With two weeks planned for a Camino in September / October 2020, the question remains what I will do for the rest of the year. I certainly won’t stay at home and I can’t see myself jetting off on another Camino (unfortunately). With many waymarked trails and pilgrim paths on my doorstep, I have a great opportunity now to walk some of these trails.
Many of these trails are a few days long and can be reached by bus or train. Accommodation is a little different here than in Spain. There are no “albergues” and it is advisable to pre-book in a bed & breakfast or a hostel. As a result, costs can be a little more expensive. This is if you want to walk by yourself. Another option is walking as part of an organised group.
The Kerry Camino (or the Dingle Way) is a 3 day walk (57km) from Tralee to Dingle in the South of Ireland. Each year, over the May bank holiday weekend, large crowds descend on Tralee to walk this pilgrimage to Dingle. I want to walk this trail but while the organised group option is great, it is not for me.
I have already looked into the Kerry Camino for the middle of May and will cost me about the same as the price of a flight! You can watch a good video on this way below.
St Kevin’s Way (30km) follows in the footsteps of St Kevin through the hills of Wicklow to the monastic ruins in Glendalough. The main start for the route is Hollywood. The route is well marked and takes you through a wide variety of landscapes as it climbs towards the Wicklow Gap. From here the descent brings you to Glendalough and monastic ruins. I have walked half of this walk on two occasions and I love it. It can be a bit tricky when it is raining but when the sun is out, there is nothing better.
St. Declan’s Way is a modern walking route linking the ancient centres of Ardmore in County Waterford and Cashel in County Tipperary. The route most commonly associated with St. Declan’s Way is 56 miles (96 kilometres) long and crosses the Knockmealdown Mountains at Bearna Cloch an Buideal (Bottleneck Pass), an elevation of 537m. St Declan’s Way Walk utilises the route of a number of ancient and medieval pilgrimage and trading routes such as the Rian Bo Phadraig (Track of St. Patrick’s Cow), Bothar na Naomh (Road of the Saints), Casan na Naomh (Path of the Saints) and St. Declan’s Road.
There are others but I’ll be realistic as I don’t have too many holidays 🙂 I can decide on others later on.
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Oh, these look so lovely! I had a chance to explore the idea of a UK walk when I was in England a couple of weeks ago, and am both surprised and delighted by all of the options. As you say, they’re often shorter (and more expensive), but I’m seriously looking at options for 2020. Looking forward to following your closer-to-home journeys.
We have many wonderful trails here, but with a little time, I would love to walk some of them. Spain and Portugal seem to sidetrack me! You should watch some of the Tough Soles youtube channel, Beth. They have walked all 48 waymarked trails in Ireland over the last few years. Enjoy your few days away by the way!
Much food for thought there David ! When walking recently on the Camino with my buddies we talked a lot about a ‘homer’ Camino in 2020 and are looking strongly at the Tralee – Dingle ‘Kerry Camino’ believe it or not. We’re going to do some in-depth research over the coming weeks ( B&B’s / transport connections etc)with the intention of a possible late Spring walk . I’ll keep you posted 👍
PJ, there is plenty of info online. If you want to join up with a group, check up on http://www.kerrycamino.com for details about their annual pilgrimage. The only snag is you arrange accommodation yourself but luggage can be transported if you wish. I’m going to pass on that and walk it myself (and maybe if some others want to join me) I’m looking at a mid-May start date from Tralee. Accommodation is around €35-40 per person per room which isn’t too bad, but there is a hostel in Dingle which is less expensive. Talk to you on the 12th about it!