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National Famine Way

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The National Famine Way is a self-guided Trail detailing the ill-fated journey of famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park to ships in Dublin in 1847, at the height of the Irish Famine. With its captivating layers of history and culture, the Trail will give you a truly immersive experience.  It is centred around the walk of twelve-year-old Daniel Tighe - one of the original famine walkers from Strokestown Park - who remarkably survived the horrific journey to Quebec in Canada in 1847.

Daniel’s journey is reimagined in vignettes written by award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna. These are connected to over thirty pairs of 19th-century bronze children’s shoes interspersed along the route which create a thought-provoking experience.  Follow in the footsteps of 1,490 people, who walked the 165 kilometre route through six counties including Longford, mostly through countryside along the Royal Canal on flat and well-surfaced paths. The National Famine Way follows the same route as the Royal Canal Greenway

Walkers/Cyclists are invited to become an Officially Registered Participant by obtaining the new Passport/Guide, personalised Ship Ticket and Certificate of Completion. Whether you’re a casual walker, cyclist, historical enthusiast, or out for the day with your family, enjoy the trail at your own pace. This is a safe, recreational option available all year round with signposting and trailheads along the route and can be done in sections or all at once.

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The National Famine Way is an integrated inter County collaboration between Waterways Ireland and county councils along the route: Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Fingal and Dublin. It has been developed by Strokestown Park House, the National Famine Museum, and the Irish Heritage Trust in partnership with Waterways Ireland, the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology, and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.

 Explore the stories of the Royal Canal in County Longford

County Longford tells the story of the Royal Canal and the National Famine Way with 11 storyboards placed at different intervals → explore here. The County Longford section also has a fun EZxploringheritage trail for all the family to enjoy.

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Website:

View the National Famine Way Website

Social Media:

View the National Famine Way Facebook pageclick here and "Like" the  page

View the National Famine Way Twitter page

View the National Famine Way Instagram page

How to get here:

The Dublin to Sligo train passes through County Longford, stopping in both Edgeworthstown and Longford Town. Longford town is the most suitable stop for the Royal Canal. There are up to 12 trains daily, taking 1hr 50mins from Dublin Connolly and 1hr 20mins from Sligo (MacDiarmada).

You can also bring a bike on the train. (Please remember these services require bike spaces to be booked in advance). See the Royal Canal Greenway section on the Irishrail website.

Irish Rail Dublin to Sligo train info.

The Expressway services of Ballina to Dublin and Sligo to Dublin pass through Longford Town (direct to Dublin Airport and Dublin City Centre). 

Route 22 Ballina to Dublin / Route 23 Sligo to Dublin

Check out the →Getting to Longford section of our site.

Accommodation:

Please see the accommodation section of this website or download a list here → accommodation close to the Royal Canal

Food & Drink:

Please see the Food & Drink section of this website or download a list here → Food & Drink near Royal Canal Greenway  The following businesses are also providing picnics - Richmond Inn in Clondra, Foigha Bar & Lounge in Kenagh and Glebe House B&B in Taghshinny.

Other Services:

Longford is home to two breweries -  Wide Street Brewing in Ballymahon and St Mels Brewing Company in Longford town.  Why not bring a piece of Longford home with you and treat yourself or someone special to some locally produced craft beer, ale or cider whilst on your journey? The Longford Hamper is also available from Wilder and Goldin Ballymahon.

Itineraries:

Explore the ready made Itineraries → here

Keenagh Killashee Cloondara and also the Cookery School & Farm itineraries both include the Royal Canal.

Alternatively, build your own itinerary from the details provided on our website. 

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This project was assisted by Longford Local Community Development Committee, Longford Community Resources Clg. and Longford County Council through the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020 which is part-financed by the EU, "The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas" and the Department of Rural & Community Development.       The European Commission.


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