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Beautiful walks for bad knees?

Rio Rancho, New...
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Beautiful walks for bad knees?

My husband has bad knees, good for walking and slight upward climbing, bad for stairs and steep declines. We live in a high-altitude area, with our home at 6,000 feet above sea level, so the exertion is not a concern in most cases, just the stress on his knees. Can anyone suggest some lovely or historic walks in Ireland?

County Clare...
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1. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

Julie - have you set an itinerary yet?

There should be a nice collection of suggestions - but some may be of little use if you do not plan on visiting certain locations.

Dublin
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2. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

Julie,

It's worth noting that Dublin is generally quite flat and easy to walk around, with lots of historis sites etc.

D.

Scunthorpe, United...
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3. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

Have you come across this web site?

http://www.discoverireland.ie/walking.aspx

There may well be some of the shorter walks suitable for your husband.

Coilte - the Irish Forestry company have a series of forest walks. Most of these should be suitable.

http://www.coillteoutdoors.ie/

There will be suitable walks in most places of Ireland - ask when you arrive as the locals will be able to tell you.

Eleanor

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

If you will be in Dublin (which is, as has been said, in the main reasonably flat), a book I find useful is Globtrotter Walking Guides "Walking Dublin" written by Pat Liddy who is one of Dublin's foremost local historians and walking gurus (he run's a number of guided walks in Dublin). The book features 24 original walks in and around Dublin which are catergorised into:

- walks of historical interest

- parks and demesnes

- literary Dublin

- hill walking (not for you!)

- walks of urban renewal

- suburban walks

- coastal walks (some flat, some hilly)

- panoramic views

- circular walks

- exercise walks

- waterways

- castles

Under each particular walk he gives information on length, time it will take, the pathway status, where you can get refreshments and other route notes which help you decide if it's a suitable walk for you.

My copy of the book dates from 2004 but there may be a more recent edition.

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

Hi - that's a great question and will probably be of interest to lots of posters.

South of Dublin City - try Dun Laoghaire Pier (pr. Dunne Leary) - its a totally flat harbour pier. Walking it is a bit of a local institution - in all weathers. Its particularly nice on a summer's evening. In fact there are two piers - the East and West Piers. The East pier is more formal in its architecture and has a better walking surface. The West Pier is a bit grassy and pebbly in patches - I always think its a bit longer too but I'm not sure if that is actually true!! Locally, it is said that you meet a 'interesting' people on the West Pier. There do tend to me more people fishing off the West Pier and dogs not on leashes compared with the East Pier.

The town of Dun Laoghaire is interesting enough and has a number of cafes and restaurants not far from the seafront for the necessary refreshments. The easist way to here from Dublin is the DART commuter train.

Another choice on the DART line is Bray - another seafront location - it has a long, flat promenade. Rather British looking in style - it runs along a pebbly beach.

Co. Kildare
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6. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

I think you might enjoy Glendalough in the Wicklow mountains. The walk around the two lakes is easy enough with just a few gentle inclines (www.wicklownationalpark.ie/pages/walkingtrails.php and www.wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie/WalkingTrails.html).

But, as already pointed out, it would be easier to advise you if you could tell us where you plan on going in Ireland.

Rio Rancho, New...
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7. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

Thanks to all. We have been to Glendalough, Dublin, Clontarf and Newgrange. We are thinking of going to the norther, western, or southeastern coast areas. We would like to see the cliffs at Moher, maybe the Giants Causeway, the Aran Islands. As you can tell, our plans are still in the beginning stages. We both love history, I am a strong Catholic and love the architecture of the churches. We love the mountains and the woods. However, we live in the desert and an ocean is a rare thing for us to see. We both grew up in mountainous areas and we miss it. How's that for setting a challenge to you all? Oh, and we love traditional Celtic music! Julie

Scunthorpe, United...
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8. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

I also have problems with my knees and know just what the problem is. What to many people can be an easy walk isn't to me. We've not been to the Aran Islands so I can't comment on that. However there will be quiet roads to explore.

There are lots of short and easy walks everywhere - many don't feature in the guide books and are not marked on maps. Park up and explore as the fancy takes you. There are old peat tracks across the hills which gave access to the peat cuttings. These are easy walking - as long as they don't get wet and boggy.

The Cliffs of Moher will present no problems. Walking along the top of the cliffs is flat and easy. You can walk for about a mile to the north but to the south you can walk for many miles.

There are a lot of 'green roads' in the Burren and again these are easy to walk along and the surface is usually good. Many parts of the Burren Way should be OK too if you chose the flatter bits and avoid any steep climbs.

discoverireland.ie/shannon/what-to-do/walkin…

www.walkingworld.com/home/index.asp…

If you take the coast road through Fanore, you can park up alongside the road and walk aver the grass towards the coast. This is good easy walking and depending on the time of the year there will be wild flowers everywhere. Actually walking over the limestone pavement of the Burren will be a no-no as the surface is very uneven and if he trips he'll do serious damage to himself.

Do try and include Giant's Causeway as it is an amazing sight. But it does get thousands of tourists. Try and plan a visit early in the morning before the tourist buses arrive or late afternoon when they have left. If you are lucky you may get it to yourselves.

At Giant's Causeway you can walk down to the Causeway from the car park area (coach is provided but the surface is good and flat and it is a nice easy walk). From the Causeway you can continue along the shore as the path climbs up to join the Antrim Coastal Path which runs along the top of the cliffs. Look at the climb up the cliffs and decide whether it is OK or not - I often find I need to have a look before deciding whether I can manage something or not. If you decide the climb is too much, return to the car park pick up the top path from there. This is the coastal path and you walk along the top of the cliffs from there. (Look at the path down to the causeway and see if that looks any easier....although I find going down worse than going up). This is a lovely walk along the top of the cliff looking down onto the Causeway.

The North Antrim Coastal Path which runs for miles along the coast. I've not walked much of this so don't know how easy it will be, but again stretches of it should be OK.

Going west from Giant's Causeway to Portstewart, you can walk along the sands. Go a bit further west to Castlerock and head for the Downhill Estate.

nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-downhillestate

There is a lovely walk across the grass to Mussenden Temple above the cliffs. There are also easy walks around the estate grounds.

This should get you started.... but there are lots more walks for you to find.

Eleanor

ireland
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9. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

there are buses that will bring you straight down to the actual causeway from the top of the centre where they sell souvineers and have shops. Just to let you know there is a very very steep hill on the walk down to the causeway and it might be a bit hairy for somebody with band knees - also the causeway itself - you must climb up onto it - it can be very steep in places - the burren is a playground compared to the causeway. It is beautiful but be careful about walking on it.

Scunthorpe, United...
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10. Re: Beautiful walks for bad knees?

...and I forgot to mention Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge just east of the Causeway.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-carrickarede

The walk from the car park to the bridge is easy. People cross the bridge for the 'experience' as the island is tiny and there is nothing to do apart from sit and watch the birds. It is worth seeing, even if you don't go across!

Eleanor