Marian Finucane Saturday 28 October 2017
Marian is joined by journalist Joe O'Shea and RTÉ's Tracy Piggott who talk about their favourite winter walks.
The Beara Way – Castletownbere to Allihes – 4.5 hour, 14.5km section of the Way with spectacular views as you cross the slopes of Knockgur mountain on a well-marked, intermediate national trail – part of the larger network known as the Beara Way. Bookended by the famous McCarthy's Bar in Castletownbere – the classic Irish harbour bar with great seafood straight from the quayside. And in Allihes, there’s the cosy, welcoming O'Neill's Bar & Restaurant serving up seasonal, locally-sourced seafood dishes in the most Westerly village in Ireland. Also in the general vicinity - O'Sullivans Bar on the pier in the tiny fishing village of Crookhaven – my personal favourite pub in the world, simple yet amazing seafood menu – don’t look any further than the crab sandwiches and chowder – and in a gorgeous spot, a short drive from Mizen Head.
Also In West Cork – The Sheep's Head Way – One of the most popular places to walk in Ireland – there are many long, short and looped walks, all clearly mapped and marked, across the stunning Sheep’s head peninsula. For award-winning food in a classic, harbour bar setting, it has to be Arundel's By The Pier in little Ahakista. It’s just perfect.
The Ballycotton Cliff Walk – A gorgeous, bracing, 5km walk along the cliffs from the tiny harbour village of Ballycotton. Just 30 mins drive from the city, you’ll find the perfect starting (and finishing) point at the famous Blackbird Pub – a classic old fisherman’s pub that has cosy open fires, a gorgeous beer garden and the Field Kitchen food shack out the back, serving, and I do not make this claim lightly – the best takeaway Fish N’Chips in Ireland. Their battered monkfish alone is worth making the trek for.
Walk The Western Way, starting (or finishing) at Powers Thatched Bar & Restaurant (cosy, great food) in Oughterard on Lough Corrib. Walk round the lake, over the bog and on to Maam Bridge, where you will find Keane's Bar, in the Georgian Lodge that was once home to the great Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo, the man who built the first roads and bridges through Connemara, today, the heart of Joyce Country and a walker’s paradise. The famous Keane’s Toasties come highly recommended.
An old favourite that has stood the test of time and could be worth a fresh visit if you have not been there in years - The Glenmalure Lodge – bar, restaurant and B&B – the perfect base for exploring the rugged beauty of Glendalough and Luganquilla Mountain.
Kerry - The Railway Tavern Bar – better known as Mick O’Neill’s pub in Camp – Co Kerry – a classic Kerry pub with an open fire and great scenery. Hike from Camp to Annascaul on the The Dingle Way – it’s 17kms, around six hours and you can finish with a visit to the famous South Pole Inn – once owned by polar explorer Tom Crean and great for soups, sandwiches and more substantial dishes.
The Beach Bar – right on the sea at Aughris head, a great, traditional Irish pub (with fab food) that you can find after a bracing walk over Dunmoran Strand.
Mayo - The Tavern at Murrisk – in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, climbers and walkers will get great food in what John McKenna has called "the defining example of the Irish pub" – the restaurant next to the bar has also been featured in the prestigious Michelin ‘Eating Out In Pubs’ Guide.
At the city end of the Waterford Greenway, just 20 minutes’ walk from the final post on this fantastic, 45km amenity – you will find the very traditional The Gingerman Pub, great for pub grub and for just taking in the wood and brass Victorian splendour. And at the Dungarvan end of the Greenway, if your budget does not stretch to the famous Tannery – you could always try The Anchor Bar overlooking the quays.
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