Brandon Hill Loop

County Kilkenny
5 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 15.7 km
Time 5 hours
Format Loop
Ascent 600 m
Waymarking Purple arrow
Start Point
Outdoor Hub in Graiguenamanagh
Finish Point
Outdoor Hub in Graiguenamanagh
Nearest Town to Start Graiguenamanagh
Grid Ref. S 709 436
Lat. and Long. 52.539823, -6.954813

This walk includes country roads, forest tracks and hillside paths as it winds its way to the top of Brandon Hill, the highest point in County Kilkenny, where panoramic 360 degree views are indicated with the locations and names of the features visibile in the surrounding landscape. Feney's passed on the descent.

Maps and other information


Car parking, shops, accommodation, restaurants, cafés, pubs

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 68

Emily from Tipperary

Great views from the top. I suspect there's a faster way to reach the top. This Trail is quite long and gradual.

Mary from Kilkenny

Excellent trail for family day out, enough challenging hills initially for little legs and semi fit, nice short walk through the forest opening up to steady climb to the top, very doable for all. Super 360 views of area, could see right down to Hook lighthouse, something very special about this place, just take the time to imagine what advantage this view point had for our ancestors. Thoroughly recommend it on a fresh clear day.

Andrew from Kilkenny

Myself and a friend were looking for a challenging hill run and decided to try Brandon. After parking at the bridge in Graigue we had to ask where to start as there was no indication. After getting going and finding our direction we set off up the hill. We found the run a good challenge in a great setting passing through commercial forest and clearings. The trail was suitable for running the whole way to the top of the tree line but got a bit difficult underfoot the closer we got to the summit. The last kilometre being only suitable for walking. However, the views from the summit were well worth the effort and we were lucky that the weather was so good. The descent was steep and rocky in places but soon levelled to a point where we could make good pace again. Overall we really enjoyed the trip. Total distance 19.5 kilometres

Frank from Dublin

Did this trail on 6th June. The hardest part was finding the start. We were using the National Looped Walk guide and map which says the trailhead is at the junction on Lower Main Street. Unfortunately it does not say the junction with what (it's High Street we discovered when we got back). We did find the South Leinster Way sign and followed that. The key word in the instructions is "ascend" so when we quickly hit an unmarked T junction we turned uphill and then found our purple markers. Thereafter navigation was straightforward. The majority of this 19km walk (not 12km as listed on this site) is on forest trail and therefore not very exciting and pretty hard under foot. It is only when the ascent up to Brandon Hill itself commences that the walk provides some challenge, though it is far from difficult. On the ascent you pass an interesting plantation of what appears to be Eucalyptus trees! The summit itself is marred by a concrete block of a structure that is full of litter. It should be knocked down or boarded up. The cross near the summit is the main point of interest. The route back down gives good views of the Backstairs and the path is lined with rhododendrons. What would Michael Healy Ray say! It seems that at 5.00 pm on a Tuesday in Graiguenamanagh there's is nowhere to get food. Highest peak in Co. Kilkenny ticked off. Unlikely to do it again unless the route is altered to bring in a bit more variety and interest.

Martin from Dublin

Great trail in general. After the first 2 hours, we were doubting the trail a bit. Great fun, nice walk through the forest, but not a major challenge. Then suddenly the path turned right and right up to the top of the hill. Great fun and nice challenge! Would highly recommend this path. Only thing was that the signage wasn't 100%, nothing major, but 2 signposts appeared to be missing at fairly crucial points en route. Nothing major though, and the route itself was in great condition and great fun. Would recommend!

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