Walking in Ireland - The Burren
Lough Avalla Farm Looped Walk (6km / 2 to 3 hours)
Walking in the Burren in Co. Clare, Ireland is very special. This looped walk, on a working farm in the Burren, is absolutely fantastic. The walk is accessible to anyone with a good fitness level, although you do not need to be super-fit to complete it. Sturdy walking boots, raingear and a walking stick or pole are recommended, as well as some water, food and a mobile phone. Remember LEAVE NO TRACE. The area should be left with no sign that you’ve been there! Take nothing except photographs and leave nothing behind. Also, remember to let someone know where you are going, so that you can be found if you happen to have an accident or you get lost!
This particular walk is through an old Celtic farm and takes you along by the shores of Lough Avalla. This is a working farm, so you will encounter animals such as sheep, goats and cattle along the way. Therefore, stay on the marked path and do not take dogs with you.
Section A to B: The trailhead is located at Mullaghmore Crossroads in the Burren National Park. From the trailhead follow the purple and yellow arrows along a Green Road to your left. After about 1km you reach a farm laneway on your right that takes you on the farm loop. The other trail, straight on through the gate and marked with yellow arrows, takes you on the Burren Way walking route, which is a much longer walking route, best completed over a number of days or weeks.
Section B to C: Follow the purple arrows for approx.. 500m to reach a metal gate. Immediately after this you will see a small wooden gate to your left, with a sign for a Holy Well. Take this left. From here on, the way is marked by upright stones. Follow these past the Holy Well and through the tree lined path. After this you will arrive at typical Burren rocky landscape. The path ascends from here to a stone cairn and then veers to the right, taking you to the shores of Lough Avalla (about 2km) after passing through stone fields, scrub and pasture land. You will encounter farm animals on this part of the trail, so be kind to them. Lough Avalla will be on your right.
Section C to D: Immediately after the lake, the trail turns left through a small gateway. Following the purple arrows will take you uphill again. The views are pretty nice here, so take your time, sit, eat, meditate – whatever you fancy! 500m from here you will rejoin the farm laneway at the gateway near the Holy Well. Follow the laneway back to the Green Road. Turn left and walk the 1km back to the Mullaghmore Crossroads.
I can guarantee that you will feel fantastic and revived!
If you are looking for somewhere nice to eat afterwards why not try The Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, The Burren Tearooms in Ballyvaughan, The Burren Perfumery Tearooms or L’Arco in Ballyvaughan.