Cross stunning green valleys and skirt the shores of the picturesque Gleninchaquin Lough with it's Bronze Age stone circle as you make your way to Kenmare village at the head of the Kenmare River.
A steady uphill to begin the day gets your legs warmed up for the long walk ahead. Leaving Lauragh you cross over the Owenshagh River then follow small winding lanes as you ascend the lower slopes of Knockatee (383m) with views of Kilmakilloge Harbour just behind you. Once the tarmac gives way to open hillside you again ascend up another slope, this time passing just below the summit of Knockagarrane (467m) before descending towards the Uragh Woodland and it's ancient stone circle.
The sheep and cattle welcome you as you make your way through farmland before joining the shores of Gleninchaquin Lough. The valley here was carved out by glaciation some 70,000 years ago and has remained largely unchanged since, with a 140m waterfall on its southern side the views all around you are spectacular.
The second half of the walk veers away from the lough and heads further inland over wide-open grassland as you head towards Kenmare River and the town at its estuary. Upon crossing the bridge you're welcomed back into civilisation along Kenmare's quaint, bustling central street lined with traditional bars and cafes.
The Uragh Stone Circle is a great spot to sit for your lunch, spend some time here taking in the views across the Lough. If you're very lucky you may spot an Otter out fishing by the shoreline!
This walk covers a lot of distance over open land with little in the way of shelter from the elements so check the forecast and speak to locals if you do decide to set out on a bad weather day. It can be fairly difficult to navigate if the visibility is low and as there are a couple of steep drops along the way you should take extra care to stick closely to the GPS tracks.
The last few kilometres into Kenmare is by a main road with fast moving traffic and no pavement, as always walk on the right side of the road towards any oncoming vehicles and make yourself as visible as possible.
Food & Drink
As Lauragh is a very small village with no shop and there is nowhere en route to buy food it's best to speak to your B&B host to arrange for a packed lunch to be made for you. Please give them plenty of notice to do this. On arrival in Kenmare there are many restaurants, bars & cafes to refuel after a long day on your feet.
Points of interest
Uragh Stone Circle
Consisting of five stones, with another large standing stone at over 10ft in height, this stone circle is situated in a dominating position on a small hillock at the north end of Gleninchaquin Lough. Dating back to the Bronze Age, as with many other stone circles, it's believed these were constructed as ritual and ceremonial sites. If a line were to be drawn through the entrance portal and across the axial stone it would orientate itself on significant solar and lunar events.
With views of the mountains, lakes, rivers and waterfall all around you it's well worth taking a stop here to soak up some of the history.
Along with your usual kit list for a day out on the hill you should consider packing gaiters, poles and an extra layer.