The John F Leslie Woodland Walk skirts its way along the beautiful bay of Tarbert and goes through the Leslie family estate. This walk was developed by the Tarbert Walks Group in 1996. Amid the natural woodland of Leslie’s Wood and the scenic views of the River Shannon, you can take a leisurely walk of approximately one hour’s duration. This walk encompasses all aspects of nature – from the flora and fauna to the wide variety of birds which can be seen and heard in Tarbert Bay.
A TO B
Starting at The Bridewell on the Island Road walk towards the Green River and continue over the wooden bridge. On the left you will pass the 1893 memorial which commemorates the 17 young people who lost their lives crossing the River Shannon. Follow the green arrows along the Coast Road and take the first turn right to the back of the hill.
B TO C
Climb the hill for approximately 500 metres and enter the wood on your right and continue along the woodland path. Here you will see a quarry on your left and the remains of a wide ditch which was a fortification in times gone by. You will see numerous examples of badger lairs along the way. In April and May the woodland is carpeted in a late spring bloom of wild garlic, bluebells and wood anemone. Where the track meets the Island Road take a left towards Tarbert Island. Walk as far as the main entrance to Tarbert House.
C TO D
Walk up the avenue to Tarbert House and take a right into the wood. Follow the green arrows through the wood passing Tarbert House on your left. Tarbert House, built around 1680 by the resident Leslie family, is a Georgian Heritage house. Still in its original form with Irish portraits, furniture and ornaments, it is linked with the history of the Leslies and its famous visitors including Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill and Charlotte Bronte. Along this walk you will see beautiful views of Tarbert Bay. Follow the green arrows until you exit onto the Island Road.
D TO E
Turn left and walk towards Tarbert pier. Tarbert old pier, built in 1854, from where ships of sail and steam transported grain, butter and pigs to England and Europe, is now a centre for swimming and boating.
E TO F
Return along the Island Road and enter the wood once more. From here continue along the woodland path as far as the avenue. Crossing the avenue walk past the walled garden on your right until you exit at the bird board on the Island Road.
F TO G
Return to The Bridewell along the Island Road.
There are 14 information points on the route. Each has QR codes mounted on wooden posts that you can scan with your phone to either download a PDF of a guide to the flora and fauna at each of those points or stream an audio file to listen to as you walk from point to point. Alternatively, you can download or play them here by clicking below.