The Islands Walk, Urlingford

Looped walk | 8.05 km | Co. Kilkenny | Moderate walk

Trail Description

From Urlingford town centre start at the four cross junction turn right at Bowden’s shop. You will see a signpost for the Mill Cemetery. Continue on to the church and castle. The quadrangular church dates back to the 15th century and has been extended by subsequent generations. It has lain in ruins for many years and was completely obscured by ivy by 1896. A local group restored the building in the 1970’s. A castle lies on the opposite bank of the River Goul – it too dates back to the 15th century and was thought to have been built by the MacGiolla Phadraig; celtic chieftains of the time. It would once have been surrounded by a defensive wall with turrets; which was demolished to construct the mill that adjoins it. It is interesting to note the strong flow of the River Goul or Gabhal in Irish which translates as Rough River. Continue along the road with care for about 20 minutes before turning left along a quiet tarmac road. Proceed straight through the crossroads on up a forest track and enter the forest; keeping left at any junctions. The forest is planted with Sitka Spruce, a fast growing softwood which is sold as white deal for use in the construction industry but other conifers like the Norway spruce, Scots pine, Noble fir, Japanese larch and Lodgepole pine may also be found. Broadleaf species including birch, alder, oak, hazel, ash, holly and willow. In summer there is a profusion of wild flowers throughout the forest including purple loosestrife, ragwort, birdsfoot trefoil, bramble, thistle and foxgloves among many others. Sphagnum, reeds, bog myrtle, black bog rush and purple moor grass are also found in the Islands. Re-emerge from the forest and continue along the track which ascends a low hill and becomes pleasantly grassy underfoot. Return to the road and keep right back into Urlingford.

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