About us

Our walking tour company was founded in 2008 by a passionate Irish woman, Rachel Ryan, who grew up in the lush farmland of southwest Ireland, and now calls New Zealand her home.

With a deep connection to the land and rich cultural heritage of Ireland, Rachel has designed guided walking tours that offer a unique and authentic experience of the West of Ireland.

Our mission

Our mission is to provide an authentic and immersive walking tour experience of Ireland’s stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. We offer a deep sense of what it means to be Irish, while fostering a connection with the land and the locals.

Our tours are designed to be respectful of the environment and communities we visit, whilst promoting the preservation of Ireland’s ancient cultural legacy.

We aim to create unforgettable memories for our guests and inspire a lifelong appreciation and love for the beauty and history of Ireland.

Our team

Passionate and knowledgeable, our team provides a rich and authentic experience of Ireland’s stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

Rachel Ryan

Tour leader

The owner/operator of Walk the West of Ireland. Rachel designs and leads all our walking tours.

An essential ingredient of Rachel’s tours is experiencing the Irish ‘x’ factor: the warm hospitality and generosity of the Irish people.

Eve Reilly

Travelling Chef

Eve’s introduction to hospitality began with the family business Inislounaght House, Co. Tipperary. The house was a member of the prestigious Irish Country Houses and Restaurants Association.

On settling in New Zealand she managed Poronui, an exclusive Sporting Lodge near Taupo for 25+ years. She is currently a summer head chef at Raetihi Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds.

Mike Moroney

Walking Guide

Our guide in The Glen of Aherlow. Michael has been with us since our first tour back in 2008.  He has always lived in Tipperary and epitomises the deep connection that Irish people feel to their local area.

He knows every blade of grass and stone in the Galtee mountain range and loves to share his knowledge and love of the place.

Michael Gibbons

Walking Guide

Our guide in Connemara and Inis Mór (Aran Island). We are privileged to have Michael on our team.  He is a renowned field archaeologist, passionate about his work and research.

He is a fine and energetic interpreter of ancient history – walkers are riveted by his knowledge, and his natural ability to convey information.

John Paul Ryan

Walking Guide

Our guide in County Sligo. John is a wonderful storyteller of local Celtic mythology in which Sligo is steeped. 

Whether we are up Knocknarea at Queen Maeve’s massive tomb or out on Ross Island, John has a fluent and flowing style of communicating the rich cultural heritage inherent in the town and county of Sligo.

Roy Galvin

Accommodation Host

Tig Roy (Roy’s house), is a standout place to stay on our walking tours. A fluent Irish speaker, Roy is a talented musician. He plays the Irish flute and pipes. Roy dances the relaxed sean-nōs (old style) dance.

Roy is a superb host ensuring everyone feels welcome and entertained in his comfortable lodge overlooking the beautiful Glen of Aherlow.

Lynn Hill

Accommodation Host

The Angler’s Return fishing lodge in Connemara. Lynn epitomises Irish hospitality which is a cornerstone of the culture. Her zest for life is infectious.

The atmosphere she has created at The Angler’s Return is comfortable and welcoming. Lynn is the consummate host with a keen eye for every detail.

Walking guides

Our walking Guides are Ireland’s unsung national treasures. Through their local knowledge of ancient history together with their storytelling talent and their own connection to their place, you will feel deeply connected to the land.


From production to plate, Ireland is making a name for itself internationally for its ‘new’ Irish cuisine. The traditional ingredients and the culture of Irish food remain wonderfully in place. However, there is a renewed focus on care. There is care by the producers: lots of organic growers, farmers and fishermen. There is care in the preparation by the artisan butchers, cheese makers, smokehouses, soup makers, pate makers.

The best of Irish cooking celebrates the country and its history using traditional foods from its prestigious natural larder carefully prepared, simple and full of flavour.

On this tour the menus focus on such traditional Irish foods, using locally available produce from the regions we visit. Expect wonderful Atlantic salmon, succulent Connemara lamb, abundance of local, seasonal vegetables, incredible cheeses and delicious puddings. Dietary needs, likes and dislikes are catered for.

My guests stray far from the main tourist trail and absorb ‘authentic’ Ireland, along with a deeper sense of what it is to be Irish.

Rachel Ryan

Take a walk with us

We offer you a warm invitation to join our team of local guides and charming accommodation hosts in July 2023.

Have more questions​?

Get in contact with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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