The Blackstairs Challenge

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

Blackstairs Walk 2025

The 2024 Blackstairs Walk has taken place. If you would like to be on our mailing list for Walk in May 2025, please contact us at

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.

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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