The Ballyhoura International Festival isn’t just Ireland’s oldest walking festival – it’s one of the most popular too. This May bank holiday weekend May 3rd-5th, some 1,000 walkers are expected to descend on Ballyhoura Country, covering an average distance of 20km each.

Now in its 20th year, the festival sees guides from the Ballyhoura Bears Walking club leading a packed programme for all abilities – from the hardy hiker to gentle ramblers enjoying the company of local experts in the fields of heritage, archaeology, history, flora and fauna.

The weekend’s most gruelling walk is the ‘Ballyhoura Marathon Challenge’, a 26.2 mile route over forest trails and farmland. The event is now a partnership with the Mountain Running Association.

This year will also feature over 30 special community walks suitable for all abilities, ages and families and will cover areas of special interest throughout the whole Ballyhoura region – these are real gems of shorter walks!