Rinn Duin peninsula is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets. This is the Rinn Duin Castle estate, one of the most well-preserved deserted Norman towns in Ireland. Its grounds contain nine heritage sites including the castle, gatehouse, windmill, church, a perimeter wall with three towers, a hospital and a bee pole. There is a looped 4 km sign posted walking trail which will guide you through all the sites and begins at St John’s House, which is a about a 1.5 mile walk from the marina. It is certainly a must-see attraction. You can also pull up at the peninsula and row in, however, anchoring in the Viking harbour is forbidden.
A-B. Starting from the car park, follow the green (and blue) arrow through the gate to St John’s House B&B. The blue arrows are for the longer Warren Point Loop. Continue along the sand roadway for 200m to reach a Y-junction at St John’s House. You will be returning to this point from the left on the return section. For now – veer right and follow the sand roadway for 500m to reach the old Town Wall.
B-C. Pass through the gateway and follow the grassy roadway to reach another gateway at a stone wall. Turn right at the gate and follow the wall for 40m to reach a stile on your left – cross it and follow the green and blue arrows along a boundary stone wall on the shoreline of Carrownure Bay. After 300m you reach the ruins of Rinn Duin Church on your left. Turn left here (leaving the blue loop as it heads out to Warren Point).
C-D. Follow the stone wall on your left past the church and the castle (both on your right) and across the peninsula to Safe Harbour. Midway across the blue loop rejoins from the right. At Safe Harbour the loop turns left and follows the outside of stone boundary walls along the shoreline of St John’s Bay. The loop crosses a number of stiles over the next 1km before turning left off the shoreline.
D-A. Follow a boundary fence (on your left) to reach a metal gate – pass through it and cross the field to another metal gate. Pass through this and follow the stone wall of the Walled Garden to reach the sand roadway at St Johns House. Turn right and enjoy the last 100m back to the trailhead.