The National Famine Way is a unique and historic trail that traces the footsteps of the 1,490 famine emigrants who left Strokestown in 1847.
They journeyed to Dublin port and onwards to the UK and North America because it was cheaper for their landlord to assist their emigration than it was for him to keep them in the Roscommon poorhouse. The National Famine Way gives you a remarkable and poignant way to engage with their experience.
Download the National Famine Way Education Pack
Suitable for 8+ years, Curriculum supportive of History, Sese, Arts, Pe and Ethics.
The National Famine Way Education pack where History, Health and Art are woven into a tapestry that puts flesh on the bones of our past.
The National Famine Way App
As you follow the 165km self-guided trail on foot or by bike, using the National Famine Way app, the stories of these poor and hungry people are brought to life through the character of young Daniel Tighe who walked among them as a 12-year-old boy.
Daniel’s story is reimagined in vignettes written by award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna, and over thirty bronze casts of 19th-century shoes act as thought-provoking waymarkers along the trail.
See below for further details as to how you can download the app.
Connect with Ireland’s tragic past and vibrant present
- Experience the trail on a multi-day walk or cycle, or as a set of shorter days out.
- Explore beautiful landscapes and enjoy local hospitality on this emotionally powerful trail.
The Famine Way Trail Route
The trail route connects Strokestown Park with Rowan Gillespie’s Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay in Dublin, travelling along the banks of the Royal Canal.
The self-guided heritage trail is supported by clear signage, a map (produced by Ordnance Survey Ireland), excellent digital interpretation, and a Passport/Guide that supports your experience of following the route.
Personalise your experience
National Famine Way
Mark your journey by collecting stamps in your National Famine Way Passport.
The passport is part of a National Famine Way package, designed to support your experience, which will be personalised for you or your group.
The Famine Way Trail route is bookended by two state-of-the art museums which explore different aspects of the Irish emigrant experience – the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum located in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands. You can also visit the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, which is located along the route at the Grand Dock and step inside a replica of the ships – also known as coffin ships due to the large number of passengers who did not survive the voyage – that brought so many famine emigrants away from Ireland.
Learn the stories of the 1,490 at the compelling National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park’s stables
The National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park will give you incredible insights into the personal stories of the 1,490, and the national and international contexts that affected their lives.
Come explore Ireland’s history of emigration and exile by the docks where the 1,490 embarked.
At EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, the experience of all those who left Ireland and the impact Irish people have made across the world is movingly explored in compelling, interactive, and inspiring ways.
“A beautiful, smart way of embracing history, embracing the country, embracing tourism, keeping the economy afloat….the best initiative for Irish tourism since the Wild Atlantic Way”
Remembering the 1,490
We know the stories of the 1,490 because they survive in the remarkable famine-era documents discovered at Strokestown Park House.
Working in Partnership
The National Famine Way is a collaboration between Waterways Ireland and county councils along the route: Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Fingal, and Dublin. It has been developed by Strokestown Park House, the National Famine Museum, and the Irish Heritage Trust in partnership with Waterways Ireland, the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology, and EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum.