About Tailor Made Walking Tours
HOW?…Tailor-Made Tours offered our first walking itineraries in May 2001. In the wake of the Foot & Mouth disaster that year, we grew from an existing company with whom I worked.
We offer the same routes now, through an ever-changing landscape of 21st century Ireland. While the mountains and coastline remain the same, the rural face has seen the boom of the Celtic Tiger years, the subsequent decline and an indelible change to our social fabric. In places and infrastructure, the country reflects the furiously changing pace of the greater world, the collapse in the last decade of our economy and that of our EU partners, and now the slow regrowth to something more normal. The Irish Tourist Board marketing venture in 2014 called “The Wild Atlantic Way”, signposted our fabulous western seaboard and zoomed Ireland up the tourism graph again. Hot on their heels were the Hollywood “Star Wars” crew, on our most remote headlands and islands, creating new scenes from ancient monuments of our pre-Christian past.
AND NOW?… far away from the ecomonists, the news, the statistics, there is always walking. There are always old trails, tracks of our forefathers, working routes of your ancestors. Before there were horse and carts, vehicles and transport, there was walking. There are mass paths, funeral roads, mountain trails, butter roads, driving roads, forest rides, all awaiting the feet of those who want to discover their own experience of Ireland. There is village life, agriculture, tourism; the mainstays of our economy for hundreds of years and that to which we still return.
AND WHY?…What are the enduring comments over the years from our clients and visitors? The friendliness of the people they meet. The ability and willingness to go that extra mile for visitors. This is the Ireland I want you to be in.
AND WHO?…I have worked in the tourism industry since 1988, when I cut my teeth at Acton’s Hotel Kinsale for £85 Irish punt a week! From there I have graduated through the learning process in successive leaps with Kate & Oliver Hart at The Oysterhaven Centre, with the changing committee faces of Kinsale Golf Club, with Nick Becker & Rosie Garde at Countryside Tours, all interspersed with periods of travel worldwide. My favourite overseas walking and hiking is in New Zealand and our neighbouring England & Wales. These countries make Waymarked hiking a dream. In Ireland I have no favourites, every part of the island holds something different and special, but my family history and energy is all over Cork and the Dingle peninsula.
I live with my two children Kate & David in Aghada, (ah-had-a- for non-Corkonians!) East Cork, overlooking the enchanting Cork harbour. This is command central for organising your walking tour. It is a wonderful place to live; a great community, beautiful scenery, in view of the shipping lane of Cork harbour and the lovely cruise liners that visit Cobh.
And enjoy – even the planning should be fun; life is not a dress rehearsal. (My mum’s mantra!)