Comeragh Mountains, County Waterford
A lush glen, a cliff path, a bog road, a mountain range, a canal bank, or even a city quarter: there are literally HUNDREDS of walks and hikes for the taking in Ireland. Coast to coast
Being an island, Ireland naturally offers unique opportunities for coastal walks. The
Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coast are stand-out locations, but don’t overlook the likes of the stunning Beara, Dingle and Inishowen Peninsulas (each nicely varied with mountainous as well as gentler terrain) and Wexford’s Copper Coast, named after the mining industry that once prospered there. Special mention, too, for the hilly routes around Achill Island, County Mayo.
Speaking of islands, you can find some of the quirkiest, quietest walks on the likes of Galway’s Aran Islands, Tory in Donegal and Rathlin in Antrim. In
Fermanagh’s lakelands, island walks come with a serving of Early Christian history.
Achill Island, County Mayo
Mountains in Ireland come in many shapes and sizes, but they all come beautiful. The
Mourne Mountains boast a host of heavenly hikes and according to CS Lewis, we may not have Narnia without them. The Wicklow and Kerry Ways both traverse stunning mountainscapes with plenty of calmer stretches inbetween and a hike up Carrauntoohil in County Kerry is a hike up Ireland’s highest mountain. The Slieve Blooms in County Laois provide stellar views, and less strenuous strolls while Coumshingaun, in County Waterford’s Comeragh Mountains, has been described by the Irish Times as “the best demanding short hike in Ireland”.
The Antrim Glens
Glens, bogs and canal banks
Are Antrim’s Glens the greenest place in Ireland? They’re definitely close. Walks and hikes in these verdant surrounds are dealt a dash of colour thanks to the area’s mythical heritage. For every step you take, a fairy, warrior, banshee or ghost has taken it before you.
Grand Canal, County Kilkenny
Keep it quirky with bog walks in the likes of Tipperary, Laois, Offaly and Connemara. Bog walks are generally prettily planned with wooden walkways to keep you away from the stickiest terrain. For something a little less muddy, pick a canal, any canal, and walk its banks under cover of leafy canopies.
Still not sure where to begin? Don’t worry. As the old Irish saying goes, “Your feet will bring you to where your heart is”.