Do you ever remember something from childhood as really vivid, big and huge and then when you see it years later, it looks an awful lot smaller than how you remembered it to be? And you wonder has it changed or had you remembered it wrong?
Well, that’s what happened me with the Devil’s Bit in Tipperary! I remember looking up at it as we drove past when I was a child and seeing it as a very defined huge chunk taken out of the land and when I recently returned a few weeks ago, I had to do a double take as I missed it only for the cross on top!!
There are a few variations in circulation, but the story I was told was that the Devil’s Bit came about as the devil took a bite out of the land as he was flying along, didn’t like what he tasted and so, spat it out which ended up making the Rock of Cashel. I wonder what would have happened if he had flown on a few more miles into Kilkenny??
The Devil’s Bit is about 2 km outside of Templemore town on the Borrisoleigh road (R501). Clearly sign-posted, this road will bring you directly to the car park.
From the car park, walk up the stony laneway and enter through the little gate at the forest. Continue up along this grassy track until you come to a cross section at a folly, which looks like a water tower. If you wish to do the 5km looped walk turn left here and follow the trail around. If not, continue straight and this will bring you directly up to the large white cross and summit.
The 5km looped walk, which brings you on a track through woods is very pleasant and will be completed in about an hour and a half. You have the option of climbing to the top for some impressive views and on the day we visited, this was clearly signposted and well worthwhile! The walk itself is quite achievable and it is only the climb to the summit that you will need to watch out for more junior members of your party and take care to have a sure footing on the rocks.
Once at the top, you will have much fun spotting counties Kilkenny, Tipperary, Limerick, Offaly and Laois! I hope you get a good clear day! Try looking out and spotting other mountains such as the Galtees, Slieve Blooms and Slievenamon. While here also, you can look down onto the actual “bit” that the devil is said to have taken with him and across to some really cool cliffs and views over forests and wind farms.
To make your way back down, pick a safe route off the rocks, down stone steps and you will find yourself back at the water tower/folly to make your way back to the car park, getting to see the rich pastures of Tipperary laid out before you as you wander down.
Catching up with a school friend, we had both heard lots about The Cottage in Loughmore and thought we might go and treat ourselves after our hike. Driving back towards Templemore town, we turned for the N62 which is the road to Thurles, turning left after about 4.5km on this road to arrive into the pretty little village of Loughmore, or Loughmoe as it can sometimes be listed as on maps. The Cottage is a community-based co-op café and I can tell you that their food tastes as good as it looks! What impressed me the most about The Cottage café, was the warm welcome we received from Kay – no matter that we were “blow-in’s”, Kay was as genuinely friendly to us, as she was to her neighbours and friends already there. We have already made plans to go back and try the Lasagne!!
Like the look of this?
The Rock of Dunamaise in Laois is not a million miles from The Devils Bit & it offers a similar experience – free carpark, ruins to climb through & imagine what life was like at a different time & some unbeatable views of our countryside. Read on here…