Way to go
MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 74.
Looped Walk trail cards 37b ('Bianconi Loop') and 37d ('Rock an Thorabh Loop') are downloadable at discoverireland.ie/walking, or at Aherlow House Hotel or Glen of Aherlow Failte Society (see below).
TRAVEL: M8 (Jct 9), N74 to Tipperary; R664 to Glen of Aherlow; Aherlow House Hotel signed on right in 4 miles/6km. Park at hotel.
WALK: Back up road for 200m; fork right through Glen of Aherlow Nature Park, following Bianconi Loop (blue arrow) through woods to Christ The King statue and lookout.
From here follow Rock an Thorabh Loop (red arrows) through Carrigeenina Woods on forestry road for 1¼ miles (2km) to crossroads where Millennium Stone Loop (blue arrows) merges with Rock an Thorabh Loop.
Sharp left on forest path (blue/red arrows) to Rock an Thorabh lookout. Continue to R664 road; left for 100m; right down road to Aherlow House Hotel.
LENGTH: 5 miles/8km -- allow two to two-and-a-half hours.
CONDITIONS: Forest tracks.
REFRESHMENTS: Picnic at Rock an Thorabh.
ACCOMMODATION: Aherlow House Hotel and Lodges, Glen of Aherlow, Tipperary (062 56153; aherlowhouse.ie) -- very welcoming, efficient, walker-friendly hotel, a hub of walking. A nightly rate of ¤99 includes dinner, bed and breakfast.
INFORMATION: Glen of Aherlow Fáilte Society. Tel: 063 56331; aherlow.com.
WALKING FURTHER AFIELD
•Laois Walks Festival: throughout July. For details see laoispartnership.ie.
•Christopher's book 'Walking in Ireland' (Ebury Press) contains 50 of his favourite 'Irish Independent' walks.