The picturesque mountainous village of Upperchurch [Map Ref] will host its 9th Annual Walking Festival this coming weekend. Since its inception in 2006 this event continues to grow from strength to strength making it now one of the main walking festival gatherings of its type in the country.
This year’s program once again offers over a dozen different walks as well as cycling and indoor rock climbing activities. Set dancing and traditional music enthusiasts will also have a good time. For beginners and the less mobile, the new 1 km bog walk is short, level and suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
The fun will begin on Friday night (Nov 7th) with a choice of two torch lit road walks; the 10 km Glown-Garnakilka walk is for those who like a fast pace while the 7 km Moher-Gortkelly walk will cater for those who enjoy a more leisurely speed.
The really serious hill walkers will get going on Saturday morning, taking to the gruelling 18 km Hills of Upperchurch walk. This walk is entirely for the very fit, while later in the day there will be shorter and easier walks leaving Upperchurch village.
Next Sunday will see no less than six walks and three cycle events taking place simultaneously. There are two new routes this year; the 18 km Hollyford-Red Hill walk takes place in the Hollyford-Cappawhite area and will include an option of visiting a cave where the outlaw Ned O’ the Hill (“Éamonn an Chnoic,” Edmund O’Ryan 1670–1724) is understood to have taken refuge in bygone days.
The 14 km Farney Castle-Upperchurch walk is the only linear walk of the weekend. There will be an opportunity to take in a guided tour of the Castle before this walk for a small additional fee so arrive early. The 8 km walk on the Birchill Nature Trail starts at Rosmult and there will be two further walks in Upperchurch also.
Cyclists will have a choice of three different routes over 25 km, 50 km and 75 km all starting from Upperchurch at 12 noon on Sunday.
The Upper Limits Indoor Climbing Wall will be open after all walks and will offer short introductory climbs. (Note: Clean footwear please.)
All events start at Upperchurch Community Centre, except for the Hollyford-Red Hill Walk, the Farney Castle-Upperchurch Walk and the Birchill Nature Trail Walk, latter all on Sunday.
The organisers wish to thank all the landowners in the area involved for their cooperation.
Registration before all events. Friday night walks: €5. Other walks and cycles: Adults €10, post primary students €5, primary school students free. Farney Castle tour €5. Complimentary refreshments after all walks.
For further details visit www.upperchurch.ie or Telephone 086 0518934.
Programme of Events:
Fri. Nov 7th: Glown-Garnakilka Road Walk 10 km 7.30 p.m. Moher-Gortkelly Road walk 7 km 7.45 p.m. Reception and official opening in Upperchurch Hall at 9.00 p.m. followed by Seisiún Mór in Kinane’s.
Sat. Nov. 8th: Hills of Upperchurch Walk 18 km 10.00 a.m. Knockalough-Red Hugh Walk 8 km or 10 km 12.15 p.m. Eamon an Chnoic Loop Walk 8 km 12.30 p.m. Set Dancing lessons in Ryan’s 4.00 p.m. Traditional music in Jim O’ the Mills 10.00 p.m.
Sun. Nov. 9th: Farney Castle-Upperchurch Walk 14 km 11.00 a.m. Start Farney Castle on Holycross-Ballycahill Road. Guided tours of Castle at 10.00 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. Hollyford-Red Hill Walk 14 km or 18 km 11.00 a.m. Start Hollyford Village. Cycles over 25 km, 50 km and 75 km all start at 12.00 noon. Knockalough-Red Hugh Walk 8 km or 10 km Start 12.15 p.m. Eamon an Chnoic Loop 8 km Start 12.30 p.m. Birchill Nature Trail Walk 8 km Start 12.30 p.m. P.J.Ryan’s Pub Rosmult on Thurles-Upperchurch Road.