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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Get out walking this month before the evening light goes

Micheál Ó Domhnaill

With the evenings closing in it's never more important to take advantage of the daylight and to get out walking whatever the weather.

Get the rain gear on, put on your boots and join in with one of the many clubs that cater for walking in Sligo.

This month is no exception, and there's plenty on offer, much of it free. So, whether you head out with a friend or as part of a group, make sure you get plenty of fresh air, it will help shorten the Winter and keep the spirits up.

Sligo Walking Club have several walks on later this month, starting with a trip to Belmullet on Saturday next, followed by Leeane Loop on Tuesday 16th, Saddle Hill on Saturday 20th, Coolaney Mast on Tuesday 23rd and Ladies Brae on the 27th October.

The club is a wonderful example of community involvement, but it is important to note that you must sign up as a member of the club and adhere to the safety guidelines set out, following the advice of a designated walk leader to ensure the safety as well as the enjoyment of all.

North Sligo Walking Club have just announced details of their full walking schedule from October to next January, 15 walks in all, and certainly a great way to get some exercise. The Benwisken Centre website has all of the details.

Elsewhere, Enniscrone Walking Club will take in a 3-4 hour walk at Carrowteigue on the Erris Peninsula in Mayo on Saturday 20th October, and the East City Walking Club heads out for weekly walks, starting at the Riverside Hotel.

The new Ballintogher Walking Club had their first outing recently - well done to all involved. You can join in weekly every Wednesday morning - registration is outside of Moran's Bar at 10:45am and a cup of tea is available after the walk. And the Stride for Life walking group met for the first time recently at midday for a weekly walk which starts at the South Sligo Cancer Centre in Tubbercurry.

This group are cancer survivors, and we wish all of those who take part good health as they battle with illness

The last Saturday of October will see the Sligo Dark Tales Walking Tour take place. Exploring Sligo's dark history is interesting at any time of year - what with our Dracula roots and all, but there's a particularly spooky feel to it at Halloween.

So for a walk with a difference and one that's bound to be filled with blood curdling and macabre tales check out Melcoo Tours who provide this tour at a cost of €10.

On both Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th the Hazelwood Haunting makes a return, providing a spooky and fun walk through Hazelwood Forest with lots of surprises in store. Groups walk around the forest in the company of a guide, who will bring you along a trail peppered with spiders, witches, monsters and even Dracula will make an appearance. A great fun night for all the family and suitable for children aged 9 and upwards.

Tickets are €8.40 and booking is advised to avoid disappointment. All funds raised are shared between Carns National School and Friends of Sligo University Hospital. Each group sets out at half hour intervals - on Saturday starting at 6:30pm with the final group leaving at 9pm, Sunday starts an hour earlier. Allow a couple of hours in total, an hour to take part and an hour to enjoy some food and drink available afterwards.

The Winter Adventure Walks Series will enable participants to explore woodlands, trails and mountains of Sligo in the coming months. This series of four free guided walks will see participants take to some of Sligo's most scenic trails, starting on Saturday October 27th with a ramble through Union Wood, taking in the boardwalk which leads to the summit and which reveals spectacular views across Ballisodare Bay and beyond.

After that, Knocknarea, Hazelwood and Cairns Wood will provide the platform for upcoming walks of various distances and levels of difficulty. A reminder that while these walks are free of charge - sponsored by Sligo Sport & Recreation Partnership and guided by Northwest Adventures, pre-booking is essential as spaces are limited. Visit www.sligosportandrecreation.ie for details.

That's a taste of the different walks taking place in our community over the coming month. Anyone who would like to submit news for this article can email info@sligowalks.ie where we will help spread the word about your walking event, and it's all for free.

Sligo Champion

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