The North Leitrim Glens Walking Festival, an annual event over Easter weekend, is organised by the Holey Soles Hill Walking Club. Over the years it has attracted walkers from all over Ireland and the Club look forward to welcoming back familiar faces, and many new ones, to the 19th Festival.
There are two main hill walks each day, on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March, through the Leitrim hills. These are non-competitive events with time to take in the unspoilt scenery, and enjoy good company and craic. All walks are led by experienced guides with local knowledge to point out the highlights along the way.
A high standard of fitness is required for the long hill walks – at around 12 kilometres these can last for 6 hours. The medium walks will be shorter, around 8 kilometres taking 5 hours, but cannot be considered easy either. You can choose to walk one day for €15, or both days for €25. This fee includes the cost of transport and refreshments before and after walks.
This year the Saturday walks involve a bit of rock scrambling and steep inclines which may not be suitable for anyone suffering from vertigo, although the dramatic views will make it worth the effort. Sunday’s walks will be easier. Adequate weatherproof clothing and footwear is essential and each walker must bring sufficient food and water for the day.
There is also a ramble on Sunday, costing only €10 (child free), which is ideal for those who like an interesting and informative walk and talk but have no desire to go on the hills. This ramble will go through Glenfarne forest and along the Sculpture Trail beside Lough McNean. The guides will provide commentaries in English and Irish on local wildlife, foraging, history and folklore.
Please note that this year the registration centre is based at Clancy’s restaurant, shop & B&B in Glenfarne – a change from our usual meeting places in Manorhamilton. Clancy’s, on the N16 between Manorhamilton and Blacklion, will be open from 9 am each day for registration. All walkers must register before going on any walk.
Transport will depart for the long walks from here promptly at 10 am, and at 11 am for the medium walks. Sunday’s ramble also sets out from Clancy’s at 11.15 am.
All walkers and friends are also welcome to relax and enjoy a meal at Clancy’s on Saturday evening followed by a few drinks in McHugh’s. Tickets for the meal and for all walks are available only at registration and cannot be booked in advance. A Sterling equivalent will be acceptable.
This Festival is sponsored by Call of the Wild, Sligo: Trailblazers, Carrick-on-Shannon and 15 local businesses.
For further information on walks and local accommodation contact the Holey Soles –
tel: 071 983 0920 or 087 647 0902 (from outside ROI prefix 00353 & omit first 0)