When we think of nature’s greatest spectacles we might think of the Cherry Blossoms in Japan. Or perhaps the Tulip fields of Holland. But a magnificent floral display happens each year on our doorstep. The inaugural Rhododendron Walking Festival will celebrate the majestic purple blooms that cover the Knockmealdown Mountains.
The festival begins on Friday June 1st in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary, with a free Heritage Walk around the town. There will be refreshments and music afterwards, setting the tone for what will be a relaxing and sociable weekend.
There are three walks planned for Saturday. The base for the day is the lovely village of Newcastle on the banks of the River Suir. From 32 km to 9 km there is a walk for all abilities. The Rhododendron should be in full bloom and the scenery will be jaw-dropping. In addition, walkers will be greeted by a hot meal on their return.
We are back to Clogheen on Sunday for two more magnificent walks. The 3 Hour trail includes Baylough and Loughglenbridge and takes in some of the most breathtaking views of Rhododendrons in bloom in the country. The 1.5 Hour trail will skirt some of the foothills of the Knockmealdown Mountains including areas with swathes of Rhododendrons in bloom. Back in Clogheen, there will be refreshments for all and some great music from local band The Fogues.
Finally, Monday is all about Family Fun. Today’s base is the village of Goatenbridge. A beautiful buggy friendly walk to Knockballiniry Loop Trail Head and then on to the Kildanogue Duck Ponds starts at 11am. There will be a family fun day at the Kildanogue Duck Ponds with face painting, treasure hunt, and lots of entertainment. Buses will provide transfers over and back to the car park. And even better? All events on Monday are free!
All events, including the free ones must be booked in advance (www.vee.ie).
We, at InspireMe.ie, might be just a little bit biased in saying that this festival is going to be a highlight of the Summer Calendar. (Based in Clonmel, don’t cha know…). But the Rhododendron Walking Festival celebrates a natural wonder, and with walks for all abilities and all ages everyone gets to take part. Find out more here.
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