Slieve Bloom Scenic Glendine Route
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Slieve Bloom, Offaly,
All outdoor lovers will appreciate a visit to the Slieve Blooms as they offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy uninterrupted views and lush countryside on this drive.
To arrive at this route from Dublin leave the M7 at exit 15 and follow the signs for Emo and Mountmellick. Continue along the R422 through Rosenallis and Clonaslee. After leaving Clonaslee and travelling approximately 5 kilometres join the R421. Continue along this road through Cadamstown village to Kinnity.
The best views are driving from Kinnitty in the direction of Longford Church. There are several viewing points on the way, where one can stop and take in the breath taking views. On arriving in Kinnitty, go to the community centre and turn left at Peavoy’s shop in Kinnitty. As you drive along this road, you will cross a tributary of the Camcor River at Ballyshane Bridge.
Knocknaman Hill 337 metres high, is to your left. Continuing along this road you will come to the little village of Longford which has just one shop, a one teacher school and a Catholic church. Keep left in Longford and travel along the road through Glendine West on to Glendine Gap. There is a car park here and you can view Arderin Hill 527 metres high from here. Continue along the road to Glendine East and cross Cardown Bridge.
Shortly after this you come to a T junction and turn left. As you travel along this road take the next left turn. Lacca Church and Lacca Millennium Wood can be seen to your right. Lacca Millennium Wood which contains 45,000 thousand young plants and yew, oak and ash. Each household in Ireland was assigned a tree to commemorate the new millennium and the trees allotted to residents of Laois, Meath and Kildare are in this wood. There is also a mature deciduous wood where one can have a very pleasant stroll. Continue along this road and after the third car park which is on the left hand side of the road take the next turn right off the R440. Again there are car parks and Wolftrap Mountain which is to your right can be viewed from any of these. At the next T junction take a left on to the R421 which will bring you back into Kinnitty.
One cannot leave the Village of Kinnity without visiting the famous Kinnity Castle (which was built in 1630 by William O Carroll) and its grounds. It was confiscated in 1641 by the English forces as part of the plantation of Offaly or “Kings County”. It changed hands during the centuries and like other castles was burned by the republicans in 1922. It was rebuilt in 1928 and sold to the state in 1951.
The ownership of the castle once again passed to private ownership and has been run as a luxury hotel since 1994. It has its own resident ghost called the monk, and the walls of the 12th Century Augustinian Abbey and the high cross still remain on the grounds.