Walking in North Wexford
by Deirdre O’Flynn
Deirdre O’Flynn loves walking, writing, and photography – so she has combined all three into a blog, AMindfulWalker.com. Here, she highlights three of her favourite walking trails in the north of the county.
In my mind, no walk is complete without a stop-off for an ice cream or a cup of coffee! And, there, in the middle of these walks three walks, is the market town of Gorey. Brimful with coffee shops and restaurants, there are also plenty of opportunities for some retail therapy to make a day out of it!
If you like a walk with a view, then the looped walks at Askamore are a must. You can walk or drive from the trailhead in the village of Askamore up a moderate hill to get the best views. On a clear day, your eyes will be drawn across a quilt of lush green fields, separated by hedgerows bursting with the yellow flowers of gorse. In the distance, you can follow the coastline from the windmills on the Arklow sandbanks, down along to Kilmuckridge and on to Wexford.
There are four looped walks, varying in length from 6km to 12km, so there are plenty of options for novice or serious walkers. With views from Rosslare to Mount Leinster, Ferns to the Wicklow Hills, these walks keep you going because you know that, around the corner, is a view worth waiting for!
I love the sea and the Wexford coastline is simply amazing. All that sand, all those opportunities to breathe in clean sea air!
People are very familiar with the North and South beaches at Ballymoney. And, now, the Ballymoney Trail links those beaches with Seafield and Kiltennel beaches. From the Ballymoney South Beach, walking south along the headland will bring you to Seafield beach. Breathe in, enjoy, and keep strolling. Then, you can either clamber over a few rocks or walk along a narrow path on to the sandy sweep of Kiltennel beach.
Tara Hill is also close to Ballymoney, so if you’re feeling up to it, you could add one of the two looped walks here to your itinerary for the day!
Heading up in Ballyfad Woods
(c) Deirdre O’Flynn, AMindfulWalker.com
If you prefer trees and woodland, or a sheltered walk on one of Ireland’s rainy days, Ballyfad Woods will do the trick. Set in over 200 acres of woodland near Coolgreany, a round walking trip takes about an hour.
There are four trails and you’ll spot mature oak, beech, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, and Scots pine en route. Children will love finding the fairy doors that hint at a magical world. And, when in season, the bluebells carpet the floor of the forest – a sight to behold when the sun breaks through the trees to bathe them in light.
This is all very easy terrain to walk, and the canopy of trees at some sections are breath-taking.
If you take a spin over to Ballyfad and head north at the post office towards Glenogue, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views back towards the Wicklow and Wexford coast. This is well worth the detour and highlights just how much Wexford has to offer.
For anyone interested in landscapes or flora and fauna, North Wexford is a lesson in the natural world. Choose a walk that is suitable for you, wear comfortable footwear, leave no trace behind, and breathe in the timeless gifts that nature has bestowed on us.