Nore Valley Walk: One of country’s best walking trails
Trail Kilkenny’s Nore Valley Walk has joined new ranks as one of the top walks in the country. Over 32,000 outdoor enthusiasts have enjoyed its riverside flora and fauna over the last eighteen months.
In 2015, the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs established a number of counters on key walking trails around the country. Of these monitored trails, the Nore Valley Walk is the third most visited trail after the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren Way.
The walk has two sections, both equally scenic, taking you though diverse countryside, woodlands and riverbank settings. Rich in history and local wildlife, the Nore Valley Walk has been described by the Irish Independent as; “ one of the most delectable river walks in Ireland”.
The Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge 12km section takes roughly 2 hours at a relaxed pace. Follow the river as it meanders through meadows, shady glades and past ancient mills; woollen, grain, paper and saw mills from where Kilkenny’s famous ‘black marble’ was honed (Maddockstown). You may spot a swift, a heron, or catch a fleeting glimpse of kingfisher or an otter emerging from the riverbank.
Nore Vally’s Thomastown to Inistioge stretch (10.9kms) takes you through countryside, pastoral lands and woodlands. The river is noted for its salmon, crayfish and otters and the arches of its bridges are favoured roosting spots for Daubenton bats. Steeped in history, since the 12th century the Nore was a vital trading route for export of corn, hides and livestock and the importation of exotic goods from other parts of the world such as wine, tobacco, cloth and spices via New Ross and Waterford. There is the ruin of Grennan Castle built by Strongbow’s son-inlaw in the 13th century at the start of the walk and through the pretty Dysart Woods, carpeted in springtime with wood anemones, bluebells and primroses. You’ll pass the ruins of Dysart Castle before you make your way to Ballyduff House; a glorious Georgian country house in its stunning parkland setting. Brownbarn Woods will lead you down the riverside track into Inistioge.
Trail Kilkenny is an award winning, non-profit company that formed in 2006 as a result of the work of BNS Rural Development, one of the predecessors of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, in the rural tourism and walking trail development sector. The Trail Kilkenny company has 9 scenic walks, three river walks and four cycling routes.
With summertime on the way, there is no better time to get out and enjoy the Kilkenny countryside. For more information on this Trail, or any of the Trial Kilkenny walks, contact Rural Recreation Officer, Harry Everard. KLP, 8 Patrick’s Court, Patrick Street, Kilkenny. Tel: 056 7752111 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.