Location: Galtee Castle Woods
Saturday 10th April, 2021
Attychraan Loop Walk
In late December, just before the current travel restrictions came into place, we set off on a picnic. We stayed within County Limerick, visiting Galtee Castle Wood, a. magical sounding place that we had been meaning to visit for a while. The walk is not far from Kilbehenny, and the area is a gateway onto the Galtee Mountains.
Despite the name, almost nothing remains of the castle itself, which was built in 1740. Instead, there is a beautiful walking trail that brought us through woods, and alongside open fields and farm yards. For much of the journey we were also beside the Funshion and Attychraan rivers. The loop took us about two and a half hours, including a leisurely stop off for our picnic.
The loop we walked was the Attychraan Loop. There are two points from which you can begin the walk, as you will see from the trail map available from Coillte. There is also a lovely illustration of the walk here on The Irish Independent website.
We decided to begin from King’s Yard which is at the very end of a winding uphill road .
There is a small fee to park here, whereas it is free to park in the lower car park. However, there are toilet facilities here, which is very handy, and there was a vending machine where we purchased a large bag of Maltesers!
With our picnic safely concealed in our backpacks, we set off, following the signs for the Attychraan loop walk. The loop began with a sharp uphill pull, but soon we were beside flat farmland, admiring the friendly cattle.
What I loved most about this walk is the fact that the terrain is constantly changing, from pebbles underfoot to soft woodland paths. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves veering left into a lush, cool forest, before emerging on a narrow path right beside a farm. We spotted plenty of gorse bushes growing alongside the paths.
The views were gorgeous and the going was easy. We had just about worked up an appetite when we arrived at the picnic area in the lower car park. There’s a nice selection of picnic benches here, many of them squirrelled away in secluded corners, giving privacy, and a bit of distance from the many vehicles in the car park.
Our picnic was a simple one. Just some sandwiches and a big flask of tea. Our flask is a Stanley Legendary Classic Double XL and it is excellent. It was a bit of an investment at nearly 50 Euros but it has kept our drinks warm for many hours, even overnight one time when we were camping! You can get a similar one here.
The second part of our walk brought us right beside the rivers. We took a wrong turning at one point, and found ourselves here! It was a place that had a magical feel. It was so lush and cool. It would also be a lovely spot for a picnic if you had a picnic blanket with you.
One thing to note – we did think that the route could have been better signposted. As it began to get dark, we wondered if we were in fact on the correct path! I advise studying the loop map before you set off.
We loved our walk and picnic. We can’t wait to go back, and next time we will try the other looped walk in this area, the Glounreagh Loop which takes in both woodland and the open mountain at the foothills of the Galtees. It’s important to note that dogs are not allowed on the Galtee Mountains. They are not allowed beyond the King’s Yard car park, so next time we won’t be able to bring little Emma the dog.
The walk was easy, but you do need walking boots and suitable clothing, and of course… a delicious picnic!
Tags:Cork Limerick Munster Tipperary
Easy Walk galtees Galty Castle Woodland
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