Are you looking for an exciting challenge to undertake with the family? The National Famine Way offers a fabulous day out for both children and adults. The outdoor, immersive trail commemorates the journey which was made by 1,490 people from Roscommon to Dublin during the height of the Famine in 1847.
The trail is accessible for families, casual walkers and cyclists. You can set your own pace and do the whole route over several visits through counties Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and Dublin.
The National Famine Way
The National Famine Way is an outdoor experience that marks the poignant story of emigration in Ireland during the Famine in 1847. The trail is digitally and physically way-marked and covers 167km. The trail can be undertaken in 27 stages from 1km to 15km. Along the route you can enjoy the beautiful Irish countryside, villages and towns of Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Fingal and Dublin.
The national trail connects the National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park, County Roscommon with Rowan Gillespie’s Famine memorial on Custom House Quay in Dublin, along the banks of the Royal Canal. Your trail will end near the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.
Walk or Cycle The National Famine Way
The route weaves its way through the middle of Ireland and is way-marked with over 30 pairs of 19th Century bronze shoe sculptures. It is also an accredited Heritage and Arts Trail which is mostly located in the countryside along the Royal Canal on flat and well-surfaced paths. Which makes this trail perfect for families, casual walkers and cyclists.
Track Your Progress
The National Famine Way Passport/Guide is available to purchase and provides lots of information including; an OSI map which highlights local history, cultural landmarks and amenities along the route.
When you purchase the Passport Pack you also receive a personalised ticket which names one of the family groups who walked the trail in 1847, so you can truly follow in their footsteps.
The route is broken down into distinct sections from 1km to 15km, through Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Fingal, ending in Dublin City Centre. These can be done over several months or even years! Your passport does not expire. You can track your progress on the Passport with 27 stage stamps.
A completion certificate to mark your achievement is awarded at the end of the Trail at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, Dublin. To receive your completion certificate you need to have at least one stamp from each county. The Passport also entitles you to discounts in a number of museums along the route. The stamps can be acquired over several years and collecting them offers the family a brilliant challenge that they can complete and enjoy together.
Immerse Yourself in History
The trail commemorates the journey which was made by 1,490 people from Roscommon to Dublin during the height of the 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 12-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 30 pairs of 19th-century bronze children’s shoes interspersed along the route which create a thought-provoking experience.
When you reach the ultimate destination on the Famine Way, the EPIC Museum, you can present your stamped passport and receive a Certificate of Completion. But most interestingly you can discover what became of your family group on their journey in 1847, which really brings history to life!
Visit The National Famine Museum
For those wanting to know more about the history of the Famine, a visit to the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park is a must. The stories of landlord and tenants are brought to life with original sources and artefacts.
We hope we have inspired you to visit the National Famine Way to learn more about our history, and to enjoy time together as a family exploring this unique trail.