12 of the perfect hikes in Eire – Lonely Planet


Climbing in Eire means mild hills, rocky ridges, wild moorlands, spectacular sea cliffs, distant islands and unpredictable climate, making it an unforgettable life expertise.

Listed here are 12 of the perfect walks in Eire to get you planning, plus some high recommendations on the principles, and what to take.

The Causeway Coast Method, County Antrim, passes well-known historic websites

33 miles (53km), 2-3 days

This waymarked path follows Antrim’s north coast. Significantly spectacular is the ultimate 10 miles (16.5km) from Carrick-a-Rede to the Big’s Causeway. This part might be achieved in a day and affords one of many most interesting coastal walks in Eire. Go away plenty of additional time for excursions; this path skirts a few of Northern Eire’s best-loved vacationer points of interest like Dunluce Fortress and Bushmills Distillery.

Wicklow Method close to Dublin has lovely surroundings

79 miles (127km), 5-7 days

Wicklow Method is considered one of Eire’s hottest long-distance walks due to its exceptional surroundings and its comparatively accessible begin and end factors. Setting off from Dublin’s Marlay Park, you’ll hike by way of the center of the Wicklow Mountains and all the best way to Clonegal in County Carlow.

There are many half- and full-day choices alongside the best way, with the path crossing by way of forest, rivers, rolling hills and extra strenuous mountain treks.

There are 27 peaks to select from within the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain vary © Semmick Picture / Shutterstock

Carrauntoohil, County Kerry, is the perfect mountain hike

7.5 miles (12km) to summit, 4-6 hours

Carrauntoohil is the nation’s highest summit, at 1040m (3412ft). There are a number of routes up, although even probably the most easy requires good hillwalking and navigation abilities, whereas others are critical scrambling or rock-climbing routes. If you happen to don’t have good map-reading and compass abilities – or are even barely not sure – rent a information.

Carrauntoohil is considered one of 27 peaks within the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain vary and there are extra manageable mountains to climb for various skills. The realm is filled with lakes, forests and spectacular views so that you gained’t be brief on locations to discover.

Slieve Donard, County Down, has fantastic dawn views

3 miles (4.6km) at its most direct route, 2.5 hours

Slieve Donard is the best level within the Mourne Mountains. On a transparent day you’ll have a view of an enormous space of Ulster and generally even out to Scotland. The 100-year-old Mourne Wall cuts by way of the valleys and summits for 22 miles (35km) and you should use that as a path marker to discover extra of the area.

If circumstances are proper, you will get nice views from Mt Brandon © 4H4 Images / Shutterstock

Mt Brandon, County Kerry, is Dingle’s highest level

6-9 miles (9-15km) relying on the route, 4-6 hours

Mt Brandon, the best peak on the Dingle Peninsula, has rugged trails that yield jaw-dropping views. It stands in splendid isolation to the north of Dingle, a posh ridge bounded by spectacular cliffs and glacial lakes to the northeast, and falling steeply into the ocean to the northwest. In clear climate the views are stupendous.

Howth Summit is the perfect brief hike close to Dublin

4 miles (6km), 2 hours

A looped stroll across the headlands begins at Howth DART station – comply with the inexperienced arrow alongside the promenade after which flip proper onto the cliff path. The stroll takes you as much as the summit earlier than looping again down once more. There are different, longer walks marked by blue, pink and purple arrows (which partially overlap the inexperienced route). This stroll provides you with unimaginable views of Dublin Bay, however be ready to share them with different hikers, particularly at weekends when it may well get crowded.

Muckross Lake Loop Path, County Kerry, is ideal for photographers

6 miles (9.5km), 2 hours

Though brief, you may simply spend most of a day ambling round this loop path (anticlockwise just for cyclists), which takes in a number of the most photogenic elements of Killarney Nationwide Park. There are beautiful facet trails to discover on the best way; do not miss the 10-minute diversion to Previous Weir Bridge, the place you possibly can watch tour boats powering by way of the slender, rocky channel.

Sprawling over 10,236 hectares, the park is an idyllic place to discover with loads of different extra strenuous climbing trails for anybody eager to see extra of the traditional oak woods or discover panoramic views of its highest mountains.

Kilcornan Woodland, County Galway, is the perfect hike close to Galway

3.6 miles (6km), 1.5 hours

A splendidly wild forest, the walkway operating by way of the center of Kilcornan Woodland is paved, making it straightforward to navigate with wheelchairs. You can too go off the trail with close by forest path routes. It’s close to inconceivable to get misplaced, making it a nice afternoon stroll for households as properly.

Escape all of it with a hike round distant Tory Island off County Donegal © DorSteffen / Shutterstock

Tory Method, Tory Island, County Donegal, is the perfect distant stroll

5 miles (8km), 2-3 hours

This waymarked loop brings you round Eire’s most distant inhabited island. The jap finish of the island is dominated by jagged cliffs and sea stacks, together with the spectacular Tor Mór, a 1312ft-long (400m-long) blade of rock capped with pinnacles.

Slieve Bloom Mountains, County Offaly, has nice walks for households

Distances range

Straddling Offaly and Laois, there are a variety of strolling trails within the Slieve Bloom nature reserve starting from straightforward 2.5 mile (4km) loops to the multi-day 47 mile (75km) Slieve Bloom Method. The better ones are nice for youngsters with plenty of alternatives to identify birds and wildflowers.

Wander in historic footsteps on the Beara Method: this stone circle is at Ardgroom © xeipe / Getty

The Beara Method is the right route for archaeology lovers

128 miles (206km), 7-10 days

Breara Method waymarked stroll types a loop across the Beara Peninsula. The realm is comparatively unused to mass tourism and makes a nice distinction to the Ring of Kerry to the north. The route principally follows previous roads and tracks, not often rises above 1115ft (340m) and takes in a number of the unimaginable Wild Atlantic Method shoreline. The panorama is dotted with stone circles and archaeological websites courting from the Bronze Age, making this an ideal hike for historical past buffs.

Croagh Patrick, County Mayo, is the perfect mountain hike within the west of Eire

4.4 miles (7km), 4 hours

The principle path up Croagh Patrick ascends the mountain from the signed automobile park within the west finish of Murrisk. The steep path is rocky in elements and it will get crowded on sunny weekends. On the summit you will discover a 1905 whitewashed church and a Ninth-century oratory fountain. The views are chic. Walkers are suggested to not use the standard Pilgrim’s Path on account of excessive ranges of abrasion.

Take rainwear, a compass and a map with you © JAG IMAGES / Getty Photographs

Prime suggestions for climbing in Eire

  • Could, June and September are the perfect months for climbing and biking – that is if you stand the best probability of dry climate and fewer probability of midges.
  • There are mountain hikes and waymarked trails appropriate for each means in Eire and native vacationer places of work have maps and leaflets with particulars of native walks close to you.
  • Not like most different European international locations, walkers and cyclists in Eire haven’t any rights of entry to privately owned land, not even on wild moorland and mountains (except it’s a part of a nationwide park). Entry has been negotiated with landowners for a lot of nationwide trails and waymarked walks (disputes over entry is why many of those trails comply with public roads for lengthy distances). Nevertheless, you’ll sometimes come throughout locked gates, barbed-wire fences or “no walkers allowed” indicators – these are authorized and have to be obeyed.
  • For brief walks on waymarked trails all you’ll need is comfy footwear, a rain jacket and a few meals and water. Hikers venturing additional into Eire’s hills and bogs needs to be correctly geared up and cautious, because the climate can turn into vicious at any time of yr.
  • After rain, peaty soil can turn into boggy, so all the time put on stout footwear or boots and carry good waterproofs and additional foods and drinks.
  • All the time take a map and compass and know how you can use them. Don’t depend upon cell phones (although carrying one with you is a good suggestion). Go away a word outlining your route and anticipated time of return with a trusted individual and allow them to know when you will have returned safely.

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