Tinahely Loop

viewThe Tinahely Loop is perfect for a substantial hike, starting and ending in Tinahely, south County Wicklow. The guide says 25km but my ViewRanger route tracking app says 22km. The ‘No Dogs’ condition should be observed for reasons obvious to responsible people.

The official guide suggests parking up and starting from the old Railway Station at Kilcommon Bridge about three kilometers outside the village.

I think it’s much better to park up in the village itself and start from there. Always plenty free parking and it’s wonderful to be just a few metres from food and refreshments when you finish!

The Discover Ireland website suggests doing the Tinahely Loop counter-clockwise. I suggest rather clockwise mainly because the Muskeagh Hill and Hadden’s Hill section can be quite tough after about 16 or so kilometers of hiking and especially so if the weather is warm. In my opinion better to tackle Hadden’s Hill first (and slowly) when you are fresh. That leaves a long, flat section at the end of the hike which is no problem when you get into a stride.

The hike is reasonably well signed so, packing the requisite hiking essentials including a map, head off in a clockwise direction out the Shillelagh Road (R749) and enjoy!

Enjoyed the company of a couple of curious and friendly (to me, not to each other!) donkeys while I stopped for my packed lunch and coffee! They enjoyed some of my dried fruit, but I draw the line at sharing my coffee cup! Be careful if you are feeding donkeys, they bite like billy-oh if there are some stray fingers they can chew on! Be warned! Reminds me of a donkey that got hold of the loose cuff of Tania’s goretex jacket while we were hiking from Doolin along the Cliffs of Moher a while back. He just wouldn’t let go!

Another thing I would recommend, do climb to the top of Garryhoe hill before you head down Garryhoe Lane as the views of the Wicklow Mountains, Lugnaquilla, all the way south to Croghan and beyond are just sublime on a clear day. It’s worth the effort and from there is downhill or level all the way back to the village.

Have a fantastic hike! And I can recommend Murphy’s for at least a freshly made toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich, some fresh potato chips and a cool smooth beverage! Happiness on tired legs!