Follow In their Footsteps

The National Famine Way marks the poignant ill-fated story of assisted emigration in Ireland during the Famine in 1847 when 1,490 poor and hungry were forced to walk the 165km from the Strokestown Park Estate, County Roscommon to Custom House Quay in Dublin. They traveled onward to Liverpool and almost a third of them perished crossing the Atlantic in "coffin ships" bound for Canada.

The National Famine Way is a digitally and physically waymarked 167km National walking trail that connects the National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon, with Rowan Gillespie’s Famine memorial on Custom House Quay in Dublin along the banks of the Royal Canal. The trail ends near the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.  Walkers can set their own pace and follow in the footsteps of the 1,490 tenants who were forced to emigrate from Strokestown to Canada on some of the worst of the coffin ships.  The trail is waymarked with 30 plinths and pairs of 19th Century bronze shoe sculptures.

The walk is open to all.  The entire walk can be completed at your own pace in your own time.

National Famine Way Launch

In 2019, a group of walkers including  Professor Christine Kinealy (Quinnipiac University), Professor Mark McGowan (University of Toronto), Cathal Poirtier, Anthony Russell, Caroilin Callery (Irish Heritage Trust), and Dr Jason King (Irish Heritage Trust) followed in the footsteps of Strokestown's missing 1,490 emigrants and completed the 165 km trail in six days, to launch the National Famine Way. Watch their daily progress in the fascinating videos below.  They were shot at key Famine sites along the route.
  • DAY 1
  • Day 2
  • DAY 3
  • DAY 4
  • DAY 5
  • DAY 6
  • Videos
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Strokestown Park House
Strokestown Park House

Shoe Stories
Shoe Stories

Famine Way Tours
Famine Way Tours