RTÉ personality Éanna Ní Lamhna will educate walkers on the natural world of the Blackstairs Mountains
By Elizabeth Lee
CARLOW’S stunning Blackstairs Mountains and River Barrow, along with the villages of Ballymurphy, Borris, Myshall, St Mullins and Rathanna, will feature in this year’s Carlow summer walking festival, which takes place from Friday to Sunday 27-29 May.
The festival features 18 different walks suitable for every type of walker, from hikes up to the peaks of the Blackstairs Mountains to leisurely, peaceful strolls, where walkers can admire the views and scenery. Walkers will be guided through the beautiful Carlow countryside by local and experienced tour guides. Routes include a magical night hike through the Blackstairs Mountains, a walk focused on the rich history and heritage of the Blackstairs; and some of the ancient sites of Carlow, along with a walk through the newly-developed Kilbrannish Trail covering some 14km.
On Saturday 28 May, environmentalist and RTÉ personality Éanna Ní Lamhna will educate walkers on the natural world of the Blackstairs Mountains and the habitats and wildlife found there. Altamont Gardens, one of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens, feature in this year’s festival for the first time, with a mindfulness meditation walk in the company of mindfulness expert Jack Byrne appealing to walkers who are looking for a relaxing experience on their walks, with an opportunity to learn mindfulness techniques, which walkers will be able to use in their daily lives. Walkers with an interest in photography, will have the chance to upgrade their photo-taking skills and capture gorgeous landscapes in this informational walk through Kilbrannish Forest, led by photographer Richard Smyth.
Frenchman Emmanuel Chappard, who lives in Carlow, is a qualified mountain guide and leads a remarkably interesting walk, where he will share some fascinating tips on improving the quality of your walks by learning map-reading and navigation skills. Other walks include routes from the Nine Stones viewing point to the village of Kildavin, where the famed South Leinster Way walk ends. To book your place, visit