A group of novice walkers taking on some of the Walks of Wicklow one step at a time! A no-nonsense guide to the best spots to walk in Wicklow.
This week the Wicklow Walkers took on the shortest of the three Tinahely Looped Walks. This walk brings you up the hill which stands tall over the town of Tinahely in the valley.
Difficulty: 3/5 There are some steep parts of this walk, however it is suitable for anyone who considers themselves to be reasonably fit.
Suitability: This walk is suitable for all who consider themselves to be reasonably fit. The walk does cross an open field during the walk to ensure that suitable footwear is used.
Distance: 9km aprx
Time: At a brisk pace, we completed it in just over 2 hours with no stops)
Information on Walk: The idea for this walk initially came from the book “Walking in Ireland” by Christopher Somerville. There is also more information available from the following websites:
Different articles that I read on this walk suggested different starting points, however I have found that the best place to start is at the Tinahely GAA grounds. This limits the amount of time spent walking on the road, which can be dangerous without a footpath!
We set off from the GAA Car park and crossed the road to the start of Mangan’s Lane. This is a residential country lane which leads to the start of Mangan’s Loop. The lane does accommodate cars so do be careful and keep your eyes open!
At the top of the lane you will reach a map outlining all three of the looped walks. Mangan’s Loop is the shortest of the three, and from this point takes about an hour (which you will be very glad, if like us you were already panting slightly after the walk up the lane!). Mangan’s loop is the green loop, so you can follow the green arrows while on the walk. The trail continued on the last part of the lane whiche then turns into a grassy road. At this point you will cross the first (of several!) stiles.
At this point you finally have a feeling of being on the open hill walk. The looped walks, which are still altogether at this point, link up with the Wicklow way as you turn right and head up the hill. After a second stile, the other longer looped walks and the Wicklow Way finally separate from Mangan’s loop. Follow the green arrows left and up the hill.
You will pass the Doctor’s Cross monument, which marks the spot where a doctor died in a shooting accident many years ago. On a clear day, this is a great spot of pictures of the surrounding views. Do be careful at this point as the walk crosses a large open field with no signs. You are not lost! Simply walk to the other side of the field where you will pick your green arrows back up. This part of the walk can be quite slippy in/after wet weather so do take care.
The trail then leads up to the summit of Garrynoe Hill, which is probably the toughest part of the walk (So if you make it to the top, you should be able for the rest of the walk!). At the top of the hill you will find a pile of stones – one for everyone who has made it to the top? Possibly! And I did manage to grab a small stone along the lane which I added to the pile. Do take some time here to take I the amazing views, if the weather permits! On a cloudy day you will see very little!
The trail then begins to descend down the other side of the hill, giving you a great new view. On the way down you will have to cross another stile. Then the trail will turn to the left, which is directed with green arrows. The hill directly in front of you before you reach this turn is actually one of the longer routes returning and joining the trail.
The final part of the loop walk descends down again and loops around the bottom of the hill bringing us back to where we started. From here you have just have a nice stroll down a country lane to get back to the GAA Car Park.
- Enjoy the walk up Mangan’s Lane with some lovely views of Tinahely town.
- Along the open part of the walk, the trail is bordered by hawthorn, elder, and great bursts of golden gorse.
- Do bring water with you – you will be very grateful at the top of Garrynoe Hill
- Ensure you bring warm layers, regardless of the weather. The walk becomes very exposed and windy as you cross the top of the hill.
- Do bring a camera to capture the amazing wildflowers you will encounter – and you might even spot some of the lovely local birds!