Savour the beautiful Slieve Blooms at 18th Walking Festival

GET your walking boots on for one of Ireland’s longest running walking festivals, the Slieve Bloom Walking festival.

GET your walking boots on for one of Ireland’s longest running walking festivals, the Slieve Bloom Walking festival.

With a choice of 12 walks over 4 days, the 18th annual walking festival unveiled a great choice of walks through the wilderness in the beautiful Slieve Bloom mountains.

The festival will take place over the May Bank Holiday weekend and promises to be great weekend of fun and easy outdoor activity with a choice of easy woodland walks to more challenging hikes.

Frank Bergin, Chairperson of Slieve Bloom Rural Development Co-Operative, launched the festival as well as the Slieve Bloom Looped Walks map on Thursday last in Kinnitty Castle.

Mr Bergin thanked Shannon Development, Failte Ireland and both Laois and Offaly County Councils for their support.

With an an action packed festival, it will kick off with a Friday walk along with four walks on Saturday, four walks on Sunday and three walks on Monday.

Christina Byrne, PRO of the Slieve Bloom Rural Development Co-Operative, outlined there will be grade A, B, and C walks over the course of the festival with the longest walking being 15 kms in length.

There will also be social events for walkers in the evening with a walkers slow down event in Kinnitty Castle on Sunday, May 6 and tickets will available for the event at registration.

Christina outlined that the Slieve Bloom looped walk maps are now also available. These are new tear off maps and outline the driving route and the trail head of where all the walks start from. This new initiative was completed by Slieve Bloom outdoor in conjunction with Failte Ireland and includes 17 mapped walking routes.

Christina extended a huge thank you to the festival’s sponsors, Offaly Local Development Company as well Kinnitty Castle and the other local pubs, who are providing venues over the course of the festival week.

Meanwhile, the Slieve Bloom walking programme for the forthcoming year was also unveiled last week and shows that there will be guided walks every Saturday and Sundays in the coming months.

For further details, please visit www.slievebloom.ie