The Blackstairs Challenge

A 33km / 1,500m Challenge Walk along the Carlow-Wexford border

Blackstairs Walk 2024

The 2024 Blackstairs Walk will take place on Saturday 18 May 2024.

Registration will open at 7pm on Tuesday 26th March via a link here.

Please read details and rules in advance of registration, as you will be asked to accept details as conditions of entry.

You will be able to purchase ONE ticket at a time, so if you require more than one, you will need to repeat the process for each additional ticket.

When you secure a ticket, you have 15 minutes to complete payment. If payment is not completed in this time, ticket will be automatically offered for resale.

Entry Fee – €40 including Bus from Glynn to start or €36 excluding Bus to start.

We encourage people to take bus from Glynn if possible, rather than going straight to start, as there is no official parking at the start, and we do not provide transport back to start afterwards.

When all tickets have been sold, a waiting list will be opened, and unsuccessful applicants can be added to this by sending an email to  ,stating whether you are looking for ticket that includes bus transport or not.

Any returned tickets will be resold on an individual basis, so name and email address are required for each person on the waiting list.

We will process refunds if you want to cancel until Wednesday 1st May. After that, we will not make any refunds but will facilitate a change of name, if all the relevant details are provided.

If you require further information, please contact

 The Blackstairs Marathon Walk

The Blackstairs Walk is a 33km mountain walk along the Carlow-Wexford border. It begins at Killanure (Grid Ref S 893 537) off the R746  road from Bunclody to Kiltealy, and ends at Byrne’s Pub in Glynn, Co. Carlow (Grid Ref S 745 395). The walk involves a cumulative ascent of 1,500 metres and takes an average of 9 hours to complete. A certificate will be awarded to all those who complete the walk.


  • Be over 16 years of age. Participants between the ages of 12 and 16 will only be considered if they are accompanied by an adult who is an experienced hill-walker at all times while on the walk. Entrants under 12 are not allowed.
  • Be in fit physical condition.
  • Have reasonable hill walking experience.
  • Have wind and waterproof clothing (top and bottom), and wear suitable hiking boots or fell shoes. Trainers are not suitable.
  • Have a compass and Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 68, or Blackstairs Map from East West Mapping
  • If you cannot navigate using map/compass or GPS application, you must walk in a group with someone that does.
  • Start the walk between 7.30 and 8.30am.
  • Reach the Checkpoint at Scullogue Gap not later than 1.00pm.
  • Finish the walk not later than 6.30pm.
  • Carry their Control cards during the walk.
  • Pay the entry fee €40/€36 depending on transport option. Price includes transport from Glynn, and food (Main course and cake with tea/coffee) at end of walk.
  • No dogs are allowed on the walk.
  • In the event of adverse weather conditions, the organisers reserve the right to cancel the event in the interests of health and safety with no refund


  1. Stewards may refuse entry and shall not be obliged to disclose a reason.
  2. Stewards may disqualify participants who do not reach the checkpoints within the allotted times, or who are unfit in their opinion to complete the walk.
  3. Participants must follow the route designated.
  4. Participants shall only leave the walk at a checkpoint, having first surrendered their control card and informed the stewards that they are doing so.
  5. The organisers of the walk shall not be responsible for any mishap, injury or damage regardless of the cause.
  6. In the event of an accident, stewards at the nearest checkpoint should be informed as soon as possible.
  7. Participants are requested not to leave litter, and to avoid damage to private property, fences etc.
  8. In the event of adverse weather conditions, the organisers reserve the right to cancel the event in the interests of health and safety with no refund

Buses will leave from 6.45 to 7.15am 5pprox. for the start of the walk. Participants are advised not to drive to the start as parking is very limited and there is NO official transport from the finish back to the start point to collect your car.


See above


Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No 68 covers the route.

EastWest Mapping have produced a 1:25000 Map of the Blackstairs area, which is available  from It should also be available at O’Leary’s (Bunclody) and Great Outdoors (Dublin).

Useful Information


Itinerary / Times:

  • 6.45am to 7.15am approx – Buses leave Glynn for the start of the walk
  • 7.30am – Official start time of the walk at Killanure.
  • 8.30am – Latest start time at Killanure.


Accommodation is your own responsibility to organise.
This is not an exhaustive list of accommodation in the area.

St. Mullins / Glynn / Drummond
Mulvarra House  353-51-424 936
Waterside  353-59-9724 246
Graiguenamanagh / Borris
Helen Doyle  353-59-9724 625
Step House Hotel, Borris  353 – 59-9773 209
Mount Brandon Cottages, Tinnahinch  085-7317501 or 059-9724789

Camping – Brandon Hill Camping, Graiguenamanagh

086 882 5875

St. Mullins Camping, The Well, St.Mullins, Co. Carlow, R95T3CT
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