Glandore and Union Hall Walks

Taken from ‘Rambles Around Glandore’ by Tom Phelan.

Drombeg Standing Stone Circle

Overview: 7 – 9 km / 1.5 – 2 hrs
Terrain: All on (usually quiet) roads
Start and Finish: At the Marine Hotel.

Option 1: Go left up the village street, and continue outwards until you pass the church on the left (about 2km). Just after this, swing right with the road, passing on your right the many-chimneyed Jones Farm, and when the road straightens up again, continue down for perhaps 200m as far as the first turn right, signposted for Drombeg – there are tall evergreens on the little road onto which you turn. This narrow road is a leafy lane, where briars, thorn trees, holly, ferns, primroses and a host of other flora line your route, which descends for a short distance before veering right, between two little hills, and then ascends to a sign for the Drombeg Stone Circle. Go right as directed by the sign, and the little lane swings sharp left, then right, to bring you to the gate at the stone circle.

Option 2 (Slightly longer/more uphill): Go left up the village street for less than 100m as far as the information sign about Glandore, and go left, up the steep hill, at this fork, into an instantly more rural setting with great views out the Glandore Harbour. Some ten minutes later, take the upward left again just before a house with a slated upper half, and once again take an upward left some 50m later. Now this narrow road weaves upwards past some homes, with good views inland as well as onto the harbour. When you arrive at a T-junction with a house facing you, turn right and this road levels off before descending past a school on your left. When you reach a fork with a sign “Glandore 2km”, you go left towards the church, and you have now rejoined with Option 1, above, which you follow as far as the Stone circle.

Return options: You can elect to return by either of the two outward routes described above, or carry on to finish a loop as follows: When you go from the Drombeg field back out to that little road, turn right (Southward) uphill, which soon becomes a downhill with a fertile valley down to the right. Follow the road down to the next T-junction. You turn right here, and now simply stay on this road as it rises Westward, passing Kilfinnan Farm, and then swings right to where you will have really dramatic views down left onto Glandore Harbour and across to Union Hall. The road descends to a T-Junction, where you turn left to bring you back down into the village and no doubt to a well-earned beverage of your choice.

A stroll through Glandore village

Overview: 1. 5 – 2 km / 45 mins
Terrain: Narrow Roads village streets
Start and Finish: At the Marine Hotel.

Go left up the village street for 100m as far as the information sign about Glandore, and go up left here – steep at first, but rewards the effort with a rural atmosphere and good views over Glandore Harbour. The two islands out there are Adam’s Island (the larger one) and Eve’s Island. Come to a fork in the road before a house with a slated upper half, and keep right, downward past the house.

This narrow road weaves down to a T-junction with a water pump on the right. Turn right here, and now simply enjoy the stroll downhill back through the village. You might like to go down the signposted steps on the left, to visit the swimming cove, and farther down you pass some hostelries on the right – take some time to admire the setting of the little public park opposite them. The views over the Harbour from this natural verandah are marvellous, and indeed it is a busy spot on a sunny weekend. You can always amuse yourself by watching any incoming yachts or trawlers. The hotel is just a further few minutes’ stroll down to the bottom of the street.

Coast & Country

Overview: Crow Lane option is 4km / 45 mins. Leap Pier option is 6km / 1.5hr
Terrain: Rural Roads – but watch for traffic on the second half of the longer loop
Start and Finish: At the Marine Hotel.

Two delightful, rural loop walks, taking you up quiet back roads behind the Hotel. The shorter loop returns via Crow Lane, the longer returns along the road hugging the sea inlet at Poulgorm.

As you go out the Hotel door, go left, and immediately left again to head up the hill at the back of the Hotel, away from the village. The road rises steadily but levels off after about ten minutes. At the first junction (yield sign) keep left, and at the next fork (grassy triangle, house on right) take the left downward. You are now on Mine Road, and a glance up to your left will explain why it is so named – that is the stone chimney of the engine house of a former manganese mine up there. Now the rural, dairy farming aspect of this walk becomes apparent, as you gradually descend with a fertile valley to the right. When you come along to the next junction (grassy triangle, house ahead) you have to make your choice:

Return via Crow Lane: Turn up left on a steep hill, which soon levels off, and now your narrow lane weaves and undulates Southward. There is a good aspect out to Adam’s Island in Glandore Harbour from up here. The road then begins to descend and before you know it, you find yourself at Crow Lane, at the top of the final steep descent to the harbour and the Hotel.

Return via Leap Pier: From this junction keep right, on past the house, and follow the pleasant, leafy road until you see your first glimpse of the sea inlet; go down left past a dwelling here, and turn left onto the road along the inlet. (The said Leap Pier is just along to your right, as you reach this road, incidentally). Now just follow the road back as it wends along beside the water, passing Poulgorm Bridge about halfway home. Do be careful of traffic on this stretch, particularly on busy weekends.

Glandore to Union Hall & Lough Clochar

Overview: Glandore to Union Hall and back is 6km /1.5 – 2hrs. Glandore to Lough Clocher and back is 10km / 2.5 – 3hrs.
Terrain: Easily walkable roads, a few manageable hills on the loop
Start and Finish: At the Marine Hotel.

A lovely walk along the inner part of Glandore Harbour. The additional loop to the South of Union Hail provides an interesting contrast of a little lake in a rural setting.

Turn right along the road outside the Hotel and follow the bend left up past the Church and the Rectory, with the Harbour just below to your left (normally you should walk on the right, to face oncoming traffic, but you may decide that you are more visible on the seaward side of this road). The road winds most scenically along the harbour, and then you turn left onto the single-lane Poulgorm bridge, with good views on up the inlet towards Leap. (Poulgorm means blue pool – an apt name). Follow the road over to Union Hall. Head back to Glandore at your leisure, retracing your outward steps.

Lough Clochar Loop: From the village street in Union Hall, go up the hill to the Catholic Church, and turn left around the Church. A short distance later, ignore the right turn for Reen Pier – keep straight on here, in a quiet rural setting, and you reach a narrow lake on your left – this is Lough Clochar. At the far end of the lake, you come to a little crossroads, and take the left, uphill, option here.

Keep left at the next fork as you go up this narrow road, and it continues to ascend for a while longer, before it starts to descend back into Union Hall, with good views back to the Inner Harbour and Poulgorm Bridge – in fact the last few hundred metres to the middle of the village are quite steeply downhill.

Rineen Wood

Overview: 3km / 1 – 1.5 hrs
Terrain: Pleasant wooded paths and tracks
Start and Finish: In the car park of Rineen Wood. To get to the woods drive to Union Hall, up to the Church, right uphill at the Church, and swing right at a T-Junction when the road levels off. Then downhill, and watch for the sign for Rineen Wood on your left. Drive in to the car park.

From the car park, walk back out the forest road on which you have just driven in, and just as you reach the wooden fence at the entrance, turn down left towards the inlet on a good path. This path wanders through the wood at the waterside, and descends at one point to where a fallen tree presents a slight obstacle. You pass by an old ruin of a lime kiln as the path continues along by the water. Ignore a branch up left to the car-park, and stay by the waterside, now with excellent views right, out along the narrow inlet of Rineen. Your path finally goes up left for a few metres to join with a little forest road, just before a stream. Turn right onto the road, which swings right, and now you’re off again.

Stay on this Southward route, as the road narrows to a track, and gradually becomes just a forest trail which is nevertheless quite easy to follow as it meanders outward well above the Rineen inlet, through a most delightful, almost cathedral, woodland atmosphere. At one point near a little stream, the path appears to end, but in fact goes up left for a short distance, and then continues outward as before. You can go all the way to the end of the wood, though the going becomes less easy. If you do stay on to the end, your reward is a good view across some fields at Raheen Castle, in an isolated but scenic setting.

When it suits you, just retrace your steps back towards the start. When you get back to where you joined the forest road, at the bend, simply stay on the road this time, and it brings you up to the car park around a final couple of bends.