Go further within the county and discover the benefits of walking and cycling
We’ve all seen the benefits of walking and cycling over the past few months, the only problem is, getting out there and actually doing it within the restricted distances we’re allowed, but now, with the local travel restrictions being extended from 5km to anywhere within your own county, now is a good opportunity for people to get back out there walking and cycling again, and to discover and use the many routes, walkways, cycle tracks and waterways that are available to us here in Kildare.
From Monasterevin to Athy, along the river barrow or grand canal, you’ll find lovely places to walk or cycle, taking in beautiful scenery, the many bridges, lock house and mills, and the boats and barges moored at Bell Harbour in Monasterevin or at Barrow quay in Athy.
The greenway route between Naas and Sallins provides excellent space and ground for leisurely walks or cycles or the Greenway from Maynooth, all along the Royal Canal to Kilcock and further on again.
Many of these routes are accessible to everyone and there are plenty of things to see along the way. If taking the routes along the Kildare waterways does not suit, there are plenty of other places to visit for a walk or a cycle.
The Moat of Ardscull near Kilmeade outside Athy has parking, picnic, and seating areas, with plenty of wildlife and scenery to view. The Mullaghreeelan forest between Kilkea and Castledermot provides a very tranquil place to walk, trek or just to relax and not too far away from there are the historical High Cross Moone, Bolton Abbey and Castle at Moone, Timolin. There are plenty of open to walk and cycle on the Curragh of Kildare too.
Moving up the county, there are many guided walking tours and some lovely places to visit such as the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens, Kildoon Forest Walk, Killinthomas Woods outside Rathangan, the Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, Donadea Forest Park, Castletown House, Celbridge and many more.
There are over a dozen ‘Slí na Sláinte’ walking routes around County Kildare which you can also use. They are easy to find and quick to follow.
Part of the role of Kildare County Council’s Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer Declan Keogh is to promote walking and cycling routes and activities in the county. He says, ‘getting some exercise or doing physical outdoor activities is important for the body and mind’ and he encourages people to walk and cycle every day. “No doubt the last few months have been incredibly challenging for us all. Keeping the heart, body, and mind active and healthy is very important, now more than ever. Getting out in the fresh air, going for a walk, a run or a cycle can help settle the mind in many ways, and getting some exercise or doing physical outdoor activities such as walking, or cycling is important for the body and mind. There are plenty of safe places for people to walk or cycle around county Kildare, whether it’s along the waterways, the Slí na Sláinte routes, visiting local forests and woods or historical sites, it’s all about getting out and being active while walking and cycling, and with the travel restrictions lifted to within our own county, there should be no stopping you” he said.
While not everyone can travel long distances outside their own locality, a simple walk or cycle around the town or village can also be as good, and with the evenings getting darker much earlier, Declan Keogh said people must take their own visibility and safety into consideration. “Aside from all the benefits of walking and cycling, people also need to ensure they are safe while doing so. If anyone is walking or cycling on the roads, or in rural areas, it’s important to be visible to approaching drivers and the best thing to wear is a high visibility vest or carry a torch, and of course, with the cold weather setting in, it’s always a good idea to wrap up well.”
Here is a link to some walking routes in Kildare