The Beara-Breifne Way
A rich, storied historical tale unfolds along the Beara-Breifne way, Ireland’s longest marked walking trail. After his castle was sieged at Dunboy in 1602, the last great Chieftain of Ireland, Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare, lead over 1,000 people from the Beara peninsula all the way up to County Leitrim to escape the dangers of Queen Elizabeth I’s forces. This epic 14-day journey saw the party travel from the most southwestern point of the island and directly through the Hidden Heartlands, a trail which is now dotted with relics and commemorations to the foundation from which Ireland rose.
Much of the land is privately held, but over 240 of the local owners have come together to grant public access to walkers and pilgrims eager to soak up the history and experience the mythology and culture unique to the region.
The Suck Valley Way is one of the more popular routes along the walk. Beginning and ending in Castlerea, Roscommon, the 100km circular route flows through sweeping valleys and tours the banks of the River Suck. While the majority of the scenic route passes along gentle farmlands, walkers have the opportunity to experience the “nine friendly villages” of Ballygar, Creggs, Glinsk, Ballymoe, Ballintubber, Castlecoote, Athleague, and Mount Talbot.
The pubs, restaurants, and visitor centres within each of these villages are welcoming to travelers and are always eager to provide refreshment, lodging, or just a friendly chat.