Funny how things change. This morning, headed downtown to call to Cafe Gusto and instead, a red traffic light and a random thought later, found myself on the Banks of the Lee walkway.
This was a walk I had intended to do for quite a while. You start at the western end of the North Mall where you see the signpost (on the left). Look back before you start and take in the view along the river.
As you start, you will see the Irish Distillers site, including the Cooperage on your right and, across the river, the old Maltings Buildings (now used by UCC). Then you come to the relatively new Dyke Bridge, the structure that enable the walk’s construction.
Cross the river here and the walk “morphs” into the Cumann na mBan Walk. The skateboard facility here was idle this morning and a few quiet minutes later and I was at the point where the traffic from the Western Road (inward) joins the Mardyke Walk.
Using the footpath for a short while, I reach Fitzgerald Park and continue the walk through the gardens and see the mothers and kids in the playground facility. The sun is out, not too strongly, as I exit the park and cross, by the Shaky Bridge, to the part of the walk that runs behind the UCC Sportsgrounds in the Mardyke. No great views in this area.
Then I cross the road at the southern side of Wellington Bridge and continue my walk. The river is on my right and there are good views of the Waterworks and the long building (formerly the hospital) and, on the left, the County Hall.
Continue now behind the Kingsley which seems to have suffered a fatal blow in last winter’s floods and soon I am in the traditional Lee Fields walk where quite a few other people are out and about. No swimming or canoes on the river today but it is often a hive of activity.
There is an extension to the Lee Fields Walk along the farm fields of Richard Wood of Carrigrohane. The river is close on your right and some decent views open out including one of horses grazing on the opposite bank. Some nice stand of trees, wild flowers and fishermen also as I head for the end of walk.
The path at the start of the extended walk is packed earth, a few feet wide. Later this becomes just a single line in the grass, but easily followed, all the way to a gate and exit at the end of the straight road.
Made that exit and headed for the Anglers Rest. Told my welcoming host that I deserved a pint. “You walked out?” he asked. I told him. “That’s a good ten kilometres,” he said. He was probably right. Enjoyed my pint of Becks in the spacious sunny riverside beer-garden.