Ireland day 0796. Sunday 03 December 2023- Blessington Greenway 2 *

Ireland day 0796. Sunday 03 December 2023- Blessington Greenway 2
Today’s summary Picked up three friends from the Donaghmede area and we all drove to the Avon Rí hotel to walk the greenway to Russborough House and back.  A bright crisp day with plenty of sun and I really enjoyed it.   Val working another 13 hour day so am expecting her back shortly
Today’s weather Cold and mostly bright though some fog to start with and a heavy sleety shower in the late afternoon.   Wind calm most of the day though became stronger north westerly later.   Appx 6c
Today’s overview location
(The red mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The red line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Blessington Greenway DWC 2

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

It’s not that long since I was at Blessington with the walking club – last July actually.   But on that day it was quite warm but very wet, whereas today it was quite dry but very cold.  Anyway, it’s a very pleasant walk through the woods along the lake- (well reservoir-) shore, and there’s always plenty to see.   If only the changing seasons in the trees.

Val was sadly unable to join today as she was doing another of her epic 13 hour shifts, but I wasn’t travelling alone as I picked up three other friends in Donaghmede to share the ride.  So I got up early this morning, to prepare all the meals for the two of us as we buzzed around on this busy day, then picked up my friends, and drove over to the start point at the Avon Rí hotel.

The first thing you see when you leave the car park is the Wicklow mountains, looming on the far side of the lake.   They looked particularly spectacular today, clothed in more snow than I think I have actually seen over either of the previous two winters here.   I almost wished we could have a last minute change of plan and drive up to have a go at Mullaghcleevaun – the highest hill on the eastern horizon.

But we stuck to our guns and enjoyed the more forgiving environs of Poulaphouca Lake, and arrived at Russborough House without incident.   We headed for the shelter of the hippodrome to enjoy our sandwiches – though we didn’t stay long as the temperature was rapidly falling, and as even by 2pm you could tell that evening wasn’t too far away.   So after we’d eaten, we had a quick look round the outside of the house, then retraced our steps back to the start – on the way spotting a Sika stag grazing in the woodland – keeping a wary eye on us from a safe distance.

Once back at the start, we decided to drop into the hotel to have a look at their Christmas market (nice, but expensive) then enjoyed a swift (non alcoholic) drink in the bar before driving back.

So now I’m all done.   I’ve had the dinner I made this morning, so now I think I’m going to put my feet up in front of the TV for a few moments before Val comes back.   I must admit I am quite looking forward to us both being a bit less busy – though I think that’s a few weeks away still.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Giant beech trees all in a row – suggest it’s the remnant of a hedge, probably abandoned 2 or 3 hundred years ago the December rose!   That’s the year of roses complete now!
Taking a quick look at Russborough stately home.  A fine Palladian mansion and I really quite like it Snowy Wicklow Hills looking alluring at the far side of the reservoir.   I think it’s colder at the moment than it has been in either of the past two winters we’ve been here
Sika (I think) deer stag lurking in the forest.   You can usually only spot deer when they move Beech trees catching the golden light of the setting sun on the way back to the hotal
The fascinating Russborough Hippodrome, restored a few years ago but looking a bit dilapidated now
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 13259 m
Max elevation: 213 m
Min elevation: 183 m
Total climbing: 188 m
Total descent: -188 m
Total time: 04:15:27
Download file: Blessington to Russborough and back along the Poulaphuca greenway compressed corrected.gpx

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