Walk of the Week
Birchill Loop, Upperchurch, Co Tipperary
Distance: 7k Ascent: 200m/150m Time: 2hr-2hrs 30mins Grade: Moderate Terrain: Forestry roads, agricultural land, and minor roadways
From Thurles, take the R498 (signposted Nenagh) for 2.5k to reach a junction with the R503 (signposted Limerick). Follow the R503 for 11k to reach Dempsey's pub on your right. Upperchurch is a further 2k; look for a crossroads with a stone nameplate, turn right and travel 500m into the village.
With your back to the pub, turn right and follow the road to reach an old laneway on your right. Follow it for 100m to rejoin a road. Turn right. Watch for a gateway into Blessed Well (BW) on the right and enter the area.
From the back of BW, cross the stile and follow the arrows uphill to an old church/graveyard. Turn right; follow the purple arrows into forestry and open fields atop Birchill. Exit onto a sandy road and turn left; 30m later at a four-way junction, turn right.
Follow a forestry road for 300m. After 1k exit into a field. Follow purple arrows to exit onto a road at John Burke memorial. Walk on surfaced road for 1k through Knockane before turning right into a field. Descend to old roadway at Rossoulty, turn left and, after 200m, turn left again. From here, the loop climbs to reach a stile and then sweeps right to reach an old cart road to descend onto surfaced road.
Turn left and follow surfaced road for 800m to regain the BW. Pass the well area and turn left onto the old laneway to make your way back to the trailhead.