Western way adventure!
- Completed by: Fionn Delahunty & Cecile Collot
- Length: 55ish Km
- Days: 3
- Prefect for a weekend adventure away from university. Leave Galway Friday night, and you should be back Sunday evening.
The western way is a Irish national trail leading all around Ireland. It's divided into section, one of these sections is from Oughterard to Leenaun. It's marked with black signs with little yellow people on them. The official route can be found here. Myself and Cecile have completed a modified version of the route which I have done twice. Personally I think it's a nicer version, since you have less road walking then the official one.
We did it in three days, but realistically I've heard of people completing it in one long day. If the weather is nice, you won't find a better way to experience Connemara.
- 1. Start by hitching hiking, or getting the bus to Maam Cross. It's pretty easy to hitch a lift out here, or else you can get the citylink bus directly out.
- 2. Once there, start walking along the R336 towards keane pub. About 3 or 4 km down the road, you'll see a large path off to your right hand side. It's not marked as the western way, but it's a large gate. The only one of it's kind on the right hand side of the road.
- 3.Open and gate and start walking east along this path, you'll cross a river on a metal bridge and end up walking along a wooden path in a forest. This Forest will give way to a field, keep walking east until you hit the corrib lake.
- 4 If you want, here is a good place to camp for the first night since you have access to cleanish drinking water.
- 5. Once you start walking again, your going to head north and follow the lake keeping it to your right. The terrain your on now will be a little harder to walk on, and could get a bit wet under foot.
- 6.You'll walk past a old house! TIme for a quick adventure!
- 7.If you keep following the lake, you'll hit a fence and you should be able to see a house at this point. Between you and the house there should be road, try and find this and follow that road away from the house!
- 8.Once you get to the end of that road, you'll be back on the R336, turn right and follow it down for another 2 or so K. Take the last turn left on that road before you hit the bridge.
- 9. You could cross the road for a sneeky pint if you wanted or a shop to get more food
- 10. Follow the road I talked about a minute ago. It should swing left after about 3 and start going uphill. Keep following it until you reach a gate in front of you. Open this gate and start climbing the mountain!
- 11. At this point you'll be passing over Maaean holy well. Stick to the path and you should be fine! You'll pass a little church to your right at some point before heading down.
- 12. If you wanted, you could turn right at the church and complete the rest of the walk by walking over the south Maamturks. However, this would be a good deal harder and you'd want to be pretty experienced to do it
- 13 Once you finish the Maaean path, you'll hit a old country road. Turn right and follow that road pass a few houses for about 5k
- 14 A one point the road will swing to the left, but they'll be a path going straight on. Follow this path and you should cross a bridge in a few hundred meters
- 15 Keep walking on this path until you come across a fence, at this point you should have a river and it's a good place to camp for night two.
- 16. Your next section is following that path until you hit a forest, here take a right turn and follow the sign for the western way
- 17. Keep following this path, you past a nice river and pool for a swim if you like!
- 18. This path will come out on a main road, turn left and take the first? turn right to follow a track. This track should be marked by the black signs with yellow people, and you should be able to follow it for about 8k right back to Leenaun.
- 19 In Leeanun you should a few small shops and a pub. From here you should be able to hitch hike back to Galway, It might take two or three lifts however!
Map Here's a rough google map of our route Click Here. For the actually route you'll need Ordnance Survey maps 38 +37
- Hiking gear
- Food for x days
- Tent, sleeping bags, ground mat etc
Note: On some warm sunny days in 2019, a group of us tried to walk the Western Way as it's marked on the map, beginning at Oughterard. We wore boots, but this was a mistake as it turns out the trail is mostly roads and similarly hard surfaces. Our feet were in agony. Some gave up after the first day, at Maam. Some gave up after the second day, at Leenane. The last two of us, despite our incredible stubbornness, decided to give up after the third day, but we were in the middle of nowhere, so we had to walk another day of torture to get to Westport where we could get a bus. We had blisters the size of extra toes. About 95km covered in total. Please make no attempt to repeat this. -Liam