The col between Farbreaga and Knockshanahullion rests at circa 450m making it an ideal start point for a double boomerang walk taking in Farbreaga, Knockshanahullion and Knocknalougha. These western Knockmealdowns are generally rounded and safe although there are dangerous spots if you go out of your way.
John G O'Dwyer in his very helpful "Tipperary & Waterford: A Walking Guide" refers to Wainwright's desire for solitude on the hills being so great that he would dodge behind a rock to avoid meeting other walkers.O'Dwyer goes on to indicate that there would generally be little need for such actions on the western Knockmealdowns, so quiet are they.
Clearly, things have taken a bit of a dive since the Guide was published, as the western Knockmealdowns were not just busy with hillwalkers, but were overrun by quad enthusiasts. In fact the col I recommend as your base for this walk, which was empty when I began my day, was crowded with revving quads a couple of hours later. The quadraphiliacs seem like a nice bunch...very excited at being out on their souped up lawnmowers, zooming up and down making loads of noise, and firing mud around the place. There was a bit of a hush as I ambled into their temporary camp to retrieve my car, but I diffused the slight tension by issuing a general ""Bail ó Dhia ar an obair!" type remark that suggested I was one of those rare hillwalkers who loved to see a few quads larking about the place. I studied both the men and their machines carefully before leaving. The words of Bush the Younger were ringing in my ears:"This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at a time, of our choosing." Oh yes...a letter to The Irish Times - that'll put a stop to their gallop!