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WALKING

Union Hall is a perfect place to go walking. The scenery is wonderful and the country roads, or boreens,are safe and mostly traffic-free. However, you must bear in mind that cars do appear so walkers should always watch out, wear visible clothing and observe the country code….’leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs’. Following are some suggestions for walks:
Note:  These walks have been newly documented and we would appreciate any feedback or helpful comments.

---Village Walk--------Rineen Wood Walk--------Blind Harbour Walk--------Ceim Hill-Squince Walk--------Drombeg Stone Circle------Tra Lan Beach Walk

Village Walk (1 mile/30 mins)

  • With your back to Fullers Centra, turn right down the street and then take the first turn left by Dinty’s pub.
  • Keeping the water on your right, follow the path around the lagoon and across the causeway until you come to face some large gates. These mark the entrance to the original Hall of Union Hall, the building long since gone.
  • As you make your way there keep your eyes peeled for some artistic wall plaques describing birds and animals of the area.
  • Turn left at the gates and follow the path and plaques till you reach the fishing harbour at Keelbeg.
  • Here, you will find one of Union Hall’s major industries, fishing. If a trawler is bringing in its days catch, you can watch it unload.
  • Retrace your steps to the gates where you continue straight ahead, passing the Fish Shop, the Post Office and straight on to your starting place, Fullers Centra. top

Rineen Wood Walk (drive and walk: about 1 hr)

  • Starting from the car park at the RC Church in the village drive out of the car park and turn left. Immediately, at the T junction turn left again, leaving the grotto on your left. Drive up the twisty Doctor’s Hill for 1.4miles/2.25 kilometers until you see a wide opening on your left, marked Rineen Wood. Park here at the entrance to the wood.
  • At the yellow gatepost, follow the narrow path to the right down towards the water. This is the end of Castlehaven estuary and you should see lots of sea gulls, herons and duck as you follow the walk.
  • After about 5 minutes and near a little stream keep your eyes peeled and down to your right and you will be rewarded by the amazing sight of a tiny ‘fairy’ house - the first of several to be found in the woods.
  • Who built them? Why? What do you think? Some believe that this is where the tooth fairy lives, and they excitedly leave their letters here.
  • Shortly on your left you will come upon the ruin of a lime kiln where limestone used to be burnt to use as fertilizer on the fields.
  • Do you see another fairy dwelling?
  • Continue along the path, ignoring any turnings to the left, and soon you will be confronted by a large wall which was built by the Townshends of Castletownshend as a boundary to their deer park. Apparently they didn’t realize that deer could swim around it and thus lost a large part of their herd!
  • Follow the path up to the end of the wall and then immediately turn right back down the other side of the wall and continue to skirt the water.
  • Shortly you will come to a railing and some wooden steps and about 30 to 40 minutes after the beginning of the walk the path swings uphill and then to the left back in the direction you have come and then widens where vehicles come to transport logs.
  • Follow this wider path, and eventually you will come to a car park with picnic tables. Keep straight ahead along this wide path and you will find your car at the entrance to the wood.
  • Did you find any more fairy houses?
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Blind Harbour Walk (drive and walk: about 45 minutes)

  • Starting from the car park at the RC Church in the village, drive out of the car park and turn right, passing Union Hall National School on your left.
  • Continue on this road, following signs for Reen Pier, ignoring any turns to the left or right. Soon you will come to Lake Cluhir on your left. After passing the lake continue straight ahead ignoring a turn to the right and you will come to the sea and notice a spit of land sticking out towards the opposite bank. This spit is called the League.
  • Park on the League at the sign for parking for whale watching.
  • With your back to the League turn right and walk towards the mouth of the estuary. Soon you will see a sign ‘cul de sac’ where the road splits. Follow this upper road and you will get a great view of Castletownshend across the water, with the Castle, now a guest house, and St Barahane’s Church with its remarkable Harry Clark windows and the many lovely houses of that village.
  • Continue along this boreen until you come down to a beautiful secluded beach and views out over Blind Harbour, so named as it is nearly impossible to see the entrance from out at sea.
  • From here retrace your steps towards the League and about 100 metres before the cul de sac sign, if you are very observant you will see a flight of steps on your left between two high hedges which take you down to the fishing pier (if you miss the steps, take the first turn left before reaching your car). From the pier you should see your car to which you can now return.
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Ceim Hill – Squince Walk (drive and walk: about 7miles/11 kilometers or 3 hours)

  • Starting from the car park for the RC church in the village drive out of the car park and turn left. Immediately, at the T junction turn left again leaving the grotto on your left.
  • Drive up the twisty Doctor’s Hill and continue along this road for 1.1 miles/1.75 kilometers where you will see a brown sign post for Ceim Hill Museum. Park on the grassy verge opposite the signpost.
  • With your back to the signpost walk up the boreen past fields and farmhouses. As you climb you will see the Castlehaven estuary with the ruin of the old flour mill on your right.
  • Continue to the top of the hill and after about 15 minutes you have a great view down to your right of the mouth of the estuary, Horse Island and the Stag rocks .
  • A little further on to your left you will see the Galley Head and lighthouse in the distance.
  • Continue down the hill and at a hairpin bend there is a marvellous view of the ruin of 16th century Raheen Castle, the estuary with the League spit and the village of Castletownshend.
  • At the bottom of the hill you come to a T junction where you turn left in front of a big green barn. Very soon you come to Lake Cluhir where you take the right fork in the road and continue along this boreen with the lake on your left. You will see a large pink farmhouse with extensive barns straight ahead.
  • You will probably have been walking for about 50 minutes when you reach the corner of the lake and turn left at the crossroads. With the lake still on your left, walk about another 350 yards and then turn right at a rendered concrete wall, up a hill past more farms.
  • You will come to another T junction where you see a large yellow house on the skyline straight ahead. Here you turn right and follow this boreen to another T junction.
  • Turn right here and follow the twisty road past a farm full of sheep, duck, geese, cats, dogs, guinea fowl (sometimes) and you will have a clear view of the sea straight ahead. Keep on downhill to Squince beach, looking out for seals as you go.
  • Turn right at the end of the beach and continue along the road, ignoring any turnings to the left, looking out for all sorts of water birds in the shallow water on your right. You soon come to a causeway which you cross, and follow the boreen back to the corner of Lake Cluhir.
  • This will have taken about 2 hours and you should recognize the crossroads. This time turn left and retrace your steps with the lake on your right till you come to some conifers at the corner of the lake. Here bear left and at the big green barn bear right back up the hill, past the hairpin bend with the great view, on up to the top of the hill and down the other side, back to the Ceim Hill Museum signpost, and your car.
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Drombeg Stone Circle

  • Drombeg Stone Circle is a popular motivator to go and visit. It is about 2 miles from Glandore.
  • If you set off from the Marine Hotel, go up through the village, past the holy cross staying on the same R597 road (this is where the gates to Kilfinnan Castle are) and walk about 1 mile to St. Facthna's Roman Catholic Church. Keep on this road for the direction of Rosscarbery. There is a bend on the road at this point as you pass the sign for Glandore.
  • About 1 km on there is a turn off to the right which will lead you in the direction of the Stone Circle. There is a dip or two in the road on the way which provides for an interesting walk. Upon arrival at the destination there is a carpark with a walk to the magnificent Stone Circle.
  • To return to the village of Union Hall you can take the same route.
  • On your now mainly down hill journey you can afford the breath taking views of Glandore Harbour and neighbouring Union Hall village.
  • Alternatively as you leave the car park area you can take a right and continue the back roads of Glandore taking in the stunningly scenic coastal views beyond the rolling green fields. Follow this Tralong road until you get to a cross road.
  • If you haven't yet finished your explorations you can take a left to Carriglusky and Brulea and take a trip to the beautiful Tralong pier and beach. This is practically a hidden gem and only known mainly by locals and the more adventurous tourist. This is a great place to take some time for a rest. For this longer trek it is advisable to bring a packed lunch as there are no facilities here.
  • To return to the village go back the road you came but at the cross roads that leads back to Drombeg instead of going Tralong Road continue on the road you are on which is Maulmoreen and follow this road past Kilfinnan Farm and continue the same road.
  • About 1 km from here you will be on top of Kilfinnan Road. The scenery from here is absolutely amazing. You can see the entire harbour of Glandore and neighbouring Union Hall fishing village. As you continue down this road you will be greated by the familiar group of colorful houses.
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Tra Lan Beach Walk (1 hr out, 1 hr back)

  • Bring swimming gear.
  • Starting from the car park at the RC Church in the village turn left and then right past the church gate and down the hill into the village.
  • Pass Fullers Centra and continue straight ahead past The Boatmans pub.
  • Turn right by a blue-rendered house before the Post Office.
  • Follow this road up a steep hill and after about 10 mins look left to get a view below of Poulgorm Bridge.
  • The road winds down and after about 30 mins you will come to a 4-cross where you face a small house with a pyramid shaped roof.
  • Go straight across and uphill, passing a large yellow farm house on your left.
  • Shortly you come to a T junction where you turn left.
  • Follow this road passing Mc Kennedy St on your left until you come to another T junction.
  • Turn left, passing a SLOW sign and follow this windy road downhill for about 10 mins when you arrive at a turning area and have a choice of 2 pretty beaches.
  • To return, retrace your steps up the hill and take the 1st right turn, passing Mc Kennedy St on your right.
  • Take the next right turn and pass the large yellow farmhouse on your right.
  • Continue up and down hill to the 4-cross with the pyramid-roofed house.
  • Go straight across and up and down the very steep hill eventually reaching the blue-rendered house where you turn left through the village, passing Fullers Centra on your left and on up the hill to the RC Church and the carpark.
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