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When, where and what time: Your full guide to this year’s Laois Walks Festival

They expect to welcome over 2000 walkers over the course of the month at 27 locations around the county.

And if you want to get to know Laois then there’s probably no better way of doing it than taking part in the Laois Walks Festival.

Now in its 18th year, the Laois Walks Festival takes in almost every part of the county.

From the Grand Canal in Fisherstown to Moonamondra Bog in Errill, from Fossey Mountain in Timahoe to Rickets Rocks in Clonaslee and practically every beauty spot in between, it takes in bog, road, canal, mountain and woodland.

The walks range in length from 5km to 12km and are graded by difficulty.

Grade A – like the Ridge of Capard in Rosenallis – is strenuous; Grade C – like Grantstown Lake in Ballacolla is – is deemed moderate.

Now in its 17th year, walks take place every day (except Fridays) throughout the month with designated meeting points, starting times and are led by walk leaders.

The Laois Walks Festival, which runs for the month of July, gets underway this weekend
The Laois Walks Festival, which runs for the month of July, takes in beauty spots all around the county

They adhere to the ‘Countryside Code’ of leaving no trace, walking in single file and respecting private property and the rural environment.

No dogs are allowed. The cost per walk is €3 or you can buy a festival ticket for €30 which covers every walk over the course of the month.

“Walking is the easiest way to get moving, get active and get happy,” says the brochure promoting the event, “and Get Ireland Walking is here to help you get started: we’ve got tips and advice for anybody who wants to start walking to feel better, and we have all the information you need to start a walking group – so you can get fit with friends.”

For further information contact Susan Lawlor, who is the festival co-ordinator, on 087 2574477 or Peter Maher, who is the Rural Recreation Officer in Laois County Council, on 057 8661900 or by emailing info@laoispartnership.ie or visiting the Walks Festival section of the Laois Partnership website.

The organisers would like to thank the members of the Laois Walks Committee, Community Groups, the Local Development Associations, Coillte, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the landowners.

Walkers are advised to register 30 minutes prior to the start of each walk and to wear comfortable walking boots/shoes.

They are also encouraged to bring raingear, sufficient food and water for the duration of the walk.

Grade A – Strenuous; Grade B – Difficult; Grade C – Moderate

Capponellan Woods is the location for the Laois Walks Festival on Sunday, July 21

The full schedule of walks is:

MONDAY, JULY 1

7.30pm – Abbeyleix, Killamuck Bog Family Walk; 8km; Grade B; 2 hours

TUESDAY, JULY 2

7.30pm – Dunmore Wood, Durrow; Dunmore Wood Carpark; 8km; Grade B; 2 hours

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3

7.30pm – Fossey Mountain, Timahoe; Meet at the Goose Green, Timahoe; 12km; Grade A; 3.5 hours

THURSDAY, JULY 4

7.30pm – Emo Court Demesne; Meet at Community Centre in GAA car park; 8km; Grade B; 2 hours

SATURDAY, JULY 6

2.30pm – Rock of Dunamaise/Dysart Wood, Portlaoise; 10km; Grade B; 3 hours

SUNDAY, JULY 7

2.30pm – The Ballagh, Durrow; Meet at St Fintan’s Church Carpark; 10km; Grade B; 2.5 hours

MONDAY, JULY 8

7.30pm – Ricketts Rocks, Clonaslee; Meet at The Heritage Centre, Clonasee; 12km; Grade B; 3 hours

TUESDAY, JULY 9

7.30pm – Ballacolla Family Walk; Meet at Hayes Shop, Ballacolla; 8km; Grade C; 2.5 hours

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10

7.30pm – Rossmore, Killeshin; 10km; Grade B; 2.5 hours

THURSDAY, JULY 11

7.30pm – Cullahill; 10km; Grade A; 2.5 hours

SATURDAY, JULY 13

2.30pm – Ridge of Capard, Rosenallis; 12km; 3.5 hours

SUNDAY, JULY 14

2.30pm – Portarlington Bog Walk; Meet at the Hawthorn Inn; 12km; Grade A; 3 hours

MONDAY, JULY 15

7.30pm – Wolfhill; Meet at church carpark; 10km; Grade B; 2 hours

TUESDAY, JULY 16

7.30pm – Grantstown Lake Ballacolla; 10km; Grade C; 2 hours

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17

7.30pm – Spink; Meet at Knock School; 10km; Grade A; 2.5 hours

THURSDAY, JULY 18

2.30pm – Gattabawn; Meet at Mackey’s Pub, Gattabawn; 10km; Grade A; 3 hours

SATURDAY, JULY 20

2.30pm – Mountrath, Monicknew Mountain Walk; 10km; Grade A; 3-4 hours

SUNDAY, JULY 21

2.30pm – Capponellan Woods, Durrow; 12km; Grade B; 2.5 hours

MONDAY, JULY 22

7.30pm – Luggacurren; Meet at Community Centre; 10km; Grade B; 2.5 hours

TUESDAY, JULY 23

7.30pm – Grand Canal, Vicarstown; 12km; Grade A; 2.5 hours

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

7.30pm – Ballinakill; Heywood Family Walk; 8km; Grade C; 1.5 hours

THURSDAY, JULY 25

7.30pm – Ballykilcavan, Stradbally; Grade B; 8km; 2.5 hours

SATURDAY, JULY 27

Errill Bog Walk; 9km; Grade B; 2.5 hours

SUNDAY, JULY 28

2.30pm – Oakvale Woods, Stradbally; 10km; Grade A; 2.5 hours

MONDAY, JULY 29

7.30pm – The Derries, Ballybrittas; 9km; Grade B; 2 hours

TUESDAY, JULY 30

7.30pm – Mountmellick Family Walk; 7km; Grade C; 1.5 hours

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31

7.30pm – Durrow Leafy Loop Walk; Grade A; 12km; 3 hours

SEE ALSO – Laois Walks Festival is officially launched