Away A Wee WalkAway A Wee Walk

Away A Wee Walk

My Story…

My name is Eimear Flanagan.  I set up ‘Away A Wee Walk’ in 2013.  It is my passion to help visitors to Ireland create magical, authentic, soul-renewing experiences, hiking in the Irish landscape.  Ultimately I ‘sell’ that hard to describe feeling you get when you are ‘lost’ in the natural environment.  I take away all the risk and hassle of trying to second guess the ‘how to’ of ensuring your experience in Ireland is one that you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

eimear
eimear

I’m based in Belfast, I was born and bred here, but I’ve lived and travelled around the world.  In my experience the grass really is greener back here in Ireland.  I’m a qualified tour guide with a degree in Irish History and Politics.  I’ve conducted thousands of tours in both the rural and urban environment and I simply love telling the story of Ireland to visitors. I’ve an unsurpassable passion for the landscape and for helping you access it as easily as I can.  I am supported by a freelance team of equally passionate and inspiring guides and I can also help you create an independent hiking holiday without a guide.

The Away A Wee Walk Story…

Away A Wee Walk was born out of a light bulb moment.  It was originally the name of a blog that I kept as I walked along the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago in 2012.  Just before heading out to Spain, I had chosen to leave the family business, the long established ‘Emer Gallery’ in Belfast.  I enjoyed six terrific years working alongside my Dad but too many of those years struggling in a high end retail environment in an economy deeply in recession. I was supported by my parents to walk away from the business.  I had no idea that walking away would result in me literally walking into the business idea of my dreams!  Amazingly, the ‘Away A Wee Walk’ blog name was created within 24 hours of me leaving the family business even though the business concept didn’t happen for almost another year.

Having thoroughly enjoyed my five week trek in Spain, I spent the following year doing lots of talks about the Camino back in Belfast.  There was and remains a huge interest in the Camino and I still help others enjoy a Camino experience.  Toward the end of the year I started trying to put groups together to go out and walk in Spain.  It was on what I describe as a ‘wet, minging, March morning’… in the middle of the week and the middle of the day that the light bulb finally switched on!  I had lived in the Dubai from 2001 – 2006 and I was struck by how much tourism to Belfast had kicked off by the time I returned.  I knew Belfast was on the tourist map.  On that March morning I was bowled over by the numbers.  I was sitting in traffic at the International Wall on the Falls Road.  There were at least two coaches full of tourists and six black taxis all visiting the wall.  In such horrible weather, well out of peak season, I was struck by the sheer numbers of visitors.  The light bulb… ‘what on earth am I doing trying to bring people to walk in Spain when I live in a walkers paradise and this is the number of visitors’. The idea for ‘Away A Wee Walk’ – the Belfast based walking tours and walking holidays company was born!

I built the website and the product in the summer of 2013 and had my first handful of customers.  I had my first real season in 2014 while I also guided for Belfast City Sightseeing as the business grew.  I went full time with the business in March 2016 and I’ve continued to grow from strength to strength.  I’ve a very clear and exciting plan for how I see the company growing.

Who I work with

In Spring 2016 the National Trust at the Giant’s Causeway contracted me to run their ‘Cliff Top Experience’ tour at what is the busiest National Trust property anywhere.  I am endorsed as a trusted provider for tours in Ireland, by ‘Ian Taylor’ trekking, an Irish owned, Everest base camp, trekking company.  I am a trade partner with Visit Belfast,  and can be found on most websites regarding ‘things to do’ in Ireland including; Ireland.com, Discover Northern Ireland and of course Visit Belfast, the main gateway tourist office into Northern Ireland.  I am currently a member of Tour Guides NI and am joint secretary on the steering group, an inclusive trade body for qualified tour guides. I have guided for Bespoke Northern Ireland, Trafalgar, Contiki, Travel Ireland, Belfast City Sightseeing, amongst many others.  I work as a local host for Monograms, part of the Cosmos family of brands and I have also conducted walking tours for Golf International customers.  My full day tour cliff path customers are transported from Belfast by the long established Causeway tour specialist company, McCombs.

What my customers say…

“I was working in Dublin for 5 months, and struggling to get out travelling. Paris was my big weekend trip before this tour, and I really should have just gone on this trip twice! Bare in mind the conditions were spectacular on the day I went, but it was beyond beautiful, with sheep posing for photos on the edge of unbelievably beautiful cliffs. Combined with the views and commentary on the bus tour I joined to get there, I would say this one trip was the quintessence of Ireland! I’ll cherish this trip for the rest of my life, …. This trip with Away A Wee Walk was by far the most memorable and amazing time and place I experienced in Ireland! …”

Nick Brouillard, March 2016, U. S. A.

sheep

“We had an amazing trip, enhanced by the weather!  All went well and Peter was exceptional…. We had a very memorable Nornirish experience”

Sue Hoghton April 2015, England.

“We had a fabulous time and we were very happy with everything you organised for us. The hotels were great, the baggage transfers and pick up from/to airport were excellent.”

Geoff Stringer May 2015, England.

“We loved Cushendall. Could have stayed there longer to experience their festival. Amazingly friendly people.  Did the cliff walk near town and took a taxi to Glenariff Forest Park. Loved it. Did a couple of walks….. We have really enjoyed our time in NI”

Leanne and Brian Kison, August 2016, Australia

“Our day was wonderful. …. We walked for just about 4 hours seeing wonderful waterfalls, wild fuchsia, forested areas and so much more. It was fabulous. Our driver took us along the longer coastal route and then by the murals on the way back to Belfast. He tried very hard to make our experience memorable. We are tired but pleased with our walking experiences you arranged for us. Thank you so very much.”

Sandra Skwarek, September 2014, Canada

You can find lots more on TripAdvisor.

Types of tours and customers I’ve worked with.

Thousands for people from England, Ireland, Holland, Germany, America, Canada, Spain, France, China, India, Australian, Brazil and many more countries have enjoyed the cliff path hike at the Causeway coast via my signature product – the full day tour to the Giant’s Causeway.

Lots of University groups from the United States have enjoyed private coach tours to the causeway coast.

Gardening enthusiast tour groups have enjoyed guided hikes over Cavehill after a visit to the beautiful gardens at Belfast Castle.

Families arriving on cruise ships have opted for bespoke Causeway tours including short, child-friendly hikes.

Rambling clubs, mainly from England have enjoyed numerous days of guided hiking from 9 – 13 miles along the Causeway coast, Glens and the Mournes.

I’ve organised self guided hiking holidays for a couples, friends and walking clubs along the Causeway Coast, Rathlin Island, Glens of Antrim, the Mourne Mountains and much more.

I also conduct round Ireland guided hiking holidays predominantly for bespoke walking groups.  I am able to conduct up to five of these bespoke longer trips per year.  Places are therefore strictly limited.  I am currently accepting interest for guided holidays from group organisers for 2017, 2018 and 2019.  If you have a serious interest in bringing a walking enthusiast group to Ireland for a 10 day plus trip and would like me to plan it with you and guide you, then please get in touch via the ‘contact us’ page.  We can schedule an initial call to ascertain your requirements and begin the process.

I work with numerous tour operators in both the adventure travel industry globally and with local tour resellers.  If you are in the trade and would like to work directly with Away A Wee Walk then please get in touch.

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