Walking and hiking in Ireland

Diamond Hill, County Galway

Looking for an outdoor experience that will plug you right into Ireland’s most beautiful scenery, history and culture? Walk this way...

From lush glens and magical canal banks, to daredevil cliff paths and quaint city quarters – when it comes to walking and hiking, Ireland has got you covered.

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 paths for adventurous souls, as well as gentler terrain. There's also the Copper Coast in the south east, a breathtaking shoreline of cliffs, coves and sea stacks, named after the mining industry that once prospered there. Special mention, too, for the hilly routes around Achill Island, County Mayo.

With its spectacular coastline and its endless swells of emerald hills scattered with ancient ruins, Ireland was made to be explored on foot

National Geographic

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, walks on islands such as Devenish and White come with a serving of Early Christian history.

Heavenly hikes

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 in between, 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”.

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.

Keep it quirky with bog walks in the likes of Tipperary, Laois, Offaly and Connemara. They 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”.

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Getting here

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