Táin Walking Festival kicks off tourism season in The Land of Legends. The beautiful Cooley Peninsula in County Louth are hosting the 7th annual Táin Walking festival on February 28th – March 2nd launching the counties 2014 full event calendar!
The festival has become a popular early fixture in Ireland’s annual walking calendar with the Cooley Peninsula boasting some of the best walking routes in the country. Still considered relatively ‘young’, the festival attracts walkers from as far away as England and Holland as well as throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland.
‘We have a fantastic walking product here and the festival is a great way to showcase it. Walking remains a rapidly growing market with more overseas visitors coming to Ireland to engage in hiking and walking than any other outdoor activity. We now that once people find this magical place, possibly through planning a day’s walking, they always want to come back’ Frances Taylor, Cooley Peninsula Tourism Officer. ‘The opening of the Coastal walking/cycling path this year will substantially enhance the tourism product here and we are fortunate to have so much more to offer to the visitors when they plan their trip. Its easy access means it is extremely attractive to day visitors, adventure seekers, as family holidays or for romantic breakaways.
This Irish European Destination of Excellence, is based just one hour from Dublin and Belfast, boasting the most breathtaking scenery on the north coast of this Island. It is steeped in heritage with a remarkable amount of history, myths and legends. The mountains hold the haunting footsteps of Cuchulainn, Maebh and the battle for the Brown Bull of Cooley, is the resting place of Irish giant Finn Mc Cool, and it is the official home of the last leprechauns of. In 2010, the area received European recognition as a Special Protected Area for Leprechauns under the EU Habitats Directive. Three weeks after the walking festival the ‘National Leprechaun Hunt’ takes place where thousands descend on the mountain with prospecting licences to hunt for leprechauns.
The 2014 event programme will offer a range of nine graded walks to suit various levels of fitness and experience. The spectacular Night Walk will open the festival on the Friday evening beginning at the Lumpers Pub, taking walkers over the saddle of Slieve Foy mountain. A strictly Grade 1 walk, the hike in the dark will deliver outstanding views of The Cooley Peninsula and Carlingford Lough lit by the night sky.
The festival is delighted to introduce a walk delivered by the leading archelogist Dr Vanessa Ryan from the Mourne Cooley Gullion Geotourism project. Another new highlight is the Siúlóid as Gaelige which takes you into the previous gaeltacht area of Omeath offering a bi lingual guided walk and talk of fascinating stories from years gone by. Slightly easier options include a guided walk of the medieval town of Carlingford and after dark, weary walkers can wind down with some lively weekend entertainment.
Day tickets for the festival cost €10 – €15 or €25 for the whole weekend. Preregistration is recommended for most walks – closing date to preregister is Feb 26th, 2014. Full details on the walks and registration information can be found on www.louthholidays.com or tel 042- 937 3033. Email: email@example.com