There is no better way to appreciate the true beauty of the Castlemartyr location than by getting out there on foot. Discover a stunning world of lakes, forestry and castle ruins whilst taking in nature at it’s finest. Parts of the estate grounds are home to various wildlife, including red squirrels, otters, stoats, pheasants and kingfishers.

Pigeon Wood Walk at Natural Retreats Castlemartyr

  • Start/Finish:Natural Retreats
  • Distance/Grade:45 minutes, leisurely
  • Terrain:Path, woodland trail
  • Circular walk:Yes
  • Obstacles/Gradients:Bridge

Walk one: Pigeon Wood Walk

  1. From the lodges follow the main road past the old stables, beneath the tree canopy. Heading in the direction of the hotel, enjoy open views over the golf course to the right and pastures to the left. Feel free to stop and feed the rare Kerry Bog Ponies that were used to move peat from the bog.
  2. At the small walking bridge, bear left into Pigeon Wood through the archway and follow the path to the left.
  3. Follow the path along the manmade lake that was dug by hand when the hotel was originally built as a house. The nearby Kiltha River was diverted through a manmade channel into the lake to sustain a steady water level and the lake is also supplied by a natural spring located in the horse paddock across the lake.
  4. Follow the path along the lake, past the fallen trees (these can become very slippery and should not be climbed) until you reach the alternate entrance to the woodland. The path then diverts back towards the hotel, passing the old entrance gates, and exits the woodland through the same entrance you started.
  5. Upon exiting the woodland, follow the main drive back past the hotel to the lodges, passing the stables and paddocks as you do.
Mitchell's Wood Walk at Natural Retreats Castlemartyr

  • Start/Finish:Natural Retreats
  • Distance/Grade:1.5 hours, leisurely
  • Terrain:Path, woodland trail
  • Circular walk:Yes
  • Obstacles/Gradients:Bridge

Walk two: Mitchell’s Wood Walk

  1. Follow the main road from the lodges, underneath the tree canopy, past the old stables and along the road past the hotel. At the bridge continue onwards, passing over the Kiltha River and on toward Castlemartyr village.
  2. At the end of the village, bear right past Pat Shortt’s pub, resisting the urge for a quick tipple (that can be saved for after the walk) and head past the main entrance of the hotel. Upon doing so immediately turn right into Mitchell’s wood.
  3. Continue along the path into the woodland, past the coniferous trees into the deciduous forest and over the Kiltha River once again which provides the perfect opportunity for a game of pooh sticks.
  4. Follow the signs keeping left, passing the ‘sun field’ until you are flanked on both sides by the dense forest. The path leads you deep into the woodland and would have been used for hundreds of years as the pathways linking the church ruins of Ladysbridge and Castlemartyr.
  5. At the crossroads continue along the pathway which meanders back past the golf course providing you with great views of the hotel and grounds, just be careful for wayward golf balls that might be around.
  6. After exiting the woodland, bear left entering back into the hotel (or along the road to Shortt’s for that drink) and once again over the Kiltha River that passes beneath you. The driveway leads you back to the hotel, and from here you can take in the 12th Century castle ruins in all their glory. The path then guides you back to the lodges.
Glenbower Wood Walk at Natural Retreats Castlemartyr

  • Start/Finish:Natural Retreats
  • Distance/Grade:2 to 2.5 hours, leisurely to medium
  • Terrain:Path, woodland trail
  • Circular walk:Yes
  • Obstacles/Gradients:Bridge

Walk three: Glenbower Wood Walk

  1. Glenbower Wood is just a four mile drive from the Castlemartyr Resort in the small village of Killeagh. The entrance to Glenbower Wood is situated behind the 300 year old ‘Old Thatch Pub’ in the heart of the village. Glenbower Wood is situated on the valley floor of the Dissour River. The woodland is home to a number of mammals and birds including red squirrels, stoats, otters, kingfi shers and pheasants to name a few.
  2. Upon entering the car park next to the playground (1), follow the path into the dense woodland, meandering through a collection of Oak, Sycamore, Ash, Beech Pine and Fir Trees until you reach the wooden bridge (2). Here the path can take you on many paths through the woodland.
  3. The longest walk in the woodland follows the yellow markers, following the path up along higher ground offering fabulous views over the tree tops down to the babbling river below. Keep an eye out for red squirrels that can often be found in the trees to the right of the path.
  4. Passing the bridge, follow the path for half a mile, keeping the river to your right hand side until you come to a small wooden bridge. Here lies the edge of the forest and the path reverts back on itself, meandering past the river offering many alternate routes back and many avenues to explore (3).
  5. Upon returning to the wooden bridge there is ample room for a picnic (4), or take a well-deserved break before heading back to the car. Keep an eye out for the otters that have been seen swimming in the river close by as you slowly cross the wooden bridge one last time.