Thursday 19 October 2017

Way to go - Mesolithic Loop, Lough Boora, Co Offaly

Christopher Somerville

MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 54; downloadable map/instructions at discoverireland.ie/walking.

TRAVEL: Rail (irishrail.ie): Tullamore (12 miles). Road: N52 (Tullamore-Birr) to Kilcormac; trailhead signposted, three miles north of Kilcormac.

WALK DIRECTIONS: From car park follow Mesolithic Loop (red arrows/RA); pass sculpture exhibition and picnic site (detour round Sculpture Park walk); on through gate (RA). Follow Loop for 1 mile to reach Mesolithic site (info board). A few hundred metres past the site, red route divides at 'Walks & Amenities' sign. Short cut back to road goes straight on, but to complete Mesolithic Loop bear right (RA/yellow walking man) and continue to end.

LENGTH: Six miles -- allow three hours.

GRADE: Easy. Ideal for buggies round Sculpture Park walk.

DON'T MISS: Birdwatching from roadside hide; Sculpture Park walk; Patrick Dougherty's 'Ruaille Buaille' wicker sculpture.

REFRESHMENTS: Picnic.

ACCOMMODATION: Ardmore House (057 913 7009; kinnitty.com) or Aaron House (086 199 5555; aaronhouse. ie), Kinnitty, Co Offaly.

INFORMATION: Lough Boora Parklands; see loughbooraparklands.com.

Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre, Bury Quay. Tel: 093 25015; tullamore-dew.org.

Irish Independent

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