Glens of Antrim
A lush glen, a cliff path, a bog road, a mountain range, a canal bank, or even a city quarter: the 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 some more mountainous and hilly terrain, too) 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 and soul-enriching serenity.
Achill Island, County Mayo
Mountains in Ireland come in many shapes and sizes, but they all come beautiful. The Mourne Mountains (seen below) boast a host of heavenly hikes and according to C.S Lewis, we may not have Narnia without them. The Wicklow and Kerry Ways both traverse stunning mountainscapes with plenty of calmer stretches inbewtween and a hike up Carrauntoohil is a hike up Ireland’s highest mountain.
Nire Valley (Comeragh Mountains), County Waterford
Further inland, the Slieve Blooms provide stellar panoramic views of almost stretching across multiple counties, and less strenuous strolls while Comshignaun, in the Comeragh Mountains, has been described by the Irish Times as “the best demanding short hike in Ireland”.
Glens, bogs and canal banks
Are Antrim’s Glens the greenest place in Ireland? They’re definitely close. Walks and hikes in these shockingly verdant surrounds are dealt an added dash of colour thanks to the area’s vast 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 satisfyingly squishy bog walks in the likes of Tipperary, Laois, Offaly and Connemara. Ok, not so squishy: bog walks are 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.