Walking anywhere in Valentia is an experience in itself, but there are a number of walks that deserve special mention.
At the bottom of the page you will find links to relevant books and walking specific sites.
|The lower road|
Bray head is an amazing stroll to the southern tip of the island. Along the eastern side you can see the remains of 16th Century beehive huts, it overlooks Portmagee harbour and once you reach Bray tower pictured below, looking seaward, you can see the Skellig islands, home to hermit monks between the 6th and 18th century. The tower was built by British forces to watch the Atlantic for smugglers and invaders.
You can drive all the way to the Grotto, but it's much more enjoyable to leave the car at the cross road to the lighthouse, or for the more ardent walker, to walk from knightstown along the winding road through Glanleam woods.
The Grotto was mined for slate in the 18 hundreds and it's produce was once used to roof the House of Commons and was also widely used in pool and snooker tables.
This photo was taken during Christmas from the top of the mountain above the Grotto, I'm not sure whether it was the hangover or the lack of fitness but the climb nearly killed me but the view was worth it, my humble thanks to my Uncle Henry who made me go with him ...... ( he's the one still brimming with Energy throwing his legs in the air!) and Mike my brother for catching the moment on film.
You can also drive down to the lighthouse, though again, the atmosphere is best sampled on foot. The Lighthouse itself was once a Cromwellian fort, guarding the harbour with it's colleague across the mouth of the harbour on Beginnis island. There is a great view of the Atlantic from here.
Culloo situated on the North eastern side of the island is well known locally for it's fishing, but it also makes a great walk, along a meandering stream through flat bog land happily mixing with out falls of slate and finishing at astounding cliffs. It should be noted however that this area is extremely dangerous in rough weather and the cliffs should only be viewed when the ocean is calm.
The lower road runs along the Valentia channel from Chapeltown (locally known by it's Irish name 'Caol') to Knightstown, and is a peaceful, relatively traffic free stroll overlooking the channel and onto the mainland.
The lower road
Glanleam is one of the town lands that make up Valentia and at it's heart is a large estate once home to the Knight of Kerry, the titled held by the Fitzgerald family. The majority of the town land is covered in woodland, whose trees were planted by the knight when he resided there. The picture opposite is the road through the estate from knightstown to the grotto. The estate open to the public as a Sub-tropical garden and guesthouse, and you can walk through the gardens for a small fee.( For historical information please click here)
Glanleam also has one of the only sandy beaches on the island also known as Glanleam. It is a short walk from knightstown about 2 km.
This is a new walk created by the Tidy Towns Committee. It is a short stroll, but well worth a look. The Altazamuth walk begins at the Atazamuth Stone on Peter street, edged by wildlife habitates and gardens, ending on the seafront adjacent the Catholic church with a bench halfway for taking a moment and forgetting the troubles of the world.
(For More info on the Altazamuth Stone click here)
Hill Walker's South Kerry / West Cork (For more information or to purchase this book on-line please click here ) Kerry Walks (For more information or to purchase this book on-line please click here ) Kerry Way Map Guide (For more information or to purchase this book on-line pelase click here ) Bill Oddie's Birding Map of Britain & Ireland (For more information or to purchase this book on-line pelase click here )
The Kerry Way - Great website on The Kerry way walks ( as the site says "Ireland's longest signposted walking trail and also one of the most popular") The Dingle Way - Similar site from the ame Authors detailing long distance walk in Dingle, County Kerry