Walking the Award-Winning Royal Canal Greenway

National Famine Way Tour

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The National Famine Way Passport/Guide highlights local historical landmarks and allows walkers to record their progress along the traffic free award-winning Royal Canal greenway with stage stamps along the specially developed route. The Trail details the ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park to ships in Dublin in 1847, at the height of the Irish Famine. Follow their journey with specially marked  bronze shoe sculptures along the route. A completion certificate is awarded at the end of the Trail at EPIC - The Irish Emigration Museum.

The Royal Canal walking tour is a self guided walking holiday also known as the national famine way. Designed for travellers who want to experience a unique tour through the heart of Ireland. A perfect walking holiday taking in 165 km of towpath with 146 historic locks along the way. Experience tranquil settings whilst stopping off in quaint towns and villages along the way. From your starting point in Strokestown Co. Roscommon, you will visit the National Famine Museum before walking 20km to join the Royal Canal in Cloondara, Co. Longford. The National Famine Way continues along the banks of the canal culminating at the Famine Memorial at Custom House Quay in Dublin. 

Tour will include:

National Famine Museum


Day 1

Arrive at your accommodation   

Day 2

Strokestown to Cloondara 20km | average time 3 - 4 hours.

Begin this unique tour in Strokestown in the Heart of the Irish midlands. A visit to the beautifully preserved Strokestown House & Famine Museum is not to be missed.  Experience the  life the 1490 tenants had before their ill-fated walk via the Royal Canal to their Emmigration ships in Dublin.  

Start your walk along the old famine way trail for 20km & stay overnight in the historic village of Cloondara & the start of the Royal Canal.

Day 3 

Cloondara to Ballymahon | 25km | average time 5 hours

Depart Your accommodation and visit the vibrant town of BallymahoN. A LOVELY COUNTRY town with great restaurants and nightlife to explore. Stop off  half way in Kenagh for Coffee and snacks.

Day 4

Ballymahon to Ballynacarrigy 20km | average time 3 - 4 hours

Continue your walk along the Royal canal to the rural setting of Ballynacarrigy. A lovely quiet setting in the heart of Co Westmeath.

Day 5 

Ballynacarigy to Mullingar 19km  | average time 3 - 4 hours.

Depart your accommodation and walk 19km to one of the Irish midlands livliest towns. Enjoy a two night stay (optional) in Mullingar that has many great restaurants and bars to explore. Check out some of the traditional Irish music bars within walking distance of your accommodation.

Day 6

Rest Day in Mullingar

Visit the beautiful Cathedral of Christ the King and tour its historical museum. In the afternoon make your way to the stunning Belvedere House and stroll through the glorious gardens. 

Day 7

Mullingar to Hill of Down 25km | average time 4 - 5 hours.

Depart your accommodation and walk a further 25km to the  Hill of the Down. Sample a pint of  Guinness and Pizza in Morans bar located on a old train station beside the canal.

Day 8

Hill of Down to Enfield 16km | average time 3-4 hours

Depart the Hill of the Down and continue on to Enfield. Enfield is a busy commuter town with great local food and bars.

Day 9

Enfield to Maynooth 20km  | average time 3 - 4 hours

Continue your walk for 20km to the historic town of Maynooth.  Visit Maynooth Castle and Cartron house at each sides of the town. St Patricks College is also worth a visit. Check out  the famous bars and restaurants in the centre of the town.

Day 10

Maynooth to Dublin 26km | average time 4 - 5 hours

For your last stop we recommend a visit to EPIC - The Irish Emmigration Museum. This museum tells the story of the Irish people who travelled the world, reliving some of their greatest achievements in music, literature, sport, politics, fashion, science and more. 

Please Note:
Due to limited accommodation options in some locations of some tours, we may need to book you into an accommodation which will require transfers to/from your hike start/end point. We may also need to book you into the same accommodation for more than one night to cover multiple locations. The cost of this is covered in your basic tour price and will not affect your tour itinerary.


Please contact us for more information on hotels, B&Bs and guest houses.


Prices are subject to change depending on accommodation and transport costs.


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