ROUTE: Donadea Forest Park to Robertstown

Donadea Forest Park to Robertstown

 

 

Total Distance (approx):  WALKING ROUTE (9 miles / 14km)

  • Terrain:  Flat on small country roads
  • Start: Donadea Forest Park
  • Accommodation:  Robertstown (2 Nights)

Robertstown Holiday Village (045 870870), www.robertstownholidayvillage.com,  Email: info@robertstownholidayvillage.com

Gallery

Walking Route

Registration:  Meet at 10.30am at the Coffee shop in Donadea Forest Park

(Ideally you can get dropped off and arrange to get a lift home.  Then just walk into the park. if you or someone dropping you off drives into the Forest Park there will be an entrance fee to be paid)

Directions

 

Leave Donadea Forest via the side gate and turn left onto the main road.

You arrive at a crossroads where you take a right here signposted Flannery’s Nurseries.

You are now entering the townland of Staplestown.  Continue on into the village past the church and community hall on the right and soon after the graveyard on the left.  After the village, continue straight past a junction to the left and past a junction to the right.  At the next junction, the second road to the left after leaving Staplestown.  You turn left here onto a minor road.   You are now entering the townland of Garravogue.  Follow this road for 2 km until you see a yellow sign showing an entrance to the right.  This is the car park of Ballynafagh Lake.  Turn right here into the car park.

Ballynafagh Lake was constructed at the end of the 18th century in conjunction with The Grand Canal to which it was a controlled water supply via the Grand Canal Feeder which no longer carries water.  At the opposite end of the lake are the sluice valves beside the old keeper’s house.  The valves allowed for release of water to adjust the levels on the Grand Canal.  Ballynafagh Lake is now a Nature Reserve.

Walk in a clockwise direction around the lake, following the main track. (40 mins around the lake) We will have a picnic lunch and quite time in this beautiful wilderness place.

Exit the car park and turn right.  Take the first right turn just after a house with a gateway decorated with two swans.  After a few minutes this road becomes a track.  Follow this track and keep to the right passing two junctions to the left.  The track straightens and emerges from the trees out onto a minor road.  Turn left here.  The road travels through Coolree Bog.  Continue along this road, passing a junction to the right and emerging through an inhabited area until you come to a main road.  Turn right and you will see a green pump at a grassy area.  Turn left here at a white house and continue up a pretty boreen beneath a tree canopy.  This boreen was once the main road to Dublin.  At the end of the boreen you arrive at a crossroads.

Cross here, continue straight ahead, follow the road around to the right over a bridge, and take the immediate left.

Walk along this road (the Tougher Road) for about 2 km and into the quaint village of Robertstown on the Grand Canal.  The walk finishes in Robertstown.  If you are travelling with someone you should leave a car in Robertstown for when you finish the walk. Otherwise we will try and arrange a lift.

 

Getting to the Starting Point

This is only possible by car.

ROUTE: Robertstown to Milltown

  • Total Distance (approx): 8 miles / 14 km
  • Terrain: Grassy and flat
  • Start: Robertstown
  • End: Milltown

Gallery

Route

Registration:  Meet at 10.30am at the Carpark at Robertstown Holiday Cottage

Directions:

Leaving from Robertstown cottages, turn left out the gate and walk to the stone Binn’s Bridge (near Charlie Weld’s pub) at the start of the village. Cross over (be careful of oncoming traffic) to the opposite side of the canal, signed ‘The Barrow Way’. Walk on keeping to the Canal bank road passing some local nature art on your right hand side.

At the Fenton stone bridge and Lock 19 cross over the bridge and turn immediately left to continue walking down the canal on the same side as before (the right side). You will see the ‘Barrow Way’ signs pointing in this direction too.

At the next stone bridge marked ‘Robertstown 2 km’ you will see the ‘Travellers Rest’ pub across the road. Cross over this bridge and walk on the left side of the canal (opposite side)

At the next hump backed stone bridge Huband Bridge (signed on the left hand side, hard to see) take the turn left (don’t go over the bridge) and continue on the left side to what is known as the Milltown Feeder. You will see there is a wooden chalet and green mobile home at this turn and you’ll be walking past them. Continue on. Walk past a wooden bridge on your right and again continue on.

At the next ivy covered stone ‘Pluckerstown’ bridge, cross over to the right hand side as the path is easier to walk on. Look left as you walk further on to see the Hill of Allen & its tower.

At the next concrete bridge, cross over the main road and continue walking on the left side of the canal bank. You will pass another ivy covered stone bridge and ruin of an old mill on your right hand side. Keep walking, nearly there.

Continue on to Milltown and to The Hanged Man’s pub for a very welcome pint. The walk ends here at The Hanged Man’s pub in Milltown.  (It is recommended that you leave a car here in the carpark of the Hanged Man’s pub to travel home or to arrange lifts from here)  If this is not possible we will try to arrange lifts back to Robertstown or you can get taxi’s, see numbers are below.

Getting to the Start Point

This is only possible by car or taxi from Kildare

 

Local Taxi Numbers

 

  • Kildare Cabs (Kildare) +353 45 530814 / 530815
  • Tully Cabs (Kildare) + 353 86 801 1676

 

Additional Information

Please note that there is NO driver today as we walk on the canal which has no car access.

ROUTE: Milltown to Kildare

 

Pollardstown Fen to Kildare

 

  • Total Distance (approx): 5 miles, 9km
  • Terrain: Paved: Minor roads (L-roads), Grass verges or footpaths on more major roads, Wooden Boards in Pollardstown Fen, Grass in The Curragh and at Brigid’s Garden Stream.
  • Start:Pollardstown Fen
    • Rathbride Healing Stone via The Curragh
    • Kildare Heritage Centre (Market Sq, Kildare Town) (shops, cafes, restaurant in the area)
    • St. Brigid’s Fire (in the grounds of St. Brigid’s Cathedral)
    • Brigid’s Healing Well
  • Accommodation:  Kildare

Silken Thomas (045 522232), Website: silkenthomas.com, Email: info@silkenthomas.com

Solas Bhríde Centre and Hermitages (045 522890), Website: solasbhride.ie, Email: info@solasbhride.ie

 

Gallery Images

Directions

 

WALKING ROUTE

From the Pollardstown Fen car park follow the path to the Boardwalk start and loop around this magnificent wild nature reserve back onto the path & return to the carpark (approx 20 mins). From the carpark turn right & walk on taking the first left turn (there is a Pollardstown Horse Feed sign nearby) onto a small road L7023.

Cross over the stone railway bridge for your first view of the Curragh of Kildare. At the T junction turn right and follow the sign for Rathangan R401. Cross back over another stone railway bridge onto the Upper Curragh (be careful of traffic on this bridge.)

Spread out on the left side & wander this magical plain. Keep the road within your sight line. At the white stones at Cloonmore Lodge cross over the road to wander on the right side of the Curragh to Rathbhride Cross (signed Rathangan/Kildare/Allenwood) & the Healing Stone.

Leaving Rathbhride Crosss continue on towards Kildare by wandering on the Curragh between the road (within your sightline) & the wood chip horse track. When you come to the end of the white rails & meet a dirt track veer right back onto the road to pass the Cill Dara Golf club. Go through the gate beside the cattle grid to leave the Curragh. (Note there is a sign to Kildare facing the wrong way here. Follow the Cattle Grid sign to Kildare.)

You are now walking the last part of your Pilgrimage into Kildare past houses & over the stone railway bridge, past the Solas Bhríde house at Dara Park into Kildare’s Market Square for a Welcome by the Brigidine Sisters & Tom from the Heritage Centre in the Market House.

Walk across the Square to Brigid’s Cathedral and the Fire Temple in the grounds of the cemetary. Return to the Market Square and find Bride Street, walk straight along Bride Street to the new Solas Bhride Centre Site. Continue along the road past the Solas Bhride Centre, on the left you will find the Healing Well and on the right, you will find the turn for the Garden Well.

 

Getting to the Starting Point

You can drive to Pollardstown Fen and leave your car there or you can leave your car in Kildare Town and transport will be arranged by Brigid’s Way to bring people to Pollardstown Fen.

The easiest way to get to Pollardstown Fen is coming from Kildare (take Exit 13 onto the N7). Drive into the centre of Kildare and at the traffic lights at the Square turn left onto the R415.  Travel towards Milltown and before Milltown you will see a sign on your right hand side for Pollardstown Fen (it’s a very small road).  Drive to the carpark on your left hand side where you can park.  Alternatively you can park your car in Kildare town (no parking fee on Sundays) and get a taxi out to Pollardstown Fen. (see numbers below) and arrange a taxi to take you back into Kildare town to pick up your car.

Local Taxi Numbers

 

  • Kildare Cabs (Kildare) +353 45 530814 / 530815
  • Tully Cabs (Kildare) + 353 86 801 1676

 

 

 

Additional Information

 

An audio guide to the Heritage sites around Kildare can be downloaded from Abarta Audio Guides or is available as a free smartphone app from Guidigo.

The Kildare Heritage Centre can help you to plan your time in Kildare.