerful raw beauty, difficult to harness in a few sentences. Stone circles, ancient pathways, heather covered hills. Little villages like Ahakista, Kilcrohane and Durrus, and miles of ocean.
Glendalough in Co. Wicklow
One of Ireland’s prettiest spots. There are nine designated walks in this region. You can stroll for half an hour or so, or take a four hour hike across the hills. Easy to moderate walks include The Miner’s Walk (5km), and Poulanass and St.Kevin’s Cell (1km). If you’re in the mood for a longer walk try the Derrybawn Woodland Trail, a ramble taking in Poulanass Waterfall and Derrybawn Mountain, where you get great views of the whole of Glendalough (8km).
Glen of Aherlow, Co. Tipperary.
A looped walk of 11km for those who like to be out and about! It’s classified as a moderate walk in terms of suitability. It takes about three hours to do the whole stretch and you really will feel you’ve walked off the turkey and Christmas pudding afterwards. Starts at Christ the King in the Glen of Aherlow and takes in the loop around Ballinacourty and the productive Ballyhoura region. Superb views of the Galtee Mountains.
Ventry Strand Looped Walk, Co. Kerry.
Nothing like a bit of bracing sea air to shake off the Christmas party lag! This walk starts on Ventry Strand on the Dingle Peninsula. A little path leads to the long golden beach, where you can press your toes in the sand and have a paddle if the Atlantic Ocean is kind enough! The return walk is via the scenic road, to take you back to where you started. It’s described as a moderate walk (5.3km long in total).
Beech Hill Donnelly Trail, Derry, Northern Ireland.
This walk is situated in the grounds of Beech Hill Country House, one of our members. It’s a short walk of 1 mile, taking you through beautiful woodlands in the grounds of the hotel. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and the paths are wide and flat. Afterwards, enjoy some refreshments at this historic country house hotel.