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Ciarán Thornton

Explorer | Caring | Passionate

Favourite Place to Play

I’ll look for any excuse to play anywhere! But if I had to choose one spot, I would say the woods. With so many cool trees to climb, places to hide and tracks to explore, it’s one big playground. Reenadinna Yew Forest in Killarney National Park is the most magical place that I’ve ever been… step off the trail and you’re totally lost in nature.

Not a lot of people know this

I once hitch-hiked around Ireland in search of some remarkable trees that I found in a book I picked up somewhere. It was quite the adventure, meeting loads of interesting characters and a couple of peacocks and a bull in an old farm in Kilkenny.

Mini bio

I was lucky enough to grow up in beautiful County Wicklow, so the “Garden of Ireland” was my actual garden! It was here that I developed my love of the natural world and all things green. I used to drive my career guidance teachers crazy in school when I would tell them that all I wanted to do was get a boat and travel the world.

Nowadays, having done a good bit of exploring the globe, I’ve returned to Ireland and I’m wondering why I ever left as there is just endless places to explore here and natural beauty as good as anywhere I’ve seen. I really love people too and listening to their stories, people are nature too! My biggest passion now is to connect people back to nature and the land. I still want to get that boat some day too.

Qualifications Read More

I have a BA in Geography, Sociology & Political Science. I’ve recently completed a yearlong course at Schumacher College in Nature Connection.

Travel & Biggest Adventures Read More

I’ve travelled extensively throughout Europe, South East Asia and South America. My most memorable adventure was a 6 day hike to Mount Roraima in Venezuela. Roraima Mountain’s claim to fame is that it is inspiration that the movie Up is based on!

Outdoor Activities Read More

Being from the Wicklow Mountains – a place nicknamed as the “Garden of Ireland” – I’ve been hiking and hillwalking from a young age,I’m mad about cycling and try to cycle wherever possible rather than drive. I’m also interested in trail running and football (or soccer). I love to spend as much time outside whenever I can!

Hobbies & Interests Read More

Though I love being out in Ireland’s vast wild spaces, I’m also happy to spend all day tending my garden by my house, growing all manner of plants and vegetables! I enjoy yoga t00 as I find it helps me manage stress. I love tucking myself away in the corner to read a good book. When I manage to get away from my garden and my library, I’m always keen to explore new places – I especially love to discover megalithic sites. There’s nothing more rewarding than summiting a hill and finding a 3,000 – 5,000 year old tomb or cairn at the top coupled with amazing views!

Favourite Regions Read More

Being from County Wicklow, I know the Wicklow Mountains National Park and all its lakes, hills and ancient sites like the back of my hand. I always know Kildare and Galway very well – Connemara has some great hiking trails! Another region I love is the little-visited Co Mayo – Achill Island in particular is simply stunning.

Adventurer's Stories about Ciarán

Ciaran was great - the change to a beach walk the first day was an excellent idea as we did get to know our tour-mates. Ciaran was always willing to go the extra mile (literally, a couple of miles back to the parked van to get hiking poles for one of our group) for our group.

Catherine Wyatt
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 09/09/2019

Very well informed, went the extra mile, seemed to really enjoy his work. Very much appreciate all that was shared.

Elizabeth (Liz) Ward
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 02/08/2019

As I've said previously, Ciaran was excellent. I especially liked the rainy day when he suggested we hike in silence for awhile. Appropriate to the day, the location and the group. I also enjoyed his recounting of Irish history, even if I cannot remember much of it.

Annie Lord
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 30/07/2019

Ciaran was well organised but relaxed. I didn't feel I was being herded about (we did have a great group with everyone on time). He had lots of natural and social history which made the landscape and the political history very interesting to me.

Flexible, prepared to adapt the itinerary if we could fit something extra in. Excellent driver (very important on narrow Irish roads!!)

Jenny from Australia
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 27/07/2019

Ciaran Thornton..once we finally figured out how to say your name....
He was GREAT.. from totally informing us of plans, to starting the day off with poetry, to singing in the pub and then singing in the van...so many extra touches.

Mary Kay Thomas
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 27/07/2019

I've already written a bit about Ciaran as you'll see. I fear I will sound like a groupie or obsessed old woman if I go on but again, I can't imagine there is a better guide. Take note that at the last group dinner, everyone agreed we'd love to repeat the experience on another tour, if Ciaran was the guide.

Mercedes Lawry
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 25/07/2019

Ciaran was excellent even went back to the van to get me some walking poles
He flawlessly changed the itinerary when we could not go out to the islands, which was the main reason we chose the trip

Jane Mary Cheshire
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 19/06/2019

Ciaran went out of his way to be helpful, arranging alternatives to Island visits, which were cancelled, boats unable to put to sea. Knowledgeable about nature, history and local places to visit.

Mike Cheshire
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry
Reviewed on 17/06/2019

Ciarán's Gallery

© Ciarán Thornton / Wilderness Ireland

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