Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary


Tracy Tipp

Presenter/Walker; Tracy Piggott, RTE Sport

Guide; Cormac Mac Donnell, National Trails Office

Location; Tipperary

Trail; Tipperary Heritage Trail from the Knockmealdown Mountains to the Rock of Cashel

Starting from a famous viewing point on the Tipperary-Waterford border, The Gap above the Vee which was created by a Glacial valley in the Knockmealdown Mountains. So starts the Tipperary Heritage Trail.

The weather and the views improved as they moved down the valley where the Golden Vale opens out before them near Goatenbridge. At this point in their jounrney their destination the Rock of  Cashel 40km away can be seen on a fine day. The walk now takes them down a quiet country road to a footbridge on the river Tar where they stop off for lunch. Cormac and Tracy didn’t know each other before this walk but as Cormac says ‘Walking is a good way to get to know someone’.

They walk briskly onto our Lady’s Abbey a medieval architectural gem on the back road to Ardfinnan where they are met by local archaeologist and historian Dr. Mark Ryland who tells them they are walking  the same route to Cashel taken by Kings and Bishops for 1500 years.

He also tells them to look out for Castles and monasteries in nearly every town in Tipperary as being some of the  best land in Ireland it has a long history before and since the Anglo Normans. For example the Butler Trail section of the Tipperary Heritage trail takes you along the river suir into Cahir where the Butlers of Ormond  built a Castle.

The Tipperary Heritage trails then goes along quiet country roads into Golden which brings Tracy back memory lane to when she lived here for four years and tells Cormac some of the legends of how the mountains they see around them got their names.

They walk then along the River Suir rich in nature and historical remains to their final destination the Rock of  Cashel; Ireland’s most spectacular medieval religious site. They both agreed it was a dramatic end to their walk.