Castlemartyr – Relaxing while walking
A Christmas special for you!
Castlemartyr has a wonderful area that needs to be explored. Not only because it is a historical area, but it’s another multi-access site to a forest recreation area (more information about: http://www.coillte.ie/site/castlemartyr/). The forest is only divided by the Castlemartyr Resort.
If you come by bus and want to go for the Mitchell’s Loop or the Ladysbridge Loop, turn right at the traffic light and cross the bridge towards Castlemartyr Resort. Right after the driveway to the resort is the entrance to the woodland.
And now let’s start with the Mitchell’s Loop and Ladysbridge Loop. After passing the barrier, you have a small path to the left which leads to a ruin. A chimney, a tower, and the wall are still there. It might be fun to explore this area in summer times. For now, I recommend, having a look, turn and go back to the main road.
Following the forest road and crossing the wooden bridge, you have to decide which way you want to go. You have the choice here and whatever side you decide, it will be the right one, as it is a loop. Assuming you choose the right side first, you will first walk along the golf course to the right. At the end, the path turns left and you walk comfortably through the forest.
If you turn right after the curve at the end of the golf course instead of walking straight along, you will face a barrier and after a few meters, there is another ruin….. the Ballyoughtera church ruin. It must have been a huge community. The church ruin isn’t that small. The gravestones’ inscriptions date back to the beginning of the 19th century.
But let’s go back to the main road. When you follow now the path in the loop, you then come to a T-crossing. The path to the right leads to Ladysbridge. The path to the left is following the loop, back to the point where we started. It leads you through a part of grassland and then further through the forest.
Following the path to the right, it leads you to Ladysbridge. I didn’t follow that path as I wouldn’t end up on the street between Ladysbridge and Castlemartyr. And a certain distance you have to follow the street until you can follow another walk back to the forest. That’s why I walked back to the T-crossing and followed the way back to the bridge I crossed almost at the beginning. Ladysbridge Loop is about 5 km (or more, if you walk the Ladysbridge Loop completely) and Mitchell’s Loop is about 3 km. Depending on your pace, you can spend here a good few hours. It’s entirely up to you how long you take in that wonderful forest and its sounds of nature. Maybe the pictures don’t show how beautiful this area is. However, a day outside walking gives you an outstanding stress relief.
To make it easy for those being dependent on public transport. Here are the timetables for the bus connection to Castlemartyr:
Simply leave the bus at the post office in Castlemartyr and you can choose which walk to go for. All of them are loop walks are easy to go, suitable for all ages. Mitchell’s -, Ladysbridge – and Pidgeon Loop are both buggy friendly, too.
Going by car, you simply take the N25 from Dunkettle Roundabout and watch out at the beginning of Castlemartyr for the first parking on the right-hand side to reach the Pigeon’s Wood loop. To Mitchell’s Loop and the Ladysbridge Loop follow the description before.
Pidgeon Loop and the Barn wood are 2 separate walks on 2 separate entrances. Pidgeon Loop is about 2 km and you have the option to visit the park at Castlemartyr Resort.
And here are the GPS-data:
Mitchell‘s Loop and Ladysbridge Loop
51°54′33″ N 8°3′10″ W
51°54′33″ N 8°3′10″ W
51°55′0″ N 8°4′4″ W