“One hour of exercise a day” that’s what we were told by our kids (at 6AM,,,) who at the moment are taking part in a great initiative in their primary school -operation health formation.
As we still need to wait a few more weeks before we can get into the veg patch planting, it is actually a great moment to get out of the house and discover some local walks and get that all important one hour of exercise :). Living on the Cooley peninsula we are spoiled for choice and we don’t need to drive far either.
Annaloughan loop is our favourite winter walk with the kids, simple reason being, most of it is not exposed to the elements so it can be done in all but the worst of the Winter weather. There is number of options with this loop dependent on how much walking your children can bare and plenty on nice areas where you can find a nice tree stump to sit down and have a picnic 🙂
Option 1 – full loop (6KM), time approx. 1h 30min if just adults involved, with kids well you could add at least an other hour if not more 😉
It’s a 6KM walk, a lovely mixture of a country roads, forest trail and mountain path. It is well marked out and you can also print out a map from Irish Trails website, which is really handy http://tcsinfoland.ireland.ie/content/Multimedia/Attachments/2041_120AnnaloughanLoopFINAL.pdf
This one is definitely the most scenic out of the three. It is handy to start and finish at Fitzpatrick restaurant which has a big car park and is 2 min walk to point A on the map.
Option 2 – loop in the forest + a little bit on the country road
As per map, it is possible to do a slightly shorter loop in the forest, which will involve a walking short distance on the local country road. Great if the weather is really bad or you just don’t have enough time. You can start from Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant as you could with all options. On the Map start and A and follow the purple trail to the left taking you to C, where you will join the road and turning left, follow the road downhill till you come to another forest gate on your left hand side. This forest trail will lead you all the way down till the starting point A.
Option 3 – all downhill + buggy friendly
The last option involves a little bit of logistics as you need to leave 1 car at the start (mark as C on the map) and second at the end of the route (Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant, near the point A) but it is ideal with small kids or if you have a buggy. It’s all downhill on a forest trail, very pleasant and relaxed walk with stunning views over Dundalk Bay.
Most important, whatever loop you chose, you will definitely have one hour of good exercise done by the time you finish!