Tracks & Trails is back for a 9th series and is bursting with beautiful hikes, walks and cycles on newly developed and lesser travelled routes on the island of Ireland - ideal for those of us hoping to book a staycation off the beaten track.
In this new series, which returns after a two year break, the presenters are challenged to cover a lot of ground on foot or by bike and in some cases scale some steep yet very rewarding trails on hills and mountains around the country or to follow quiet, meandering peaceful paths getting away from it all.
The scenic show will bring the viewer across spectacular mountain and cliff side trails in Northern Ireland; along inland cycle trails, forest, parkland and ancient paths of Westmeath; new and challenging routes that cross the hills of South Wicklow and the breathtaking coastline and mountains of North Wicklow; along ancient paths soaked in history of North Co Wexford, as well as along the magical beaches and bohreens around Rosslare in Co.Wexford in the final programme.
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On tonight's episode host Bláthnaid Treacy kicks off her Westmeath adventure by taking a bike ride from outside Mullingar to Athlone along the 42km Old Rail Trail Greenway. She actually starts on the Royal Canal Greenway which runs along the Rail Trail for a short time before she joins the Old Rail Trail at Ballinea .
The next day Bláthnaid leaves her bike behind to take a 3km route around the Hill of Uisneach before visiting Mullaghmeen Forest in North Co.Westmeath where she takes some time out along the trails here, to listen and breathe in the quiet of the nature around her and to meet another local, Niall Breslin (aka Bressie).
Niall talks to Bláthnaid about the benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing and the importance for us all to get outside, wherever we live, for fresh air and exercise and to slow down.
For the last trail on Bláthnaid's trip to Co. Westmeath, she visits Belvedere House and Gardens and Park.
Watch Tracks and Trails on RTÉ One at 7.30pm on Friday, June 11.