“As we all isolated over the past three months, exercise kept us all sane. The easiest way for many of us to do this was to simply get out and walk or run, or as a friend of mine calls it ‘joggleting’ which is something faster than a walk but not quite a run!”

Emma Hewlett from Kilmokea Manor House and Gardens describes her one of her favourite locations for exercising: Tintern Trails

Tintern Abbey (Wexford Trails)

As we all isolated over the past three months, exercise kept us all sane. The easiest way for many of us to do this was to simply get out and walk or run, or as a friend of mine calls it ‘joggleting’ which is something faster than a walk but not quite a run! It helps to exercise in a beautiful environment and County Wexford is steeped with stunning coastlines, woodland trails and hills with views to die for throughout our County.

One of our favourite places to run in Co Wexford is Tintern Trails. There is something so good about  running through glades of trees and the trails at Tintern certainly have these in abundance. The trails are situated in pretty countryside amongst the quiet woodlands surrounding Tintern Abbey. The Abbey is an imposing strucutre founded in the early 13th century.

 

The Trails

The trails wind around Tintern Abbey. There are officially four:  The Gardeners Trail which is 1km, the Tintern Demesne trail which is 2.4km, the Bannow Bay trail is 7.2km and the Foxboro trail is 3.5km. The trailhead for all four is at the Abbey. The large trailhead sign clearly shows the trails marked out on a map of the area. It is situated just below the Abbey at the start of the trail along the river.

However, we mix them all up and create our own routes throughout the trails, providing us with variety of scenery and terrane . My favourite trail takes you along the river, keeping it on your left hand side until you come to a sweet narrow bridge. Turning left takes you back along the other side to the abbey again. Somehow it helps to have flowing water beside you as you are waning in energy trying to keep up with a 15 year old with focus and a whole month of a training plan in his head!  

For me it certainly helps to have attractions, spectacular scenery, ancient monuments and a variety of birdlife around me as I run. The area around Bannow Bay has strong links with the past. There is so much to engage the interest of both runners and walkers alike. The Normans first landed in Ireland at Bannow in 1169. Their influence can still be seen in the wealth of castles and other remains which dot the landscape along the Norman Way.

You can enjoy panoramic views out over Bannow Bay towards the Saltee Islands and Keeragh Islands as you follow the road beside the bay. This area is a Special Area of Conservatiom, the islands providing sanctuary to a variety of seabirds most notably puffins and gannets. The estuary too is a good overwintering ground for a wide variety of migratory birds. An expanse of mudflats exposed at low tide offers an ideal habitat for large numbers of waders, Shelduck, Brent geese and other wildfowl.

Directions

To get to The Tintern Trails  take the R733, then take the L4041 and after 1km turn right at the entrance to Tintern Abbey. There is a super car park just inside the main gates. It has lots of space to park. Two trails lead off from this spot. The one on the left takes you through Bluebells & wild garlic with breathtaking views of the Abbey across rolling green fields. The trail to the right winds down to the pretty river. Both bring you to the trailhead at the Abbey where you can study the map and decide which paths to explore on your run. My advice to you is to give it a go. It is a special place.  I think you will really enjoy it, that is if you have not already found it.!

The trails were created & developed by local volunteers as part of Wexford Walking Trails over the past ten years with assistance from Coillte, Wexford Local Development, TUS & FÁS schemes, Wexford County Council, and the OPW.

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Click here For more information on all Wexford Walking Trails

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Emma runs the gorgeous Kilmokea Manor House & Gardens with her husband Mark where they also live with their family.