walking weekend

Tourism Pure Walking Holidays

Guided Walking Holidays in Mayo & Connemara, Ireland

 

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Posts tagged with: 'walking weekend'

Cong Lakes Walking Weekend 2013

Join our group for this fantastic guided walking weekend in May. Taking place over the May bank holiday weekend, from May 3 through 6, this is one of the top walking weekends the West of Ireland has to offer.

Walking is graded easy on two of the days, with the third graded moderate and includes a hike to the top of the 411 m Benlevy mountain outside Clonbur.

Cong, at the very southern tip of County Mayo, is one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. The village is criss-crossed by numerous channels of the same river, with deep pools dotted all around. Cong even enjoys the added attraction of beautiful native and exotic woodlands all around.

Cong is a wonderful place for walking, with good quality off-road trails that skirt along the edges of the great western lakes of Loughs Corrib and Mask. The trails meander through lovely woodland, a mix of native broadleaves and the typical conifers of the West of Ireland.

Two pubs in Cong are excellent – Danagher’s at the bottom of the village and Lydon’s at the top. Both are home to really good trad music sessions.

This is a three-night guided walking event, involving three days of walking. Cong and neighbouring Clonbur inhabit the narrow isthmus between the great Loughs Mask and Corrib, on the Galway Mayo border.

We stay in a choice of a Cong B&B or Cong Hostel, both directly across the street from eachother, with full board, including three breakfasts, three dinners and three packed lunches for the walks.

Day One (Fri.) : Arrival, dinner and orientation.

Day Two (Sat.) : Hiking the linear walk between Clonbur and Cong, through the native woodland regeneration site and on the limestone pavement (a ‘mini Burren’) landscape at Lough Mask.

Day Three (Sun.) : Hill climb of Benlevy, wedged between the two lakes and offering fabulous views of Mask, Corrib and the higher Connemara and South Mayo mountains in all directions. Visit the haunting deserted village at its base.

Day Four (Mon.) : Low lying walk through woodland and along the shore of Lough Corrib. Departure.

Book this walking weekend :

You can book your place on this relaxing, lovely walking weekend here.

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Single Parent Families Break, Easter 2013

A walking and outdoors fun weekend especially for the single parent and his or her children. In the beauty of rural Mayo.

This event runs from Saturday, March 23rd (the day after schools close for Easter holidays) to Tuesday 26th.

Single parent families weekend

Walking in Woodland

This extended weekend, of a gentle level, is for the single parent – both men and women – who have children roughly in the age bracket of 7 to 14. Ages are at the parent’s discretion; there are no ‘rules’.

Join us for three days of gentle walking and outdoor fun with your beloved children. We will walk entirely off-road, through lovely woods and alongside lakes. We will discover caves, castles and ancient monuments. We will climb a tower, cross bridges and traverse tunnels. The kids will enjoy both the woodland Treasure Hunt and Orienteering with their parent. They will also get to learn some tree species as we go. This will be a relaxing, stress-free fun weekend in the West of Ireland’s great outdoors. Parents will get out at night for a chat, if they so wish, while the children will be minded in our B&B.

Accommodation is in a choice of a B&B or hostel and they’re literally straight across the quiet road from eachother. Whichever accommodation you would like to choose, breakfasts and dinners are taken together at the B&B. Packed lunches are provided for the walks.

Saturday : Arrive at our B&B for dinner together. A movie and boardgames for the children, while the parents get to go out for a quiet drink, chat and some R & R.

Sunday : A morning stroll in the woods. After lunch, a Treasure Hunt.

Monday : A morning stroll in a different location, along lakeside paths and through woodland. After lunch, a walk around the village and to feed the ducks.

Tuesday : Having departed our accommodation, we will go Orienteering at a lakeside woodland along the return route towards Mayo / Galway / Dublin.

Cong, where we will be based, is a really lovely little village in south County Mayo. It is surrounded by large forests that allow us to stay off-road. It is a 250-km, 3-hour drive from Dublin, via the Galway motorway.

Single parent weekend

Orienteering on Monday

What to Bring :

While runners will probably be fine for the walks, do bring the children’s wellies, or at least a second pair of runners, as it will be muddy in places. A little rain jacket would be sensible, but then you know that – you’re a parent!

Bring your own parental enthusiasm for getting your kids out into and interacting with Irish nature. Heck, they’ll even get their hands dirty. Some fresh spring air in your lungs and theirs – you can’t beat it!

Single Parent Families Break – Book Now

Prices start from Euro 230 for the parent and Euro 90  for the first child in the hostel, or Euro 260 and Euro 100 in the B&B. Additional children are just Euro 40 each. To learn more and book your place on this walking and outdoors weekend, please call 086 8318748.

 

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Achill Island Walking Weekend 2014

Join us for our Achill Island Walking Weekend, from October 3rd to 5th, 2014.

Our small group will be based at Keel village, from where we can discover the best of the island on foot, with no need for long transfers from our B&B. Our walking weekend will take us to Slievemore and Croaghaun mountains, the famous Deserted Village, a Napoleonic Tower and much more. We will enjoy the superb ocean views that this island offers the visitor. From Slievemore, we can look across lovely Blacksod Bay towards the Mullet Peninsula and the Iniskea Islands. From Croaghaun, boasting Ireland’s highest cliffs, we gaze out west into the vast Atlantic, or south towards Clare Island, Inisturk and Inisbofin beyond.

Achill Island Walking Weekend, Mayo, Ireland

Croaghaun mountain, Achill Island

This is tough hiking, with Slievemore at 671 m and Croaghaun at 688 m. The schedule is as follows :

Friday :

Arrive at Westport train station Friday evening. There’s no need to bring the car to Mayo. Jump on a train from Heuston at 12.45, relax and arrive in Westport at 15.55. Transfer to Achill for dinner and a gentle stroll on the wonderful Keel beach, just a short walk from our B&B.

Saturday :

We will hike Slievemore, taking in the famous Deserted Village and archaeological features of this northern part of the island (approx. 6 hours).

Sunday :

A superb hike up to Croaghaun and to its exquisite corrie lake. Our descent brings us past old booley (transhumance) houses to the iconic beach at Keem Bay (approx. 6 hours), before departing on the 17.45 train that gets in to Dublin at 21.10.

As always, accommodation on this Achill Island walking weekend is full board, with dinner in Keel and packed lunches for the walks. This is an ocean weekend, with views of the deep blue all around.

Achill Island Walking Weekend – Bookings

The cost of this weekend is Euro 250 per person sharing.
For single bookings, please add Euro 20 = Euro 270.
To book, please call 086 8318748, or email info [at] tourismpurewalking.com.

To learn more about the island, visit Achill Tourism and Love Achill.

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August Walking Weekend 2012

A favourite walking weekend of my own is my Western Ocean Walking Weekend that takes place up around Belmullet and the Mullet peninsula over the August bank holiday weekend.

Northwest Mayo boasts fantastic cliff-top trails, low lying hills and offshore islands. There are no steep trails here, just beautiful vistas all around Blacksod and Broadhaven bays, great white strands that go on and on, with the mountains and cliffs of Achill Island beyond as a dramatic backdrop to this lovely walking weekend.

Join us, from August 3 thru 6, for a relaxing and fun short walking holiday in Mayo.

I was delighted that the Irish Times featured this weekend’s walking event in their recent article on “100 Great Irish Breaks”. See below.

To book, please visit here.

Mayo walking weekend

Irish Times article

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Ringfort in Mayo – Lios na Gaoithe

Hidden in the middle of one of Mayo’s countless conifer plantations lies one of the true jewels of the county. Lios na Gaoithe (The Fort of the Wind) is a large ringfort constructed sometime from the late Iron Age to the early medieval period. Scholars now tend to lean towards the latter being more likely as the period of ringforts in Ireland (500 to 1,000 AD).

Standing at a maximum of almost 4m from bottom of ditch to top of enclosure bank (see picture, below) and forming a circle of roughly 26m diameter, this structure has a circumference of around 82m. It would originally have had wooden stakes placed vertically around its perimeter, probably for keeping animals within and predators without. Note that present-day opinion is that ringforts were unlikely to have been in fact ‘forts’, in the sense that they probably did not serve any real defensive purpose. They were not constructed particularly high above the surrounding ground level and a ring of stakes might not have kept any would-be attackers at bay for very long. They were more likely to be status symbols of local chiefs or powerful clans, perhaps representing their control over surrounding lands.

Lios na Gaoithe ringfort Ireland

Standing in the ditch at Lios na Gaoithe

Lios na Gaoithe was excavated in the 1950s and among the findings discovered was a cist, a burial construction made of stone slabs arranged in a box-like shape. Coloured glass beads were within, along with the bones of the deceased. How blue glass beads came to be in a West of Ireland ringfort is a matter of conjecture – some have suggested they may have come from as far away as north Africa, maybe via numerous trading posts along the way.

The ringfort is the most common remaining ancient type of homestead in Ireland – there are estimated to be around 40,000 of them dotted all over the country. They consisted of a raised mound within a sunken ditch and an elevated outer bank. Indeed, sometimes there are more than one ditch and associated bank, the latter built of the material removed in order to dig out the former.

An entire earthen ringfort is called a ‘ráth’ and the dwelling enclosure within the ‘lios’, although in the case of Lios na Gaoithe, the latter term has come to refer to the whole. Were it made of stone, the structure would be known as a ‘caiseal’ or ‘dún’, such as the famous Dún Aenghus of Inis Mór in the Aran Islands.

Interestingly, ringforts are often built in prominent positions and / or on good quality ground. Today, however, neither of these attributes applies to Lios na Gaoithe, located as it is in classic Mayo boggy terrain. Having said that, it does command a strong (though not elevated) position in a valley running from northeast to southwest through hilly terrain and is close by a small river.

Ringfort, Ireland - Lios na Gaoithe

Looking into the Ditch

My map below shows the location of the fort in relation to the landscape around it. Areas coloured brown are at 200m altitude or above, while the green areas are at 50m elevation and lower.  You can see two entrances into this terrain from the north, marked A and B. Entrance A comes from what is today a vast open, low-lying bog. This is very wet, inhospitable country and, even 1,000 years ago, unlikely to have been much crossed by men on horseback or foot. Entrance B carries a track today and keeps relatively high above the surrounding bog. Assuming there was already some traffic through this area over a millennium ago, we can see how Lios na Gaoithe would have commanded the pass to the rivers, lake and sea (out of picture) beyond, to the south.

 

Lios na Gaoithe ringfort, Mayo

The ringfort in its landscape

 

Ringfort Excavations in Ireland

Read about some ringfort excavations at other sites on Heritage Ireland’s website.

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Cong Lakes Walking Weekend 2012

Join our group for this fantastic guided walking weekend in May. Taking place over the May bank holiday weekend, from May 4 through 7, this is one of the top walking weekends the West of Ireland has to offer.

Walking is graded easy on two of the days, with the third graded moderate and includes a hike to the top of the 411 m Benlevy mountains outside Clonbur.

Cong, at the very southern tip of County Mayo, is one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. The village is criss-crossed by numerous channels of the same river, with deep pools dotted all around. Cong even enjoys the added attraction of beautiful native and exotic woodlands all around.

Cong is a wonderful place for walking, with good quality off-road trails that skirt along the edges of the great western lakes of Loughs Corrib and Mask. The trails meander through lovely woodland, a mix of native broadleaves and the typical conifers of the West of Ireland.

Two pubs in Cong are excellent – Danagher’s at the bottom of the village and Lydon’s at the top. Both are home to really good trad music sessions. 

This is a three-night guided walking event, involving three days of walking. Cong and neighbouring Clonbur inhabit the narrow isthmus between the great Loughs Mask and Corrib, on the Galway Mayo border.

We stay in a choice of a Cong B&B or Cong Hostel, both directly across the street from eachother, with full board, including three breakfasts, three dinners and three packed lunches for the walks.

Day One (Fri.) : Arrival, dinner and orientation.

Day Two (Sat.) : Hiking the linear walk between Clonbur and Cong, through the native woodland regeneration site and on the limestone pavement (a ‘mini Burren’) landscape at Lough Mask.

Day Three (Sun.) : Hill climb of Benlevy, wedged between the two lakes and offering fabulous views of Mask, Corrib and the higher Connemara and South Mayo mountains in all directions. Visit the haunting deserted village at its base.

Day Four (Mon.) : Low lying walk through woodland and along the shore of Lough Corrib. Departure.

You can book your place on this relaxing, lovely walking weekend here.

Posted in Blog, Walking in the West of Ireland | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments