independent

Thursday 5 December 2019

Walking trails festival hits the four peaks

The fantastic natural beauty of County Wexford is utilised in exemplary fashion during the annual walking festival

Kate Dwyer, Roisin Dwyer, Bridin Dwyer, Aisling Pender and Aoife Pender performing at the launch of the Wexford Walking Festival weekend at the Thatch Pub, Kiltealy
Kate Dwyer, Roisin Dwyer, Bridin Dwyer, Aisling Pender and Aoife Pender performing at the launch of the Wexford Walking Festival weekend at the Thatch Pub, Kiltealy

Brendan Keane

Kiltealy village was buzzing with activity recently when it played host to the sixth annual Wexford Walking Trails festival.

Speaking to this newspaper about the event, Martin Pender, from Kiltealy Trails Development Group, said the festival weekend was a great success.

'The idea behind the festival is to have something for people who love to walk for their wellbeing and people who are into trails,' he said.

Mr Pender also said there was a strong link up between the different trails local to the Kiltealy, Caim and Ballindaggin areas including arts, crafts, food and walking.

The opening day saw events fixed firmly in Kiltealy village and the walking trail at Cullentra close to the Blackstairs mountains.

The Stable Yard and the Thatch pub provided plenty of visual and music entertainment for those in attendance with arts and crafts on display along with great food and music.

The following morning the attention was placed on Coolmelagh, near Bunclody, for the Gibbet Hill walk while the afternoon walk was up the slopes of Sliabh Bhuí in Askamore.

On Sunday morning it was the turn of Carrickbyrne Hill across from the Browne-Clayton monument on the N25.

'We want to link all of the trails locally in the Kiltealy area together, said Mr Pender.

'We want to develop and overall tourist package so that if someone visits the area we can offer a package to them that includes a walking trail, a crafts and art offering and food,' he added.

'People could walk on a Saturday and maybe visit a local artist or craftsperson and then attend a music session in the Thatch pub before heading away on the Sunday.'

The idea of the Four Peaks title was that the festival focussed attention on the four highest walking peaks in the county.

Billy Byrne, the tourism officer with Wexford County Council, acted as MC on the opening night while Dr Kevin Whelan and Bernard Browne gave very informative talks on the Coolmelagh and Carrickbyrne trails, respectively.

Around 200 people attended the festival over the weekend - much to the delight of the organisers.

For more information on all of the walking trails in Wexford log onto www.wexfordwalkingtrail.ie

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