This loop walk starts and finishes at the car park at the Watering Place – wildlife lakes fed by fresh water springs 1km from the village of Tullahought on the Kilkenny /Tipperary border.
Trail length: 6km
Duration: 1.5 Hours
Footwear: With Ankle Support – Hiking boots, Wellingtons.
Terrain: Minor roads, old roadways and laneways, fields and woodland trails.
Highest Point: 261m/800ft
Download the PDF File: Kilmacoliver_Walk
Caution: This walk is unsuitable for large groups and walkers should be aware that they may encounter livestock. No dogs permitted on this walk.
The Village of Tullahought:
The village name derives from the word for ‘broad straight’ referring to the mile long road that runs through the village; known as the Long Pavement which was paved in famine times and was used by the Bianconi coaches travelling from Carrick-on-Suir to Kilkenny.
The Viewing Tower was recently constructed on an elevated site overlooking Tullahought village and shows a panoramic view of the landscape with information plaques containing a short history of the area and its geology.
Along the Trail:
Leaving the trailhead car park, follow the tarred road for 400m past a road on your right, known as the Avenue; once the road to Kilmacoliver Castle. Continue to a laneway on your left. Turn left onto the roadway which gives way to a sandy lane and ascend gently for almost 2km to reach a metal gate entrance to an old homestead – the only remaining house of the village of Bregaun.
Fine views of the surrounding countryside start to open up to your left and to your right the trig pillar atop Kilmacoliver Hill becomes visible. Just past the old house, the walk leaves the laneway and follows a dry ditch as it ascends to the summit of Kilmacoliver Hill.
At the summit you will discover a circular enclosure of standing stones believed to be a megalithic tomb dating back 5000 years and commonly known as the Burial Ground. There are similar stones at the summit of Sliabh na mBan across the valley and within the valley ‘The Caiseal’ – Knockroe passage tomb; some 5000 years old is aligned to the setting sun of the Winter Solstice.
The views from the summit are truly spectacular – on a fine day you can see the counties of Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Carlow. The Lingaun Valley with its disused slate quarries and Sliabh na mBan arising from the pastureland with the Galtee Mountains to its right. A lower hillock to the left of Sliabh na mBan is the hill fort of
Leaving the Burial Ground behind, the loop joins a wire fence on its descent. Observe the village of Ahenny built by the mining company to house slate quarrymen and resembling villages that can be found throughout the countryside of North Wales. The graveyards that border the village to the left, north and south, feature Celtic High Crosses dating from 7th century. Known as North and South Crosses, both are of sandstone with elaborate decorations – intricately carved with a web of geometrical and animal designs; similar to those found on surviving bronze age objects. Tradition has it that these crosses and others found in Ahenny, Killamery in the Parish of Windgap and Kilkieran, and the Parish of Piltown are memorials of “The Seven Bishops” murdered at Ath na gCeann in Lismatigue.
The walks enters a recently developed private woodland of broadleaf trees including oak, beech, birch, larch and cherry and continues up to a metal gate where you rejoin the laneway on which you travelled outward . Turning left you reach a t-junction where you take a right for the final 400m returning to the trailhead finish point.
Trail Tips Kilmacoliver Walk
This walk is one of a range of scenic walks developed by trailkilkenny and designed to allow you explore more of the great outdoors; bringing Kilkenny’s wonderful countryside to walkers.
The walks are essentially ‘mini hikes’ and the character of each walk varies – we describe this character at the start of the trail guide. You may find for example that the terrain along a walk may alter as you progress along the trail; a woodland path, and onwards onto old laneway giving way to rough grassland. The incline too could change from being an easy stroll along the flat to a more challenging ascent.
Choose a walk to suit your fitness level and the nature of your walking party. Some walks may not suit younger children under 10 years of age.
We recommend that you dress appropriately; taking account of weather conditions. In periods of heavy rainfall the trail may become wet and you will need suitable footwear. You may check the daily weather forecast by phoning Weather Dial 1550 123851 or log onto www.met.ie
Each trail has been clearly marked with directional arrows and you should note that the trails are marked in one direction only.
We recommend that you follow the trail bringing the trail map with you for reference.