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The Slieve Bloom Mountains

Slieve Bloom Mountains

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A forgotten gem in the heart of Ireland

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are one of the country's best kept secrets. Only an hour from Dublin, situated in the most central location possible, they are easily accessable from all major population centres in Ireland. Yet so few people are really familiar with them.

The mountains are not very high, the highest point being Ard Erin at 527m (1725 ft.). This makes them easy to explore and great for walkers of all grades and fitness. But what makes the mountains even more accessable is the fact that 3 different road cross the top of the mountains, one from Mountrath to Clonaslee and the other two from Mountrath to Kinnitty (see advice below). This allows the visitor to enjoy much of the mountain views from the comfort of their car, as well as allowing easy access to the various glens an other parts of the mountains. There are a number of very scenic drives, and we will be happy to provide maps to our visitors.

Part of the beauty of the Slieve Blooms is not just the mountains themselves, but the villages that surround the mountain like a necklace, each one a jewel. Villages like Kinnitty, Cadamstwon, Ballyboy, Clonaslee, Rosenallis, Ballyfin, Camross, Coolrain, Coolderry and Clareen. Visiting any of these villages is like stepping back in time, where life is lived at a far slower pace. Here you will meet locals who extend a genuine warm welcome to visitors. In the local pubs you can mingle with the locals as they swap tales and yarns, or enjoy traditional Irish music played by people simply for the love of the music.

Aside from walks accross open moorland, or on forestry roads, the real beauty of the mountains can be enjoyed by following the various river valleys. The best known of these is the River Barrow and, starting from the Glenbarrow Car Park, walkers can follow the river right up to it's souce, passing beautiful waterfalls, deep gorges, native woodland and finally open moorland along the way. But there are many other rivers as well, including the Delour, Gorragh, Clodiagh and Owenass, but to mention a few. The rivers on the southern side of the mountains all flow into the River Nore. Those on the east side flow into the river Shannon and those on the northern and western side flow into the River Shannon (many through the Brosna River).

Of course there are many other ways to explore the Slieve Blooms as well. The mountains offer endless horse trekking opportunities. And the almosted deserted roads, lanes and forestry tracks are ideal for those wishing to explore by bicycle.

So if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern living, if you want to explore an unspoilt landscape and wilderness or simply want to enjoy a scenic drive, the Slieve Blooms await you!

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Note of warning. The three roads over the Slieve Blooms can be treacherous in bad weather conditions. They are best avoided in wintry conditions, such as snow, heavy ice or fog and low cloud. The best advice to those not familiar is only to use these roads in daylight hours. This is particularly important for those using GPS systems as many motorists have gotten into difficulties by following their GPS and not factoring in adverse conditions.