Holly Walk 2015 – Dec 13th.

Holly Walk 2015 –  Sun Dec 13th – Purple / Tomies Mountains

Hi fellow backpackers, hillwalkers and hikers,

Our traditional holly walk takes place this Sunday December 6th in the spectacular Gap of Dunloe. There will be a variety of walks to suit all levels of ability. Following the walks in true Backpacker’s tradition mulled wine and mince pies will be served in Kate Kearney’s Cottage. This will be followed by the Christmas Sweater competition similar for all you creative types.

You can sign up for your walk in Counihan’s on Wednesday from 9.00pm with the walk organiser Gerry O’Connell. Alternatively you can sign up online on home page of the website. Those going directly to the coffee stop at Kate Kearney’s cottage should aim to be there by 10.00am.

Tomies Wood 

Tomies Wood to Dinis Cottage Walk is a unique and relatively unknown moderate 3 hour (10 km) walk through Tomies Woods and down onto the shore of Lough Leane in Killarney National Park, county Kerry in the south west of Ireland. Starting in Tomies Woods, you pass through the famous Rhododendron Forest before descending the eastern slopes of Shehy Mountain (762m) to see the ruins of rarely seen and historic Glena Cottage on the shore of Lough Leane before finishing with a cup of tea at Dinis Cottage. This walk is linear so requires 2 cars at either end of the walk or you can arrange alternative transport.

Glena Cottage has a unique history. Originally built by Lord and Lady Kenmare for the use of friends and visitors to the Lakes, it is mentioned in the 1822 travel book called A Guide to the Lakes of Killarney. It was made famous in 1861 when Queen Victoria visited and had lunch during visit to Killarney. Supposedly a huge amount of money was spent to make the cottage and other services fit for Royalty and this nearly broke the bank for the family. Glena Cottage was unfortunately burned down in 1922 and was never restored. Since then the woods and taken over and all is left are the stone ruins of a once famous house.

The first 4km of this walk is on the National Loop Walk in Tomies Woods and therefore the gravel path is clear and obvious. At the end of the loop you leave this path and enter the Rhododendron Forest which at the time of writing is a little over grown and therefore can be difficult to navigate through. For the next 6km there are no clear or obvious trails to follow but with a bit of common sense with the lake to your left, map reading skills and using GPS on our App, the route should be no problem. Someone has also put white ribbons on trees to show the route but please do not rely on seeing these on the woods.

It is also not advised to undertake this walk after wet weather or during winter months as the route through O’Sullivans Punch Bowl below Shehy Mountain at lake level is extremely boggy and can be badly flooded. Best if to ask locally about the condition of the route before you start. The start of this walk is through private farming lands and therefore Dogs are NOT allowed.

There are plenty of other routes to suit beginners to advanced so find a route that is right for you or your group. Plan your walk by checking the weather and sunrise sunset times on our website http://www.activeme.ie/useful-info/planning-a-trip/ and please remember you are only as fast as the slowest member of your group!


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