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What is the Wander Wild Festival? Outdoor Festival in County Kerry

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When you think of a festival, you may think of jumping up and down with a crowd to electro music or rocking backwards and forwards on a friend’s shoulders trying to catch a glimpse of your favourite band. You may think of sloshing through muddy fields, colourful wellies sinking into the earth as you try to find your tent. But the Wander Wild Festival in Killarney  Ireland, is a festival with a difference. It’s Killarney’s own Great Outdoors Festival for all the adventurers out there!

The Wander Wild Festival has adventure, wellness, food events and film events – there is something for everyone! And the festivities run over a weekend in March. I was lucky enough to be invited along to experience it for myself, and I am so glad!

Where is Wander Wild Festival? Where does the Wander Wild Festival Take place?

The Wander Wild Festival takes place in Killarney Co Kerry, in Ireland. While some events take place right in the town, there are a few locations. The “adventure” events take place in various locations from The Gap of Dunloe to Ross Castle, Torc Woods, Carrauntoohil, Mangerton and Deenagh Lodge. The Wellness events took place in ANAM Cultural Community Centre and the Film Festival took place at St Mary’s Church. There were brochures available around the town, in restaurants and hotels, as well as the basecamp – which noted each event and the location.

The Festival Venues for Wander Wild Festival

Wander Wild Festival Killarney

Festival Basecamp:

Basecamp was located between the Killarney Plaza Hotel and St. Mary’s Church. This was the go-to for any information on the festival.

ANAM Cultural Centre:

This is where the wellness events took place. There were various yoga classes for all levels and also events for children.

St Mary’s Church:

St Mary’s Church was the location for the Film Festival. Numerous films played throughout the weekend from “A Plastic Ocean” to “Yellowstone 88” and “Viacruxis” just to name a few!

Various restaurants and hotels in Killarney also took part in the festival, providing special offers for festival-goers!

 

If you’re enjoying this post and are going to be visiting Kerry, or Ireland, be sure to check out:

 

The different events | Schedule for the Wander Wild Festival

While I’m sure the schedule will look a lot different for 2023, here is a look at how it looked this year. It will give you a good idea of what to expect. You’ll see there really is something to suit everyone, from hiking, to rock climbing, boat rides, yoga and more!

Check out Wander Wild Festival to keep an eye out for 2023 details! 

Is Wander Wild Festival Suitable for Children? Are Children Allowed

Absolutely! Each time I passed basecamp, the church garden would be filled with children playing. There were a number of events for children, from children’s orienteering to the kid’s trail race, as well as art workshops!

My Experience at the Wild Wander Festival in Killarney

I was lucky enough to attend Wander Wild Festival in Kerry this year and can admit that it really is a festival created for those with adventures on the mind. The festival has a brilliant range of events to enjoy, from hiking Carrauntoohil, to kayaking Ross Lake at sunset. Try a sunrise dip or rock climbing at the Gap of Dunloe. Or if you want something less active, try out some yoga, or a viewing at the Film festival. The whole town of Killarney is transformed for the weekend. And the local business, hotels and restaurants get involved too. I had such a great weekend. And of course,  a rare week of fantastic weather in Ireland only added to the experience. 

Having a fair bit to travel, I only arrived Saturday afternoon. I took Eoghan with me and as soon as we arrived in the town, we could feel the friendly buzz around the place. With bunting draped across the busy streets and Wander Wild signs at every street corner.

Wander Wild Festival Killarney

We checked into the Randles Hotel and we were absolutely thrilled that our room had a view of the purple mountains off in the distance. The hotel was beautiful both inside and out and after checking in, we enjoyed the terrace as we ate in the sun.

I attended a yoga class, which was at 5 pm Saturday. Our hotel was only 5 minutes walk to the town centre so I walked to the ANAM Centre. It was a perfect contemporary space for yoga, with the sun shining through a wall of enormous glass windows. They stretched the length of the studio allowing light to flood into the room. The yoga was fab and was tailored to suit all levels.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Porterhouse. I opted for the vegetarian curry while Eoghan went for fish and chips. Everything looked (and tasted) incredible. I had to snap a few pics for the ‘gram before eating. You know how it is…! And I must say, I had the most insane brownie I have ever tasted!

Wander Wild Festival Killarney

Afterwards, we headed for the “Wander Wild Hooley” which was a music event in the back of “The Laurels Pub”. A Celtic folk band “The Sharon Langston Band” played traditional Irish music which had every person present tapping their feet! And there was also a performance by Cathal Flaherty, who I had not heard of but he was absolutely fantastic!

On Sunday, after an amazing sleep, we headed to Muckross to do a “sunrise dip”. Now I’m not gona lie, our bed was so comfy we slightly missed sunrise (the clocks changed too!!) but I made sure to get the dip in. Nothing like freezing cold water to wake you up!

After breakfast at the hotel, we took off to explore some other events happening around the town. We enjoyed the sun in the Killarney House Gardens and then strolled around in the shade for the inside tour as well as the “Park Ranger Photography Exhibition”. The images were just stunning, with the nature and wildlife of Killarney perfectly preserved.

It really was a great weekend and if this was just the first year, I can’t even imagine how great Wander Wild 2023 will bring. Before we had even left, Eoghan was already talking about attending the next year!

We certainly will! Will you?

Tinyboots

*This was a PR Trip for Instagram. I was not asked to write about this trip at all but I had such a great time I wanted to share it with you!

Top 5 Places in Ireland you NEED to visit | Ireland Must See Places

The Best Beaches in Donegal

Donegal is known for it’s world-famous beaches. If you’re visiting Ireland, be sure to make time to visit the Best Beaches in County Donegal! Let’s go through them:

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Malin Beg (Malainn Bhig) also known as Silver Strand Beach is hands down one of the most beautiful beaches in Donegal. Not only that, some would argue it’s one of the best beaches along the Wild Atlantic Way. But you have to work to get there, with over 174 steps leading down to the shore. Although I suppose you have to work harder to leave!

The golden sands stretch out between horseshoe-shaped cliffs/hills and the panoramic views you get looking down from the car park are incredible! It’s a Wild Atlantic Way Discovery point so be sure to stop off if you’re in Donegal!

Note: Swimming is allowed but take note, there will be no lifeguards present.

Parking: Yes

Kinnagoe Bay – Beautiful Beaches in Donegal, Ireland

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Kinnagoe Bay is another beach in Donegal that will forever stay in your Memory. There are incredible views across the beach as you drive down the steep road to reach it. It’s on the western coast of the Inishowen Peninsula a 20 minutes drive from Carndonagh.

It’s another horseshoe-ish-shaped beach and similarly to Silverstrand, is surrounded by steep cliffs and slopes. There is also a shipwreck of the Spanish armada “La Trinidad Valencara” hidden beneath the waters.

Definitely one of the best beaches in County Donegal but again, would be one of the best in Ireland. Donegal has some great beaches!

Parking: There is a small car park at the bottom of a very steep winding road.

 

Lagg Beach | Five Fingers Strand | The Best Beaches in County Donegal

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Five Fingers Strand is a narrow beach that runs along the edge of Trawbreaga Bay. The best view of this beach is from above, and there is a viewpoint a short drive away at Knockamany bends where you can look down on this insane site!

The dunes that line the beach are some of the largest in Europe at 30m high and the unusual name comes from sea stacks that emerge from the water resembling fingers.

Five Fingers Strand in Lagg is just 7 minutes drive from Malin Village, so be sure to stop off to enjoy the views on your way to Malin Head!

Please note: Swimming is not recommended.

Parking: There is a VERY SMALL place to park 3 – 4 cars but you can also park at the nearby church.

Ballymastocker Beach | Beautiful Beach along the Wild Atlantic Way Donegal

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Ballymastocker Beach has once voted the second-best beach in the world never mind Donegal!  Can you see why? The best views of this Wild Atlantic Way discovery point is from the winding hairpin road on the Knockalla hills above.  The beach seems ot stretch on forever and it is a Blue Flag beach, so get in the water!

I recommend driving around the whole edge of Fanad Peninsula starting at Letterkenny as far as Fanad Head Peninsula. There is some stunning scenery the whole way around.

Parking: There is plenty of parking but it can be very busy in summer.

Be sure to read more about the best things to do in Donegal.

Murder Hole Beach / Boyeeghter Bay

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Murder Hole beach (Boyeeghter Bay)is one of the best beaches in Donegal for many reasons – one because of the badass name! This is one of my favourite beaches I’ve ever visited, in County Donegal and in Ireland. The waves are violent and the sound is intense as they repeatedly crash down onto the shore. The noise is almost as aggressive as the name Murder Hole!

I do not advise swimming here! But it is lovely for a walk during golden hour.

Please note: While the beach is public land, the main way to access this is through private farmland which is NO LONGER open to the public. There is no parking. Some people park along a narrow road but again, the field is not open to the public.

Culdaff Beach / Culdaff Bay

 

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Culdaff Beach is a long sandy beach just 3 minutes drive from the village. There is actually two beaches – a small and large one, separated by rocky outcrops and are popular with surfers. It is also great for swimming and there are lifeguards on duty in the summer months.

Parking: Yes

Pollan Bay

 

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Fintra Beach

Rossnowlagh Beach

Murvagh Beach

 

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The beaches in Donegal for swimming

In Ireland, red and yellow flag beaches are those with lifeguards present so it’s best to choose these beaches for swimming. As of writing this post, Bundoran and Rossnowlagh have lifeguards during the day in Summer. Murvagh, Fintra, Portnoo/Narin, Carrickfinn, Killahoey, Marble Hill,  Downings, Portsalon,  Rathmullan, Culdaff and Stroove beaches also have lifeguards at different times throught the summer. Be sure to look this up before visiting 🙂

The best beach towns in Donegal

While Bundoran would be a big beach town, it is not the most liked as it’s very touristy and “tacky”. Gweedore and Killybegs would be fishing villages. But Killybegs in particular, you will smell the fish! Donegal town is at the mouth of River Eske

How many Blue Flag beaches are in donegal

Currently, Donegal has 12 Blue Flag beaches:

  • Bundoran Beach, Ballyshannon
  • Killahoey Beach, Dunfanaghy
  • Murvagh Beach, Donegal Area
  • Culdaff Beach, Malin
  • Rossnowlagh Beach, Ballyshannon
  • Shroove Beach, Greencastle
  • Carrickfinn Beach, Annagary
  • Fintra Beach, Killybegs
  • Marble Hill Beach, Dunfanaghy
  • Naran Beach, Naran
  • Portsalon Beach, Portsalon
  • Downings Beach, Downings

 

The Best Beaches in County Donegal

  1. Silverstrand / Malin Beg
  2. Kinnagoe Bay
  3. Five Fingers Strand / Lagg Beach
  4. Ballymastocker Beach
  5. Murder Hole Beach
  6. Culdaff Beach
  7. Pollan Bay
  8. Fintra Beach
  9. Rossnowlagh Beach
  10. Murvagh Beach

I hope you enjoyed my “best beaches in County Donegal“. Be sure to read more about the best things to do in Donegal.

Tinyboots

get to know me a bit better, tinyboots, the tales of tinyboots

Slieve Bawn Park and Wind Farm

Slieve Bawn (Sliabh Bághna) is a hill with a recreational park and wind farm in Roscommon, just outside Strokestown and near the Longford border. The park has multiple trails to choose from of various lengths and difficulties. All throughout the park you will pass by, and have epic views of windmills in the distance. A Slieve Bawn Walk is great for a Sunday day out and there is beautiful scenery all across the trails.

People come from all over to witness the beauty of Ireland. One of the more effortless ways you can see some of the best Irish Scenery is by car. From whizzing by the rolling lush green fields, to zooming through valleys and rocky mountains, winding rivers and rugged beaches – there is beauty here in all directions. Get your seat belt on because here is my list of the most scenic drives in Ireland.

The Killary Fjord Famine Walk is also known as the Killary Harbour Coastal walk and is an incredibly scenic hike in the Connemara region of Galway. It is right along the coast of one of Ireland‘s most impressive fjords. You can do this walk as a loop or a linear route and see some truly outstanding scenery. If you, like me are always looking for new hikes in Connemara to try out, this is a must-do!

Where is the Killary Coastal Hike? Killary Fjord Famine Walk

The hike starts in Benowen and takes you right along the edge of the Fjord, all the way out to the west coast at Rosroe Pier. From there you can turn back the way you came, or keep going the narrow roads until you loop back to the N59, taking you back to the start again.

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Parking for the Walk:

There are a few options here but no “real” car park. After heading out of Leenane west on the N59, you will eventually see a right turn for Benowen and a sign for the Killary Sheep Farm opposite. You can pull in at this sign if there is room – there is a small area to pull in but it will only fit 1 or 2 cars max.

Alternatively, you can take the turn for Benowen and pull in somewhere along the route. It is a narrow road but there are some places you can abandon ship – just don’t block the road! The sheep won’t appreciate it!

Killary Harbour coastal walk map/ Killary Harbour famine walk map

Killary Harbour Coastal Walk Loop Map

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Killary Famine Walk Linear Map

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How long is Killary Fjord Famine Walk? Killary coastal Walk Distance:

Linear Route: The linear route is about 7 km each way – a 14 km round trip
Circular route: This route is around 18 km. Although it looks much longer on the map, it’s not really!

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Is the Killary Coastal Walk Difficult?

Nope! It is super easy in terms of elevation and inclines. But it is a long walk, so a relatively good level of fitness is needed to do the whole thing. Remember, you don’t have to do it all, you can turn back at any time. I am yet to do the whole thing!

Why is it called a Famine Walk, and what is a Famine Road?

The potato famine began in 1845 when the potato crop failed. While a million people are known to have died, under British Rule, some took to building roads, in order to earn some money for food. Sadly, the money was too little and this physically demanding work resulted in a great number of deaths.

The roads can still be seen in the West of Ireland today, leading nowhere in particular, and ending abruptly. Roads with no real purpose but to keep men busy.

The walk is named a Famine walk as much of the route is on an old famine road.

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Killary Fjord Walk – My Experience – Leenane Loop Walks

The walk itself is beautiful, despite the sad link to the road which you pass over. I followed the winding country road and couldn’t believe it as the views got better and better around every turn.

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As is typical of the west of Ireland, it was a dull, overcast rainy day with foggy clouds hanging low over the fjord. But with that, came multiple rainbows that stretched happily overhead!

From burbling streams to howling wind and bleating of sheep, the noises of and sights of Connemara were a wonderful escape from my usual surroundings.

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We only went so far as the Sheep farm on this route, which is about a 3rd of the linear route. I’ll definitely be back to do the rest.

 

 

Tinyboots (thinking about where I’m going to stop for snacks on the drive home below!) 
killary harbour coastal walk, killary harbour famine walk, galway ireland

This walk has various names from the Killary Harbour loop walk, to the Famine walk in Leeane.

 

 

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