On a crisp winter’s day, particularly during this quiet lockdown, when we all need to work off the excesses of the Christmas season. There’s nothing better than dusting off your walking shoes and getting outside for a stimulating stroll. Here at Outdoor Kilkenny we have picked some of the best wintry walks from around the county that combine family-friendly routes with breath taking views.
1. CASTLECOMER LOOP
This January wrap up and enjoy a forest walk in Castlecomer. Starting in the beautiful surrounding of Castlecomer Discovery Park, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery across the wonderfully restored leisure lakes and vast forests. At Castlecomer Loop there is a choice of waymarked walking loops to suit all levels of fitness, which include the 1.5km Ladies Walk, the Arboretum Walk (2km), the Captain’s Walk (4km) and the Ardra Loop.
2. NORE VALLEY WALK
The Nore Valley walk stretches from Kilkenny city to Inistioge and follows the River Nore. The walk is divided into three sections: Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge, Bennettsbridge to Thomastown and Thomastown to Inisitoge. Here we take a look at the first of these walks which stretches from Kilkenny city to Bennettsbridge:
Grab the walking boots and enjoy this moderate walk, which starts at the end of Maudlin Street, where walkers will find a small car park which leads to the Lacken Walk. Follow the Lacken walk to Ossary Bridge and then continue along the Nore Valley Walk. The Nore Valley Walk is signposted from here to Bennettsbridge. The route takes you through farmland, ruined mills, woods and then to the village of Bennettsbridge.
3. JENKINSTOWN WOODS
There is something about walking surrounded by the grandeur of a magnificent country house and estate that feels very ‘Downton Abbey – ish’!! Although all that remains now are some of the grand architectural features of the walled garden and magnificent woodland, the entire setting provides for a daytime escape like no other. Situated on the grounds of the stunning Jenkinstown House and only 10- minute drive from the city, you will find Jenkinstown Woods which offers two woodland trails – a 2.5 km walk (The Walled Garden) and a 4 km loop to suit all levels of fitness.
Facilities include forest walks, and there is also a herd of deer in the walled garden off the main car park, which is very popular with children – perfect if you are planning a family day out.