Tipperary family fun at very first Rhododendron Walking Festival

June Bank Holiday Weekend

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Rhododendron

Lots of events for the inaugural Rhododendron Walking Festival

The inaugural Rhododendron Walking Festival will take place over the June bank holiday weekend, from June 1 to 4.

The event is being organised by members of the Siul Eile community walking group and Knockmealdown Active. Both groups have significant experience in organising successful walking events right across Tipperary and Waterford.


The weekend itinerary includes walks for all abilities as well as family friendly events on the Sunday and Monday. The Friday and Monday events are also free to all who wish to attend.

Friday

The festival begins on Friday at 7pm at Clogheen Community Centre, with a brief introduction, before a Heritage walk around the town. On return to the hall there will be refreshments, stands by local activity groups and entertainment by Retrophonics. This event is free, but needs to be booked online.


Saturday

On Saturday the feature is a newly launched Knockmealdown Active initiative. This is the 34km long recently waymarked Knockmealdown Way from Ballyporeen to Newcastle. There will be A, B and C events running from Ballyporeen (34km – 8am), Clogheen (18km – 11.30am) and Goatenbridge (9km – 2.30pm) to suit walkers of all abilities. Check-in and buses will be from Newcastle Community Centre.

Sunday

On Sunday there will be two walks highlighting the rhododendron blooms in the Knockmealdown mountains, from Clogheen Community Centre. There will be both 3 hour and 1.5 hour events. The three hour event (9am) takes in Baylough lake and Loughglenbridge – two of the most spectacular areas for rhododendron blooms in peak season.

If you don’t have the energy or fitness for that, the 1.5 hour event (11am) runs along the foothills of the mountains and will also take in some wonderful rhododendron bedecked tracks and trails. There will be refreshments and entertainment provided by the Fogues at the community hall for all participants on their return.

Monday

Monday is family day starting from Goatenbridge GAA hall at 10am. Participants will walk to the Kildanogue Duck ponds. The walk goes via the Knockballiniry Loop Trail Head and will include plenty of family friendly entertainment such as face painting and a treasure hunt at the duck ponds. This is a buggy-friendly event. Buses will run regularly to bring participants back to their cars. Entry is free but booking online is necessary.

Booking

All events are booking now at www.vee.ie and you can connect with the festival on Facebook/VeeWalks and Twitter @VeeWalks.