Sunday, November 10, 2013

TOMIES WOOD AND GLENA COTTAGE

Today I once again went to Killarney to have a hike with Frank. Alas once again the weather was pish so we opted to do something different. Since I ran a circuit of Lough Leane a couple of months ago I have wanted to go back and revisit the beautiful trail that goes from the western end of Tomies Wood  through the rhododendrons to the shores of Lough Leane and the ruins of Glena Cottage.
Frank enjoying the day

O'Sullivans Cascade


Doing chin ups 
We started in the rain and ended in the rain but we ended the day completely smitten and enchanted by our outing. From the car we walked the forestry road for a few kilometers until we diverted briefly to look at the lovely O'Sullivans Cascade. After this there is a gradual pull up to the 200 meter contour where you leave the road and cross some rough boggy ground and just when you think that the way ahead is barred by an impenetrable thicket of rhododendron a tunnel like trail appears and from here for the next couple of kilometers you enter another world of enchanting trail that has the feel of something straight out of a Terry Pratchett novel. Eventually after a steep slippery descent to the lake you come to the ruins of Glena Cottage. A holiday retreat built in the early 19th century by Lady Kenmare and where Queen Victoria lunched when she visited the area. It burnt down in the 1920's but it is still an atmospheric place to visit. We explored hereabouts for a bit and then not wanting to try and cross the truely trying O'Sullivan's Punchbowl we turned and retraced our steps. The climb back up was a bit testing but soon passed and eventually we reemerged into the open ground by Tomies Wood. We returned to the car via the higher road and Frank even wanted to jog some of it. So four hours after we set off we arrived at the car where we changed out of our wet gear and set off for home. It is a spot we will definitely revisit again in the future and makes for an excellent bad weather outing.
Slippery and a surprisingly big drop beneath


Wonderful place

The ruins of Glena Cottage

Gorgeous trails 

Typical trail

Actually much darker

Back in the open ground above Tomies Wood