Nire Valley

In my second Comeragh post, I shared photographs of the road that crosses the mountains from Clonmel to Ballymacarbry. It is how we are going to drive ( or walk) to the Nire Valley.

I have never hiked in this area, but I know that there are several trails and loops, and beautiful lakes. An annual Nire Valley Walking Festival page might help you make your choice, and there is an information board at the car park from where I took most of pictures for this blog. Some of the trails start from the car park, but if you want to start with a hike to Coumfea and Coumalocha, and see a beautiful stream falling from the Coumfea Plateau,  you have to walk back to this gate and start from here.

nire valley

nire vlley

nire valley

In the picture below, car park is on your left, and several trails start here.  If you hike up the hill to the left, you will reach the south slope of beautiful Knockanaffrin ( the pyramid-shaped mountain in my previous post), and if you turn to the right, at least four spectacular glacial lakes – coums are waiting for you. These coums were formed during the Ice Age. I don’t know if I ever hike to see Nire lakes – the shortest trail will take 4-5 hours roundtrip, and I don’t know if I am ready for that, but you can visit Get Lost Mountaineering blog to have an idea. It features both ridges – Knockanaffrin and Coumfea.

nire valley

Curraghduff with Fauscoum in background. You don’t necessarily have to start your hike from the Nire Valley side to get here. There is a track that starts on the other side, over the Gap of the Knockanaffrin Ridge ( featured in my second Comeragh blog). All the trails vary from 5 to 25km. Some loops may require an overnight camping in the mountains. There are also cliffs and gullies for the experienced mountain climbers.

nire valley

Nire Valley photographs taken over the years.

nire valley

nire valley


nire valley

Nire Valley

Ruins of the old farm and spectacular stone wall attract photographers.

I am glad that you visited this beautiful part of Comeragh mountains. I know that I failed to take you to the Nire Lakes, but I have visited some other mountain lakes, and hope to share them with you in my future posts. This time we didn’t hike, but please be fit for the next weekend’s  two mile long round trip, some climbing, and magic 🙂

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Lovely pictures of beautiful landscapes! Congratulations! You made me jealous, now I wanna go hiking as well 😉

  2. Again so very beautiful landscapes – oh, and the b/w photos are just magnificent and give the landscapes such a different mood! And – as you know – you couldn’t make me happier with all those lovely sheep!!! 🙂 Have a very beautiful Sunday and a wonderful week, Inese! xxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. I am thinking of going out for an hour. May be I will find something worth a picture 🙂 Have a wonderful week! xxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Good morning…Like the sap rising in the spring time, I can feel stirrings in my blood and soul to get my hiking boots back on….come to Ireland and start walking…This is what your blog has done for me. Superb photographs…I thank you so much and hope you are enjoying a glorious weekend….janet. xx

    1. Good morning, Janet, thank you for joining the hike. This is a lovely corner of Comeragh mountains, and I am glad you can stand there and look around, and feel a joy of living on Earth. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! xx

  4. I am loving these posts. Love, love, loving them. You are an amazing photographer Inese. You always capture the beauty of you subject whatever that is and you make me feel I am right there in the photo.

    1. Jean, I don’t have a hiking companion anymore, and I am afraid to hike alone. I only hike in the places where I can see other people in the distance, and they can see me 🙂 I went to the Nire car park three times, and every time it was empty. I guess that majority of hikers come here only for the Nire Walk once a year. I am planning to go to the Coumshingaun lake because I see that there are always cars in the car park 🙂 I went to the lake in 2013 but lost all my pictures in a horrible hard drive crash. xx

      1. That’s awkward alright. From my experience with the Nire, there tends to be quite a few walkers and walking groups around in Summertime.
        I had a hard drive issue rather like yours. Horrible indeed.

  5. I like the beautiful photos, Inese. You’ve captured the area very well. I want to climb into the picture and begin walking about. Incidentally, I lhe place names in your part of the world. I don’t know what a naffrin is, but now I can’t help wondering why someone would want to knock one.

    1. Bun, I just love all these names – they sound like music to me. There are many Knock names in Ireland because Knock means Hill 🙂 Soon I will do a blog about Knockmealdown mountains that are standing right next to the Comeraghs. As to Naffrin, I am not sure, but I know that another name for Knockanaffrin is A Hill of the Mass – Cnoc an Aifrinn 😉

  6. I’d love to hike in this stunning area, although 4-5 hours of it would probably be more than my knees could tolerate. They’d undoubtedly rebel after the first two. The old farm buildings and stone walls must hold such history, as does the land itself. We’ll make a point of getting into the Nire Valley when we come over there. The black and white images are wonderful and portray the ageless atmosphere of the area perfectly. 🙂

    1. Millie, when you are ready to visit the Nire Valley, I will give you directions. If you stay in Cashel or Fethard, you will have to go to Clonmel first, and there is also a lot to see, so plan for a day trip. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Inese! We do plan to be in the Cashel area, but we haven’t booked yet. We’re thinking it will be September, not August as we originally thought. Too many other things have turned up for August. It was early September last time we came and the weather was lovely – no rain all week!

  7. I will eat my spinach so I could be ready for our 2 mile hiking trip next weekend! If my bones appear a bit green, then you’ll know that I’ve eaten my vegetables. Breathtaking shots, Lady Inese. I love how you ended your post with black and white photos which added to the antiquity of the ruins. 🙂

    1. Thank you Derrick. I have never left the road for this one. May be in the future. They have those annual festivals and I would walk in a group with a guide. The mountains may look close, but in fact this is a two hour trip just to reach the lakes.

    1. Thank you Rose! This is what sheep do – they stare at you a minute or so, processing something in their mind, and then just run away like crazy 🙂 xxxx

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