St Declan's Way

The majority (85%) of this trail is graded Moderate, however the section over the Knockmealdown Mountains (the remaining 15% of the total route) is graded Strenuous.

Walking
County Tipperary
3.4/5
4 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 115 km
Time 6 days
Format Linear
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Blue arrow on white background
Start Point
Rock of Cashel Car Park
Finish Point
St Declan's Monastery in Ardmore
Nearest Town to Start Cashel
Grid Ref. S 075 409 / X 188 774
Lat. and Long. 52.520649, -7.888972 / 51.948658, -7.726512

Saint Declan's Way is a 115km pilgrim walking route linking Cashel in County Tipperary with Ardmore in County Waterford. It follows the route that Declan took when going to Cashel to meet Saint Patrick in the fifth century. In turn, it is the way that Pilgrims have taken to visit St. Declan's monastery, holy-well and grave in Ardmore for the past one and a half thousand years.

A walk along Saint Declan's Way brings you through the heart of Ireland's Ancient East. On your journey you will encounter many historic places. The trail starts at the Rock of Cashel and passes Cahir Castle and Lismore Castle. It finishes at the early Christian monastic site at Ardmore with its stunning round tower. There are over fifty other heritage sites along or close to the trail route.

St Declan's Way utilizes paths along two of Munster's greatest rivers, the Suir and the Blackwater. The trek over the Knockmealdown Mountains, taking in Mount Melleray Abbey, offers great vistas north and south and is one of the highlights of the trail.

Maps and other information

Trail Management

Tipperary Section: South Tipperary Development CLG. Tel: 052 7442652 Email: info@stdc.

Waterford Section: Waterford LEADER Partnership. Tel: 058 54646 Email: info@wlp.ie

Facilities

In Cashel: Car parking, shops, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs, accommodation 

At Cashel Trailhead: Car parking

In Ardmore: Car parking, shops, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs, accommodation

At Ardmore Trailhead: Car parking

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 66. 74. 81 and 82
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Bus services available at Cashel, Cahir, Ardfinnan, Lismore, Cappoquin, Ardmore

Train services available at Cahir

4 trail reviews
3.4/5
Write your own review of this trail
3/5
11/08/2021

John Breheny from Ireland

Very well signposted, although one finger post sign near Lismore pointed in the wrong direction. Luckily a fellow walker was aware of this and saved us a long extra trek.
Some of the road walking was uncomfortable as we vied with busy traffic.
3/5
10/16/2021

Francis Porter from Wexford

The actual walk was very good, but the signage from out of Cashel was very bad. Took us an hour to get out. One sign was actually pointed the wrong way, maybe someone had turned it. Also the taxi cabs I rang to arrange a lift back to Cashel didn’t answer.

NOTE FROM ST DECLAN'S WAY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE: Thank you for your review Francis and for flagging the issues you had the with signage in Cashel. One of our fingerpost signs in Cashel has been damaged and we are working to resolve this.
4/5
09/30/2021

Seamus Fox from Cork

Goatenbridge to Liam Lynch memorial is safe and picturesque. The signage and marker seated areas need improvement.
3/5
09/02/2021

Patrick Molony from Meath

The signage was overall excellent though my other 2 companions felt they were small. The major drawbacks for the trail were the lack of rest areas along the route and lack of signage directing one to Goatenbridge and Aglish neither of which are directly on the route but are very suitable for a rest area or to refuel. Also giving potential “pilgrims” an indication along the route as to distances covered or distances to travel to landmarks and highlighting these landmarks on roads so one can indicate to taxi services when one decides the walking is completed for the day will help to make the SDW more appealing to a wider group. The roads/tracks from Cashel to Goatenbridge are flat but the rest of the walk all stages are a mixture of up and down a number of inclines the Mount Melleray route being the most difficult but doable. Unfortunately at this stage I would not be recommending the route to anyone unless they were going to make it more piecemeal. The taxis we were fortunate to use were excellent as was the staff in the Lismore Heritage Centre.

NOTE FROM ST DECLAN'S WAY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE: Hello Patrick, thank you for your review. We are always happy to get feedback from walkers, especially as the trail is only approved since July 2021. We are already working to address some of the issues you raise, especially signage to direct people to Goatenbridge and Aglish. Provision of rest areas is another priority. We have a new map brochure almost ready that will provide information for walkers. We hope all of these things will make St Declan's Way more enjoyable for walkers.

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