No run-of-the-mill walk in Kinsale

BROWN’S MILLS WALK, KINSALE, CO CORK

LEAVING the Post Office, we turn right and go right again at the Fisherman’s Market at the top of the street.

This takes us up ‘The Glen’ for 90 metres, where we reach Brewery Corner. Here, passing the old fire station, we ignore the main road sweeping left and ascend the steep hill to the right. We pass a ‘yield’ sign, where a road enters from the right, and continue, soon reaching Henry Good’s Mill on our left.

Just beyond the mill, we reach a T-junction and turn right. Here, we may pause to look back at fine views of the inner harbour. Soon, we take a narrow lane on the left, just before a large guesthouse.

The lane soon becomes a grassy track. After 0.5km we follow the track as it curves left, ignoring a track straight ahead. We descend steeply, catching glimpses of Oysterhaven Creek below us to the right. In winter, this path may be wet, and one should take care.

Now, we reach Brown’s Mills, an attractive hamlet of old stone houses, and a country pub. Opposite the pub is a large stone building, the eponymous mill: a three-storey watermill built in 1598 and recently sympathetically renovated.

Beyond the pub is a cottage; we turn right beside it and immediately on the right is a gap that leads into an old road, now private property.

When I last visited, the owner was good enough to allow walkers to pass. [If it is closed or impassable, we must retrace our steps to the mill.] We cross a stone bridge and a path leads us right, to the creek head.

At low tide, a narrow channel winds between the mud banks, with water birds often seen foraging for food.

The lane climbs gently; at the top we reach a tin-roofed shed and a gateway on the right. The next 8m (20 yards) can be very difficult in wet weather. Beyond it we arrive at a gate, which should be carefully closed after we pass through.

On the right, we pass what was once a classical Irish farmyard. The pathway continues and reaches a T-junction at a narrow, tarred road. We emerge on top of a hill and, turning left, set off downhill. At the bottom of the slope, we pass the creek-side pathway we took earlier, and recross the bridge.

Just past the pub, we head up a steep but short hill. At the top we cross a main road, entering the small road almost opposite, numbered L3214.

We cross the route of the old railway and, at the next cross, turn left onto the R605, going slightly downhill towards the town. At a Y-junction sign we take the ‘narrow’ leg, straight ahead.

Reaching the top of the hill, we have our first glimpses of Kinsale, below us. We enter the town via The Friary Gate and the descending road curves left towards the town centre, with St Multose Church straight ahead. In front of it, we go left, and this brings us into the Market Square. Rounding the Market House, we emerge opposite The Fisherman’s Market. Our trailhead is just down the street.

Start point: From Cork, take the N71 West for 10km. At the Halfway roundabout, go left onto the R607. After 13km we reach a T-Junction and turn left onto the R605, following this into the town centre to Pearse Street. Trailhead is at the Post Office.

Distance/time:5-6.5km, 1½ hrs.

Difficulty: One steep hill, then green lanes and quiet country roads. After heavy rain, provision should be made for muddy conditions.

Map: OS Discovery 87

* For maps and information on Ordnance Survey products visit: www.osi.ie

SLIGO WALKING CLUB (sligowalkingclub.ie)

Nov 23: Saturday walk, Knockvicar, 10km, 2.5hrs, easy, meet Institute of Technology, Sligo, 10.00am.

TULLOW MOUNTANEERING CLUB

(tullowmountaineeringclub.ie)

Nov 20: Wednesday Night Hike, bring a torch, meet Askea curch 6.30pm.

Nov 22: Friday Night Hike, Bunclody, 3hrs, bring a torch, meet Glanbia in Bunclody, 7pm.

Nov 24: Comeraghs, medium walk, meet Barrack Street, Carlow, 9.30am.

KENMARE WALKING CLUB

(kenmarewalking.com)

Nov 24: Derroograne to Coonane, grade A, meet the square, Kenmare 9am. New walkers to contact 0877797046.

DUNGARVAN HILLWALKING CLUB (dungarvanhillwalking.com)

Nov 24: Comeraghs walk, grade B, meet TSB car park, 9.45am.

Nov 24: Kilmacthomas, grade C, meet TSB car park, 12.45pm.

MIDLETON HILLWALKERS

(midletonhillwalkers.com)

Nov 24: Sunday walk, Liam Lynch Loop, grade B, 4hrs, meet Distillery Lanes Car Park, Midleton, 9.15am.

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