The Glen of Aherlow, a 25-km long valley dotted with megalithic and early Christian sites, runs from Galbally in the west to Bansha in the east.

A visitor can experience the lush atmosphere of the Glen with scenic walking routes, horse riding, cycling and fishing all available at your disposal.

The entrance location of its centrepiece, the Glen of Aherlow Nature Park, is ideal for families to take a peaceful woodland ramble and to view plants, flowers and the natural habitat of foxes, squirrels and birds.

The focal point of the Glen, the Statue of Christ the King has been part of the local scenery since 1950 and attracts thousands of tourists per year. A defining feature of the statue is its upraised hand blessing the glen and all who pass by.

Gortavoher forest is located on Slievenamuck hill overlooking the verdant farmland of the Glen of Aherlow. Aherlow or the ‘low land between two high lands’ is bordered on the opposite side by the commanding and beautiful presence of the Galty mountains.

There are five looped walking trails in and around Gortavoher. The Woodland Loop ( 2km/1 hour), the Bianconi Loop (4km/1 hour 15 mins), the Rock an Thorabh Loop (6kms/2 hours 30 mins), the Millennium Stone Loop (9km/3 hours), and the Ballinacourty Loop (10km/3 hours), all start & finish around Christ the King car park.

For the casual and seasoned historian, prehistoric and early Christian sites are spread across the valley and the surrounding areas.  One can enjoy the peace and serenity of early Christian structures such as St Pecaun’s Holy Well, St Berrihert’s Well & Kyle and St Sedna’s Well in Clonbeg Churchyard.

The author: Nick Fitzgerald