Walk Distance: 2.17 km
Walk Duration: 40 minutes (at toddler speed)
Suitable for: Babies in carriers, sturdy pushchairs (though plans to make a fully wheelchair accessible route), all the family.
Walk Features: Flat lakeside walking on level mainly earthen paths (though some paved), possibility of seeing Pine Martens, picnic tables, secluded nature reserve, great M8 motorway stop.
We found Granston Lough through pure chance. Baby was screaming the car down having conveniently decided that our car journey from Kerry to Dublin was a good time to break a tooth and so we had to make an unscheduled stop, stumbling across Granston Lough right next to a motorway exit on the M8.
Granston Lough is not the most showy place to walk in Ireland but it is a peaceful, shady, pleasant spot to wander and makes a fantastic place to break a long journey on the M8 motorway. Keep your eyes out for Pine Martens – they are known to frequent the far end of the lake.
From the Grantstown Woods Nature Reserve car park, head straight out on the foot-path by the information boards. Ignore the turning to the left and continue ahead.
At the next fork in the path, take the left hand path following the blue lake-side walk arrow. If you prefer a longer walk then you can continue on following the green arrows – the two paths join up at the far end of the lake – but you will miss out on the close lakeside views.
The route now takes you down to the lough an then runs behind a series of fishing platforms on the edge of the lake. These were all empty when we were there meaning we could use them to get some lovely uninterrupted views across the lake. There are also several picnic tables around here and everything has been recently installed (summer 2014) meaning it’s in great nick. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy a sandwich.
Continue on the path, following the trail around to the left as it follows the lakeside perimeter. At the far end of the lake keep an eye out for Pine Martens in the undergrowth and on fallen tree trunks. They are known to come down to visit this area with the best time to try and see them being around dusk.
The path continues on round the far side of the lake, with views onto farmland beyond. The walk here takes on a more woodlandy feel and is a pleasant shady stroll for warm, sunny days.
Eventually the path rejoins the one you started out on. Turn right and walk the short distance back to the nature reserve car park.
Map of Route:
From the M8, Granston Lough and Grantstown Nature Reserve are literally a minute’s drive. Leave the M8 at Junction 3 and head west on the R433 towards Rathdowney. 800m along on the right hand side is a driveway. Head down the gravel track and this will take you down to the Nature Reserve where you will find free parking.
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