The picturesque Galty Vee Valley in the southwestern corner of Tipperary becomes awash with colour as May draws to a close and the long June days unfurl.
“The whole valley turns into a mesmerising sea of pink, purple and green as the avalanche of rhododendrons in the valley come into full bloom,” writes founder of Siul Eile Liam Fleming of this colourful time of year.
Founded in 2016, Siul Eile, together with the Rhododendron Walking Festival committee, is looking forward to welcoming walkers to this scenic part of the country over the June bank holiday weekend.
Local guides will take you on completely off-road walking routes, with a promise of a two-course meal and musical entertainment on stage in both Ballyporeen and Clogheen community halls after the walks.
Siul Eile was set up with the intention of bringing communities together in the locality to develop walking programmes and to make use of the under-utilised environment.
The social enterprise is also designed to help the local communities live healthily, socialise together and to combat rural isolation.
On Friday evening 2 June, there will be a family friendly evening at Glengarra Woods.
Wobbly Circus will be attending, with a variety of acts keeping everyone entertained. There will be a child friendly orienteering course set up.
There will also be pizzas, teas and coffees available to purchase on the evening. Due to limited capacity and big crowds expected, online booking is essential.
On the next day - Saturday 3 June - three walks will depart from Ballyporeen.
Choose from the 23km Bay Lough to Bally hike taking in the Three Doons Waterfall or the 12km Three Doons Waterfall loop or for a gentler paced walk choose the 10km Sheep Hill loop.
Sunday’s walks will be based out of Clogheen. The 13km rhododendron loop will bring participants off the beaten path and head deep into the valley of fully bloomed pink and purple rhododendrons for three or four hours.
The Grubbs Monument loop will tap into a new walking path that will not only have you sharing the trail with rhododendrons in full bloom, but also give stunning scenery across the Galty Vee Valley.
For those who want to participate with little effort, the Bay Lough downhill walk is highly recommended where participants will be bused up the Vee and virtually all their walking will be downhill, with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
“There are so many beautiful places on our doorstep; fascinating local history and mesmerising natural beauty, we are looking forward to welcoming people back this year,” Liam tells Irish Country Living.
For a full programme of events, prices and booking details check out www.vee.ie.