Up Close And Personal

You can beat cabin fever by exploring nature responsibly

It is imperative to follow the HSE’s guidelines on social contact when engaging in outdoor activities

Christopher Dunne

Reporter:

Christopher Dunne

Email:

christopherdunnekk@gmail.com

Kilkenny

Outdoor parks and woodland parks have seen an increase in visitors in recent days. Try to find your own quiet little area of Kilkenny to explore!

Gigs are cancelled, pubs are closed, gyms shut, everybody’s at home - so where do we go from here?

Social distancing is very important in these unprecedented times but so too is keeping active, both mentally and physically.

A great way to avoid getting cabin fever and to avoid close contact with people is to go on a walk, whether that’s on a local walking trail or even in your own back garden.

If you live in the city the canal walk is a great way to get out, see some wildlife, and maintain that important metre of distance between yourself and others that you encounter.

On Sunday, I visited Jenkinstown Woods expecting the carpark to be deserted so I was surprised to see it operating at full capacity.

In hindsight, it makes sense. Due to indoor entertainment venues being closed now, people are looking for outdoor entertainment to fill the void.

It’s also a great way to stop the kids from getting restless and wound up at home. This is completely okay, so long as everybody acts responsibly, and this cannot be stressed enough.

It is imperative to follow the HSE’s guidelines on social contact because failing in this department could mean that outdoor adventures transform from safe retreats to potential health hazards.

With all that said, one can find many outdoor sights and places of interest that are free to visit and explore at will.

Pick of the bunch would have to be Kells Priory, the best sort of ruin, where you can amble around whenever you like, with no tour guides, set hours or fees.

Most days you stand a chance of exploring the site alone. The ruins are 500m east of Kells on the Stoneyford road. From the car park, head to the right of the walls to find the main entrance.

Kilmogue Portal Tomb on the eastern slopes of the Brown Mountain near Mullinavat has been standing where it is now for over five-thousand years and visitors are usually scarce.

Situated about a kilometre from Harristown crossroads, taking a left down a country lane that is clearly signposted, the tomb is a must visit for anybody with an interest in the Neolithic Age.

Another name for the tomb is ‘Leac an Scail’. Scal literally means “burst”, and scal ghréine (sunburst) is used to refer to the mythological warriors of the Fianna.

This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the sparsely attended nooks and crannies of Kilkenny.

Wherever you choose to spend your outdoor time, be sure to do so with others in mind.