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The TrailSuck Valley Way & Looped Walks › Ballymoe to Ballintubber / Castlerea

Ballymoe to Ballintubber / Castlerea

Suck Valley Way Ballymoe to Ballintubber / Castlerea




Ballintubber 19km, Spur to Castlerea 6km

Dogs allowed?:



Ballintubber / Castlerea

Trail Description

From Ballymoe, the Suck Valley Way leaves the Ballymoe –Castlerea Rd(N60) and crosses into Cooliskea bog. In the summer months you will see the lines of machine cut peat turf laid out to dry. Once through the bogland, the way follows lanes to a path along the banks of the river Suck which goes through a beautiful forest path leading to the stone arched Cloondacarra Bridge or Kilkeevan Bridge. The walker continues to the opposite side of the bridge following a path along the shores of the river Suck before exiting onto the main road (N60) once again. A quick turn to the right will bring you back onto quiet, peaceful countryside lanes.

At this point on the Suck Valley Way, there is the option to leave the circuit and go left into Castlerea town or turn right for Ballintubber.

Castlerea: The Suck Valley Way allows walkers to explore Castlerea’s rich past. Once in town the trail goes through the impressive Demesne parkland. The Demesne is at the heart of the town and was once home to the Sandford family who were granted the land during Penal times. The town developed under the Sandford family who remained in power in Castlerea until the 19th century. Today, the Demesne is a beautiful park with walkers following the Suck Valley Way along by the river. While in the Demesne it is also worth your while to take a peep into the Fairy Village, home to Castlerea’s magical folk!! The Suck Valley Way continues onto a forested path bringing walkers to the opposite side of the town. On this path you will come across the grave of ‘Cindy the Elephant’, Cindy visited Castlerea as part of the circus in 1958 and became famous for visiting one of the local pubs. This path exits onto Ballindrimley Road and into the ancient woods of Clonalis. At the end of this trail walkers will be rewarded with magnificent views of Clonalis House which was once home to the ancient High Kings of Connaught and at times the High Kings of Ireland.

Ballintubber: The lanes to Ballintubber takes you under the railway and into the townland of Emlagh. Close by in a field is the Emlagh Cross, dating to the 11th century. Emlagh Cross is the sole remnant of a monastery founded in the 5th century by St. Brochaid, believed to be the nephew of St. Patrick. Shortly after this, you will take to the fields and as you near the village you will be overlooking the Medieval ruins of Ballintubber Castle. The original castle was built in the 13th century by the O’Conor family. The O’Conors were the ruling family of Connaught through the ages and the Suck Valley Way links two of their former homes Clonalis House and Ballintubber Castle. The O’Conors occupied Ballintubber Castle until the 1650’s when it was taken over by the Cromwellians. Excavations take place every summer in the castle grounds by visiting archaeologists from the USA, to read about their discoveries click here. Beside Ballintubber Castle is St. Brigid’s Well, the well was restored in the 1990’s and the path leading to it is lined with the Stations of the Cross.

The Suck Valley Way continues through the village and you will notice the mixture of old and new. The village has plenty of photo opportunities with many beautiful old style shop fronts lining the main street. Leaving Ballintubber you will continue on the Suck Valley Way through pasture and woodland to the villages of Donamon and Castlecoote.