Derrycassan Wood - Way to go
MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 34; downloadable map/instructions (highly recommended) at discover ireland.ie/walking.
TRAVEL: Rail (irishrail.ie): Longford or Edgeworthstown (c.12 miles). Bus (buseireann.ie): 111 Dublin-Athboy-Granard (7 miles). Road: From Granard, R194 Longford road; in a few yards, right ('Lough Gowna, Arvagh') for 3½ miles; left at crossroads ('Derrycassan Wood Walks') to parking place on right.
WALK DIRECTIONS: From car park, follow track for ½ mile to mapboard. Left across Clooneen River; right up track to T-junction.
Left to Lake Viewing Area; continue round gravelled path -- pass bench and turn left along woodland path, then left across Longford Avenue Bridge. Left along forestry road. Bear left ('summer house, boat house') to see the ruins.
Back on the main track, turn left and follow it for ¾ mile; then turn uphill away from lake at 'Mapboard 1.5km' sign. In ¼ mile, left ('Ringfort') to circle rath and return to upper track. Turn right down path opposite ('Walled Garden Ruin'); follow paths through walled garden, and on to site of Derrycassan House. Continue down track to car park.
LENGTH: 4 miles: allow 1½-2 hours.
DON'T MISS: Superb lake views from viewing area; tree-smothered rath; ruins of walled garden and Derrycassan House.
REFRESHMENTS: Picnic by the lake.
ACCOMMODATION: Viewmount House, Longford (043 334 1919, viewmount house.com) -- very comfortable country house.
INFORMATION: Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford (043 334 2577; longfordtourism.ie).