Glengarriff Woods – Riverside Walk

The Glengarriff Nature Reserve is home to over 300 hectares of oak woodland and is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year.  Each season shows a different aspect of the woods and it is equally as beautiful to visit in the first flush of spring as it is during the colourful palette of autumn.  There are several clearly marked walks in the woods so there is a trail for every age, ability and fitness level.  Depending on how much time you have and what your energy levels are, it is always rewarding to combine a few of the loops into a longer tailor-made walk.

The picnic area at the main car park, Glengarriff Nature Reserve

The River Walk is an easy loop walk of about 1km. It usually takes about a half an hour to complete and is moderately flat and suitable for smalls. There are some steps towards the end but they are quite manageable. Set off from the main car park (above photo) by crossing the bridge and turning to the left where the path follows the river.

A junction of trails where you can choose to continue on the River Walk or turn left for the Big Meadow Walk.

The Big Meadow Walk is signposted and can be combined with the River Walk if you are feeling more energetic. Continue on the path for the River Walk at this point and the path leaves the river for a while and threads through the forest around the side of a small mountain. There is a giant slate rock which children love to climb and slide down.

View looking back along the path you have just walked on.

Follow the path until it seems to come out at a public road. At this point, there will be a stone staircase to your right and that is the path you need to follow. The trail will soon join the river again and you will have completed the loop and will find the main carpark back on your left hand side.

Glengarriff Woods – Esknamucky Trail

The Glengarriff Nature Reserve is home to over 300 hectares of oak woodland and is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year.  Each season shows a different aspect of the woods and it is equally as beautiful to visit in the first flush of spring as it is during the colourful palette of autumn.  There are several clearly marked walks in the woods so there is a trail for every age, ability and fitness level.  Depending on how much time you have and what your energy levels are, it is always rewarding to combine a few of the loops into a longer tailor-made walk.

Esknamucky Trail, Glengarriff Woods

The Esknamucky Trail, which is a loop walk of just under 3km, is the most rugged of the trails as it winds its way up steeply through the woods.

Starting off on the trail.

Also known as the High Walk, there are many steps along the trail as the path threads up towards the top of the climb.

Esknamucky gives a great cardio workout with plenty of ups and downs.

There are several scenic viewing points along the way which give panoramic views over the forest and to the mountains beyond. 

The Esknamucky Trail is often combined with the shorter, but gorgeous, Waterfall Walk.

The Ewe Experience, Glengarriff

The Ewe Experience, which is Ireland’s only interactive and interpretive sculpture garden,  is a must-visit for both adults and kids alike.

Beautiful Sculptures at the Ewe Experience

Aside from begin the most interactive and stimulating art gallery in Ireland, The Ewe Experience also boasts the best location as it is situated outdoors in a woodland clearing on a river bank complete with cascading waterfall and woodland trails. The gallery is owned and lovingly created by a duet of talent in the form of writer Kurt Lyndorff and artist Sheena Wood. Using all sorts of interesting materials ranging from textiles, mosaics, ceramics, steel, copper, concrete wood, glass and mixed media, Sheena takes her inspiration from the many animals and birds that inhabit the river and woodland around her home.

Music Makng at the Ewe Experience

As The Ewe Experience is nestled within a 280 acre nature reserve which extends right up to the Kerry border on the Esk Mountain, it is a haven for animals such as wild deer, foxes, badgers stoats and mink. The river is alive with otters, brown trout and frogs whilst all around songbirds, dragonflies and butterflies abound. Upon arrival, you will be given a list of interesting things to find and to look for in the garden where there is literally a surprise in every crevice. There is a section where children can participate in interactive art by using an array of natural material such as sticks, stone and feathers to compile interesting features of their own. In another section, an interactive game of noughts and crosses can be had just beyond the enormous snail with its mirror mosaic trail.

Peeping at the creatures in the woods, Glengarriff

The Ewe gallery certainly deserves a standing ovation when it comes to instilling an appreciation of art in its many and varied forms to children and certainly breaks the mould of thinking that art is restricted to a coloured or framed page. Before leaving, make sure you have a got at partaking in the edible art section. Here, children can design their own ice-cream by adding an assortment of different toppings and making it look as delicious and individual as possible. There are picnic benches and and outdoor seating area overlooking a lovely stretch of the river. Here you will discover that the longer you sit – the more you see!

Ewe Experience

For more information visit their website here.

Bamboo Park, Glengarriff

The Bamboo Park in Glengarriff is a charming place to visit.  Families love it for two main reasons, it is safe and it has a policy of FREE entry to all children.  This makes it an affordable and popular destination especially for anyone travelling with lots of children.   It is also easy to find and well signposted on the N71 as you leave Glengarriff and head towards Bantry.

The Bamboo Park in Glengarriff has stunning colours during summer

The little romantic pathways take you past bamboo plantations and through exotic gardens where palm trees, ferns, hydrangea, fuschia, cosmos and woodlands thrive.   The pathways wind their way down from the entrance at the main road right down to the shoreline where there are many beautiful spots to stop and admire the view of Glengarriff Harbour.

Bamboo Park

The Bamboo Park is now open for the season from 9am-6pm.  Bring a picnic for a truly tropical experience or indulge yourself with homemade cakes and refreshments in the coffee shop.

Tranquil Sea views from Bamboo Park

Mystery:  On the waterfront are 13 stone pillars which are of unknown origin.  Some say they are ancient and their religious significance can only be guessed at.   However you decide to spend your time at the Bamboo Park, you will have a memorable day. For more information, follow Bamboo Park on facebook, here.