The North Leitrim Glens Walking Festival, an annual event over Easter weekend (April 7th-8th), is organised by the Manorhamilton based Holey Soles Hill Walking Club. This Festival is part sponsored by Failte Ireland, North West Tourism and local businesses. Over the years it has attracted walkers from all over Ireland, many regulars returning year after year and the Club look forward to welcoming back these familiar faces, and many new ones, to the 18th Festival.
There are two main hill walks each day, on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April, through this picturesque, but often overlooked, part of Ireland. These are non-competitive events with time to take in the breathtaking 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 or 7 hours. The medium walks will be shorter, around 8 kilometres and taking 5 to 6 hours, but cannot be considered easy either. You can choose to walk one day for €15, or both days for €25.
There is also a ramble on Sunday, costing only €10 (child €5), 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 takes in local boreens adjacent to the town, with commentaries in English and Irish on local wildlife, history and folklore.
This year the registration centre is based at Heraghty’s, Main Street, Manorhamilton and all walkers must complete a registration form there before going on any walk. Heraghty’s will open at 9 am each day and light refreshments will be provided before and after the walks. Transport for the long walks leaves promptly at 10 am, and at 11 am for the medium walks. The ramble on Sunday sets out at 11.15 am.
All walkers and friends are also welcome to relax and enjoy a meal, disco and a few drinks at Heraghty’s on Saturday night. Tickets for this event (only €15) and for all walks are available only at registration and cannot be booked in advance. A Sterling equivalent rounded to the nearest £ above will be acceptable.
Adequate weatherproof clothing and footwear is essential and each walker must bring sufficient food and water for the day.
For further information on walks and local accommodation contact the Holey Soles –
phone: 071 914 7565 or 086 841 8843 (from outside ROI prefix 00353 & omit first 0)