Smartly promoting Durrow

Failte Ireland, the Durrow Development Forum and Castle Durrow have joined forces to launch their marked walks around Durrow, along with an innovative smart phone app that offers downloadable guides to the walks.

Failte Ireland, the Durrow Development Forum and Castle Durrow have joined forces to launch their marked walks around Durrow, along with an innovative smart phone app that offers downloadable guides to the walks.

The way-marked walks, the ‘Leafy Loop’ and ‘Dunmore Loop’, take you through beautiful, unspoiled countryside, past woodland and the Erkina and Nore rivers. The idea for the innovative new Durrow Guides App of the walks came about when Castle Durrow owner Peter Stokes set out to share the character of the castle, and of Durrow itself, with as wide an audience as possible, using new technology.

“Durrow is unique, with plenty of colourful characters and interesting hidden gems. We were looking for a clever way of allowing visitors to get a real flavour of the place, as well as enjoying the local walks. The App is the perfect solution as it provides information on everything that’s on offer, at the touch of a button. Of course, alternatively, visitors can simply sit by the fire in the comfort of our lounge and be regaled by local voices telling some great stories, all to be found on the audio section of the App,” said Peter.

The Durrow Guides App was developed by John Ward of Headland New Media and offers guides to six routes of varying degrees of difficulty on what to do around Durrow and its environs. Each guide consists of an on-screen map, with text, images and audio clips about all the places of interest en route.

The audio clips are entertaining and informative, using local voices to tell visitors about their area. John Ward comments: “The App guides are a bit like mini radio documentaries about what Durrow has to offer. There’s the countryside walks, of course, but I wanted to include the off-beat as well.

“There’s Ireland’s quirkiest museums - the High Nelly Museum and the Fishing and Shooting Museum; the annual All Ireland Scarecrow Festival; Sheppards Auction Rooms; one of the only rivers in the country where you might find a pearl mussel, and the village that apparently gave Ireland its only native born Pope!”

With the guides, you can take your pick from leisurely strolls through the village or Castle Durrow grounds, a 15-mile cycle ride on a vintage High Nelly, or, for the more serious walkers, the nine or the 16-mile walks around the valley. There is also a guide to Durrow and its Environs showing the visitor the best attractions within 30 miles.

The App can be downloaded onto iPhone or Android. Just download the ‘EveryTrail Pro App’ and look for ‘Durrow Guides’. The EveryTrail Pro App is the leading walking app of its kind and, once the App has been downloaded, it can be used offline, so that no roaming charges will be incurred.

The walks and the App will be launched by well known mountaineer Frank Nugent at 11.30am on Sunday, March 18 at Castle Durrow.

“We will be doing part of the ‘Dunmore Loop’ after the launch and everyone is welcome to join us,’ says Noeleen Dunphy of Durrow Development Forum.