Looking for something to do around Gorey? Looking for something to pass the time, or are you here in Wexford on a little trip?
Here, we look at five of the best walks you could do around Gorey.
No.5 – Ballinoulart Beach.
Ballinoulart beach, near the village of Kilmuckridge, is an absolutely stunning beach. The beach is in a rural area and quieter than its neighbours Old Bawn and Morriscastle beaches.
It’s pretty much unknown to anyone outside the Gorey area, but it’s an absolute beauty and well worth the trip. In Winter, the beach is sparsely populated, with moments where you can have the beach almost to yourself. Walking beside the sea is great for the soul and is incredibly relaxing listening to the waves gently crash beside you.
You will be at total peace in Ballinoulart, and living in the sunny south-east, there will be plenty of nice days to explore this glorious sandy beach. Be sure to have your camera with you to capture some unreal vistas on this gem of a beach.
You will love the freedom of this vast expanse of sand going for miles in either direction.
Location of Car Park, 52.525993, -6.224831.
No.4. Courtown Woods
The Courtown Woods is situated on the edge of Courtown village. You can choose the Kilbride cross route to start off with, turning left onto the marked path near the trail entrance information board. The route brings you to the beautiful early Christian, High Cross of Kilbride. Walk down the small track behind the cross until you encounter the magnificent Ballinatray bridge, built in 1847. It was once, one of the highest viaducts in Ireland.
Turn back but this time, follow the River Ounavarragh along a small path until you link up with the official river walk. A standout sight along this path is the incredible Cedar of Lebanon tree, with its huge trunk and broad branches.
Continue on straight with spike bridge to your left if you want a gander, otherwise head straight until you get to the Courtown canal built for famine relief in 1847.
After a short stretch along the canal, take the first right which will link you onto the signposted top walk, with commanding views of the river valley below you. This route will take you back to the car park. I would suggest walking the Courtown Woods in April or May time when the forest floor is covered in Bluebells.
Location of car park 52.648315, -6.237041.
No.3 Tara Hill
Tara Hill is located near Ballymoney and is a must for every walking enthusiast. The best route to take is the Blue route, from the Crab tree car park. You will follow the small road for a while and then turn left onto a narrow path that seems to become bigger in time. The track will do a big hairpin style turn and then you will come across a sort of t-junction. You can head left and follow the blue trail circumnavigating the Hill. However, you could head straight for the summit, turning right at this t-junction and then after about 300 metres, you will notice the trail is intersected by a small pathway. Take the small path to the left at this crossroads of sorts and head straight up to the summit.
The burial Cairn on top, surrounded by beautiful purple heather is a lovely example of a prehistoric monument, with this example linked to Teamhair Broga Nia by some sources. Take in the stunning views, North to Croghan Kinsella mountain on our border with Wicklow and to the south, where you will be dazzled by the amazing vista of our splendid coastline. Return down the narrow path and if you have decided to hit the summit first you can now travel the path around the hill anti-clockwise and back to the car park.
Location of Crab tree car park, 52.694618, -6.227883.
No.2 Slievegower Hill
Slievegower hill near Askamore is an amazing walk to do. I recommend you wait for a crystal clear day to give this walk the best chance to impress. Walk the forest trail for about a kilometre where you will notice a fork in the route, pick the right-hand trail and in less than 200 metres, you’ll notice almost straight in front of you a small trail heading straight up the hill.
This will be tough going for about ten minutes, but trust me the effort is well worth it when you reach the rocky summit. The panoramic scenes from the top are absolutely gorgeous, and deer can also be spotted on the way up.
Take time to sit, chill out and appreciate the awe-inspiring countryside. Looking East you will see the Wexford coastline in all its glory, to the South all the way to the Wexford harbour and Forth Mountain area. To the West you the large wooded hill nearest you is Sliabh Bui and slightly to its right into the distance is the mass of Mount Leinster. To the North, you will spot Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in Leinster and to the North East Croghan Kinsella Mountain.
If you are trekking Slievegower in late July or August, you’ll notice small bushes around the summit with bilberries or as we call them Fraughans. These are edible and are essentially a small Blueberry and you can use the same recipes or simply eat them straight. Return the same way you came via the lovely forest trail.
Location of car park 52.683301, -6.432850.
No.1. Old Bawn Beach.
The jewel in the crown of the North Wexford Beaches, Old Bawn Beach. Old Bawn is a magical place to walk in Winter or Summer. On hot sunny days in July, the atmosphere is great on the beach with loads of people enjoying themselves.
You will adore the sense of fun and excitement that greets you. In Winter, the beach can be really cool for kids. Head down a day or so after a big storm and they will find all kinds of stuff washed up on the beach.
The massive dunes to your left are also a favourite with the kids, and as a youngster, I could never get enough of climbing to the top and rolling down to the bottom. Old Bawn goes for miles to the south and is very wide, perfect for a weekend afternoon stroll in the sun.
Location of car park 52.553615, -6.203516.
Enjoy the walks folks!
By Byron Jones
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