Get the shoes on this weekend for the Upperchurch Walking weekend.
There is something for all the family with a packed schedule of events
The scenic mountain village of Upperchurch will once again be the setting for a few days and nights of fun and frolics, exercise and entertainment this weekend, the 9th, 10th and 11th of November, as this year’s Walking Weekend goes ahead with nine walks and runs and four offerings of indoor events to test the stamina of outdoor fitness enthusiasts and party lovers alike.
An annual fixture since 2006, the event has attracted thousands of visitors down the years and this year looks like being another crowd puller. The organisers have laid on a wide selection of walks for all levels of ability but the big attraction has always been the hospitality and the chance to meet old and new friends, not to mention the stew the walkers get to help recover from their endeavours.
The activities kick off on Friday evening at 7.30 with two road walks over 7 km and 12 km starting in the village. Neither is particularly difficult with only a few minor hills. At least that’s all the locals would regard them as!
Saturday morning at 10.00 sees the start of the 18 km Hills of Upperchurch walk, regarded as the most difficult of the weekend. Walkers do really need to be fit for this one. There are two much easier walks later in the day, the 8 km Birchill Nature Trail starting at noon at Rosmult on the Thurles-Upperchurch road and the Red Hugh-Knockalough walk, starting at 12.15 in Upperchurch. This latter walk has the option of a 6 km or a 10 km circuit.
Walkers should note that the Eamon an Chnoic 8 km loop walk is on Sunday only at 12.30, again starting from Upperchurch. Also on Sunday the Hollyford-Red Hill walk over 14 km starts at the earlier than usual time of 10.30. This walk is mainly on forest tracks and visits sites connected with the famous rapparee, Ned of the Hill. There will also be a 5 km Fun Run around the Bog Track beside Upperchurch Hall starting at 2.00 on Sunday.
A new and challenging addition to this year’s programme is the Thurles to Upperchurch walk over 20 km starting from Thurles Sarsfields Social Centre at 10.30. The route goes along the road through Cormackstown to Farney bridge, before traversing the fields and farm roadways via Moyaliffe Hill, Drombane Co-op, Whitehall lane and the summit of Knockalough en route to Upperchurch village and the well earned stew. While not particularly difficult, the walk is quite long and is expected to take about five hours. Free return transport to Thurles will be provided afterwards.
Indoor entertainment starts with the Seisiún Mór in Kinnane’s on Friday night. There will be Set Dancing Lessons in Oliver Ryan’s immediately after the walks on Saturday at 4.00 p.m. Culture Night was a well received addition to last year’s events and this year it will again be held in Pa’s Bar on Saturday at 8.00 p.m. The programme will include classical music and singing, a couple of short films of local interest, a play reading and two talks on what to look for in a painting and an overview of coffee production with samples for tasting. There will also be a traditional music session at Jim o’ the Mills at 10.00 p.m.
The full brochure can be seen on the Facebook page of Upperchurch Hill Walking Trails or phone 086 0518934 for enquiries. All registrations 15-30 mins before start of each walk. The organisers wish to thank sincerely the kindness of the landowners and also the committees of Upperchurch and Hollyford halls and Thurles Sarsfields Social Centre.
Programme of Events: Friday 9th, 7.30 p.m. Start in Upperchurch 7 km Moher-Gortkelly Road Walk and 12 Km Moher- Finnahy Road Walk followed by Seisiún Mór in Kinane’s.
Saturday 10th: Start in Upperchurch 10.00 a.m. 18 km Hills of Upperchurch Walk and 12.15 p.m. 6 km or 10 km Red Hugh- Knockalough Walk. Start at Rosmult 12.00 noon 8 km Birchill Nature Trail Walk. Set dancing Lessons in Oliver’s 4.00 p.m. Culture Night Pa’s Bar 8.00 p.m. Traditional music Jim o’ the Mill’s 10.00p.m.
Sunday 11th : Start in Hollyford 10.30 a.m. 14 km Hollyford-Red Hill Walk. Start in Thurles 10.30 a.m. 20 km Thurles- Upperchurch Walk. Start in Upperchurch 12.30 p.m. 8 km Eamon an Chnoic Loop Walk and 2.00 p.m. 5 km Fun Run.