Wexford Walking Trail Festival 2016

The third annual Wexford Walking Trail Festival will take place from Friday 23rd of September to Sunday 25th September 2016.

Friday, September 23rd  

5.30pm           

‘1916 Songs and Stories Ramble in Enniscorthy’
Led by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune, the ramble will be punctuated with new and old songs and accounts of journeys undertaken during Easter 1916.  Registration at 5.15pm – Meet at car park adjacent to Riverside Park Hotel.

7.15pm

Welcome Reception in Enniscorthy Castle
Home of the Roche family in 1916, it was taken over and used as an outpost by Volunteers, giving them a strategic position
overlooking the bridge.

 

Saturday, September 24th

11am
Askamore
This guided 3-hour scenic looped walk along the foothills of  Sliabh Bhuí’s forested slopes is accompanied by tales of locals involved directly in the 1916 Easter Rising. Grade: Moderate. Registration at 10.30 at the Community Centre in Askamore village.

Complimentary light lunch provided by Askamore Community Council.

11am
Bunclody
: Horse Shoe Walk.
This 7 hr walk is for regular hill walkers only – not recommended for novice walkers. Grade: Strenuous. Essential to bring appropriate clothing, footwear & food and water. Registration at 10.30am. at Bunclody Day Care Centre, Ryland Rd. Car pooling will operate. Transport to and from start/finish of walk is provided.

4.30pm
Bunclody:
Kilbranish Trail.
Panoramic views over the Mount Leinster area will be the highlight of this 1.5 hour looped walk.  Grade: Moderate.    This year we will walk in association with Bunclody Day Care Centre. Registration at 4pm at Bunclody Day Care Center (BDCC), Ryland Rd. Car pooling will operate. Light refreshments afterwards provided by BDCC.

7pm
Dinner – Bunclody Golf Club.
Special rate of €15.95 for two-course meal with tea/coffee is available to walkers. Book by email: wexfordwalking@gmail.com Entertainment afterwards provided by Kilmyshall Set Dancing Group.

 

Sunday, September 25th

1:00pm
Enniscorthy: Walking, and boating on the River Slaney

This 6 km scenic walk along the western bank of the River Slaney starts on the promenade walk, through a semi-wild meadow which is part of an extensive Special Area of Conservation. Afterwards, to make the most of this wonderful natural resource, Edermine Rowing Club will provide complimentary rowing trips(adults & children) – getting the best from the River Slaney. Registration at 12.30pm.  Meet at car park adjacent to Riverside Park Hotel.

“A piece of cake”. So said one of the participants in the 7hr Bunclody Horseshoe walk which challenged the most experienced hill walkers in the annual Wexford Walking Trail festival last weekend.

wwt-festival-2016011Conditions were challenging with rain and wind a dominant feature, but this only seemed to bolster the spirits of those taking part. The ‘can do’ attitude and spirit of volunteerism were to the fore over the weekend and made the weekend a memorable one for all involved in the weekend walks.

The festival began with a ‘Ramble’ around Enniscorthy guided by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune. This was followed by a ‘Welcome Reception’ in Enniscorthy Castle’s Roche Room. In a wonderful setting, participants had the opportunity to relax and enjoy their surroundings. There was a great sense of occasion and celebration, particularly with the announcement that the Wexford Walking Trail network had been allocated €102,000 through a Recreation Grant which will go towards the development and sustainability of the network.

wwt-festival-2016004Other events over the festival weekend included a 3 hr walk on the Askamore St. Brigid’s Loop on Saturday morning. Although it rained , it didn’t dampen spirits and walkers who arrived back in great form to a roaring fire, soup, sandwiches and a cup of tea, all prepared by volunteers in the local Community Centre. This was followed by storytelling and enjoyable banter by the fire. The afternoon Bunclody Kilbrannish walk saw a different weather pattern, as the clouds parted, the sun shone and a gentle warm breeze helped walkers along the way on this 1.5hr walk. Volunteers at the local St. Mary’s Day Care Centre provided transport to and from the walks and refreshments afterwards to the appreciative walkers.

The festival dinner in the Bunclody Golf Club was a great success, followed by set dancing by the Kilmyshall Set Dancing Group and music and singing. Although the day’s exertions were demanding, walkers showed no signs of flagging energy and were keen to enjoy the craic. Vouchers donated by the Irish National Heritage Park; OPW; Courtown Adventure & Leisure Centre were won by: Emer Byrne, Kildavin, Dr Liam Dunne, Bunclody, Paddy Byrne Askamore, Josephine Nugent, Tullow, John Nolan , Bunclody and Karen Cahill, Gorey.

wwt-festival-2016040  wwt-festival-2016043 wwt-festival-2016044 wwt-festival-2016042 wwt-festival-2016030

The festival closing event was the walk on the Enniscorthy River Slaney trail and this proved to be the highlight of the festival. Members of Wexford Walking Trail had done a great organising job and the Edermine Rowing Club capped off a great weekend by providing complimentary boating trips for everybody wishing to enjoy the great amenity which the Slaney at Enniscorthy is.
Great thanks is due to all of the volunteers from Wexford Walking Trail; those who provided the greatly appreciated refreshments; Enniscorthy Castle; Riverside Park Hotel; Kilmyshall Set Dancing Club; St. Mary’s Day Care Centre; Carlow Tourism, Enniscorthy Rowing Club and Slaney Rescue Services whose involvement proved so enjoyable for participants of all ages and finally to Wexford County Council who sponsored the festival.

Voucher Winners:
John Nolan, Bunclody, winner of an OPW Family Heritage Cardwwt-festival-2016099
Paddy Byrne, Askamore winner of an Irish National Heritage Park Family Admission Voucher
Josephine Nugent, Tullow, winner of an Irish National Heritage Park Family Admission Voucher
Karen Cahill, Gorey, winner of an Irish National Heritage Park Family Admission Voucher
Dr Liam Dunne, Bunclody, winner of an Irish National Heritage Park Family Admission Voucher
Emer Byrne, Kildavin, winner of a ½ day Family Outdoor Voucher for Courtown Adventure & Leisure Centre

We would like to thank our fellow Wexford Trail members for donating vouchers:
Irish National Heritage Park – member Wexford Heritage Trail
OPW (through Ferns Castle, Tintern and Ballyhack Castle) – member of Wexford Heritage Trail
Courtown Adventure & Leisure Centre -a  member of Wexford Walking Trail.
Their continued support and that of the many volunteers involved in the Festival organisation is much appreciated.