Now that we are able to journey once more in our counties, and with country-wide journey attainable from December 18, listed below are 20 nice winter walks round Eire, all doable inside a family-friendly two hours.
1. Sheep’s Head, Co Cork
Greatest for: Seascapes, youngsters aged Eight-12, teenagers
Hike: There’s an edge-of-the-world really feel to the Sheep’s Head Lighthouse Loop. Deliver alongside a replica of Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘The Peninsula’ (it’s an epithet for the world), and take in wild coastal views all through the absolutely signposted route — avoid cliff edges, although. As vistas go, you’re spoilt for alternative with Mizen Head to the south and the rugged Beara Peninsula to the north. You’ll move the shores of picturesque Lough Akeen, then after a helipad you’ll see the Sheep’s Head Lighthouse on a slope under. In case your youngsters love sunsets, you’re in the suitable place right here.
Size/Time: 4km; 1-2 hours
Get there: Observe Sheep’s Head signage from Kilcrohane, persevering with round 9km to the automotive park on the western tip (Grid: V 733 340). Then comply with the blue arrows.
Pack: Mountain climbing boots, layers, waterproofs, snacks, drinks. Helen Fairbairn’s Eire’s Wild Atlantic Manner guidebook is beneficial, or discover the path map at sportireland.ie/outside
Refuel: For snacks and coffees, strive the White Home Gallery café (thewhitehouse.gallery) round two minutes’ drive southwest of Kilcrohane.
2. Benbulben Forest, Co Sligo
Greatest for: Poetic souls, youthful walkers aged Four-12
Hike: That is a simple however rewarding path underneath the shadow of mighty Benbulben, one among Eire’s most iconic mountains. You’ll get elegant views of the deep gullies and fluted buttresses of this mighty limestone peak, generally in comparison with South Africa’s Desk Mountain. You’re taking a look at its north going through escarpment, so it’s going to maintain snow if Sligo will get a wintry blast. Because the path loops round, try to spot Classiebawn Citadel on the Mullaghmore peninsula whereas taking in wonderful views of Donegal Bay as far out because the imposing sea-cliffs of Slieve League. Since that is Yeats Nation, it is perhaps becoming to recite a few of W.B. Yeats’ poetry to your youngsters — strive ‘Beneath Ben Bulben’.
Size/Time: 5.5km; 1.5 hours
Get there: Take the N15 north out of Sligo. Round 2.5km after passing Drumcliffe (the place Yeats is buried), lookout for a junction signposted Barnaribbon beside a thatched cottage. Flip proper there and proceed straight (ignore a right-hand flip) for simply over a kilometre to achieve Gortarowey automotive park. Then comply with the crimson way-markers.
Pack: Sturdy strolling sneakers, layers, waterproofs, snacks, scorching flask. See sligowalks.ie for information and a path map.
Refuel: You and your youngsters will love Davis’s Restaurant on the Yeats Tavern (yeatstavernrestaurant.com) in Drumcliffe.
three. Paddock Hill, Co Wicklow
Greatest for: Youngsters aged 6-12; recognizing glacial erratics
Hike: Throughout the street from the parking spot you’ll see a Yellow Man signpost displaying the Wicklow Manner (a well-liked long-distance strolling route). Observe this alongside a monitor which later dwindles to a path that snakes uphill. When you’re out of the timber, proceed on a steeper slope then later veer left whenever you’re going through a spruce forest. After round 300m, depart the Wicklow Manner, branching left on the first junction. The stretch from right here to the unmarked prime of Paddock Hill (it takes round 15 minutes) is embellished with erratics — massive rocks and boulders transported by a glacier in the course of the ice age. In case your youngsters are into orienteering, try to find the close by Gossan Stones (Grid: T 145 988), a pair of historical standing stones. The views of Scarr, Tonelagee and the south Wicklow hills are fabulous, and you might even see them lined in snow in the event you’re fortunate.
4km; 1.5-2 hours
Get there: From the N11, take the R755 within the route of Glendalough. Round 4km after Annamoe, you’ll attain Glendalough Inexperienced on the suitable. A carpark is on the left, lower than a kilometre up the R115/Army Street (Grid: T 140 975).
Pack: Layers, waterproofs, snacks, water, absolutely charged telephone, East West Lugnaquilla & Glendalough 1:25,000 map.
Pop into the perfect café and deli within the space at Glendalough Inexperienced (glendaloughgreen.com) — strive their scrumptious home made desserts!
Four. Glenbarrow Loop Stroll, Co Laois
Nature-lovers, youthful youngsters and youths
Hike: The Waterfall Loop path takes you thru a beautiful a part of the Slieve Blooms. Observe the blue arrows on a surfaced path ladened with railway sleepers and picket handrails in locations. As you stroll underneath the shadowy pine forest hold an eye fixed out for squirrels. The path takes you alongside the River Barrow, the second longest in Eire. It’s previous too, with its sandstone river mattress courting again 350 million years. After rainfall or a spell of snow, there’ll be mini-waterfalls and cascades in all places. The spotlight is the picturesque, three-tiered Clamp Gap Waterfall; hold an eye fixed out for dippers on the rocks right here. Above the waterfall, you’ll discover holly and willow timber — symbolic for the season. Deciduous leaves have fallen, so it’s simpler to identify wild birds such because the goldcrest, wooden warbler and robin.
Degree: Reasonable. It will get pretty steep and rocky close to the waterfall, so take care with youthful youngsters
Size/Time: There are a number of looped walks right here, however youngsters will love the Waterfall Loop (7km; 2 hours). slievebloom.ie/strolling/glenbarrow
Get there: After a 25-minute drive from Portlaoise through the N80 and R422 to Rosenallis, comply with Glenbarrow signposts to the trailhead and automotive park (Grid: N 367 081).
Pack: Mountain climbing boots as it may be muddy particularly after rain or snow — thoughts the moist tree roots too. A pair of binoculars will probably be helpful for bird-spotting.
Refuel: Tasty bakes with tea/espresso (takeaways too) at Kelly Lou café (kellylou.com) at Kealew Enterprise Park and Parkside Procuring Centre in Portlaoise.
5. Oulart Hill, Co Wexford
Fits: Historical past buffs, multi-gen teams
Hike: An excellent battle came about right here in 1798, when just a few thousand rebels defeated a militia detachment; alongside the Cosán na Glóire (Path of Glory) you’ll move a number of engraved stones to recollect this. On the highest of the hill you’ll discover the Tulach a’ tSolais (Mound of Gentle), a commemorative monument loosely primarily based on Newgrange. Youngsters will love exploring the slender passageway that slices by way of the grassy burial mound. One of many looped walks is known as after Jean Kennedy Smith, who turned the primary sod right here within the late 1990s and planted a Tree of Liberty close by too. All of the walks are signposted and there’s a panoramic viewpoint full with data boards. Try additionally Father Murphy’s effectively, the Home of Tales, a medieval coach street and the curiously named hamlet, The Unyoke.
Degree: Straightforward to average
Size/Time: Three walks starting from zero.5-10km (taking round 15 minutes to 2.5 hours).
Get there: The Oulart trailhead is off the R741. Exit the M11 at Junction 23 following indicators for Ballycanew. Round 14km after Ballycanew, flip proper into Oulart on the crossroads to achieve the GAA grounds. The hill itself is Grid: T 084 412.
Pack: Obtain a path brochure and map from oularthill.ie (there’s one on the automotive park by the GAA grounds as effectively).
Refuel: Burgers or a Sunday roast on the Alamo within the Riverside Park Resort 20 minutes away in Enniscorthy. riversideparkhotel.com
6. Slievenamon, Co Tipperary
Greatest for: Folklore, youngsters aged Eight-12 and youths
Hike: This solitary peak rises from the Suir plains to 721m. That is County Tipperary, so that you would possibly need to sing the Kickham-penned ballad ‘Slievenamon’ on the best way up. The summit is topped by a standing stone and an historical burial cairn, mentioned to be a gateway to the Celtic underworld. It’s additionally steeped in folklore related to Fionn MacCumhaill and Bodhbh Dearg… learn it up and squeeze a little bit of storytelling in. Save this for a transparent day because the all-round view is elegant — you’ll see plains resulting in distant hills, hopefully lined with snow.
Size/Time: 6km; 2.5 hours
Get there: Take the N24/N76 from Clonmel and switch left for Ballypatrick after 10km. Flip proper on the crossroad then comply with indicators for Slievenamon Summit. Park by the roadside beside an entrance to a stony lane above Kilcash (Grid: S 317 288) offering entry to the hillside. Observe it then swing proper uphill after passing two gates.
Pack: Mountain climbing boots, layers, waterproofs, head-torch, snacks, water, absolutely charged telephone. A duplicate of John O’Dwyer’s guidebook The Comeragh, Galtee, Knockmealdown and Slieve Bloom Mountains, is beneficial right here.
Refuel: There’s a youngsters menu at The Bunker (thebunkerrestaurant.ie) in Clonmel, they’ll love the BBQ hen wings, whereas mother and father can feast on a steak on the stone.
7. Mahon Falls, Co Waterford
Greatest for: Cascades, multi-gen teams
Hike: Amaze your youngsters by switching off your automotive’s engine and put it into impartial on the fairy tree — as if by magic you’ll discover it reversing uphill! The best way to the falls is clear from the parking spot and there’s a gravel path for many of the manner (I’ve seen households with buggies). The glaciated valley and its spectacular cliffs mild up in the course of the early morning when the solar hits it from the southeast. It’s finest visited after an evening of heavy rain, when the falls are at their finest and mini-cascades tumble down crags, maybe surrounded by snowy cliffs — a slice of festive heaven! The youngsters will love the wandering sheep of their winter coats too.
Size/Time: 2.5km; enable round 30 minutes every manner.
Get there: From Carrick-on-Suir, take the R676 in direction of Dungarvan for round 18km to Mahon Bridge. Flip proper following indicators for Mahon Falls and instantly proper once more. Subsequent flip proper after round 2km by way of an entrance with a cattle grid. This is called the ‘magic street’ (Grid: S 314 zero80) with a solitary fairy tree round 150m additional. From right here, proceed for an additional 2km uphill to achieve a big car-park.
Pack: A winter picnic — the cascades on the base of the falls are a terrific place for it! Some further layers and waterproofs can even be useful in case the climate turns.
Refuel: Meals and drinks at Kiersey’s Bar & Tearoom (Fb: @kierseysbarandtearoom) in Kilmacthomas.
Eight. Bray Head, Valentia, Co Kerry
Greatest for: Star Wars followers, youngsters aged Four-12
Hike: Foilhomurrin Bay is a fairly alcove giving superb views of Horse and Lengthy Island. Three-quarters of the best way up, on grassy slopes south of the entry monitor, discover the stays of drystone buildings from early Christian instances. The very best views are from the 19th-century sign tower which incorporates all of Valentia, dramatic sea-cliffs and islands. Level out the Skelligs to your youngsters, they could higher recognise it as Luke Skywalker’s island sanctuary on the planet Ahch-To in Star Wars. The sundown is nice from right here within the winter.
Size/Time: 5km; 2 hours
Get there: Method from the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee. Flip left on the prime of the street after the bridge. Proceed for round 1.6km and switch left at a junction by Foilhomurrin Bay to achieve a big automotive park (Grid: V 351 738).
Pack: Snacks, scorching flask, layers, waterproofs, head-torch, a digicam. Obtain the path map from sportireland.ie/outside or an in depth description in Adrian Hendroff’s guidebook Killarney to Valentia Island.
Refuel: Recent seafood at The Moorings (moorings.ie) — the place Mark ‘Luke Skywalker’ Hamill poured his pint of Guinness. For desserts and a cuppa, strive Smuggler’s Café (smugglerscafe.ie).
9. North Bull Island Loop, Co Dublin
Greatest for: Wild birds, seashore lovers, multigen teams
Hike: To your finest likelihood of recognizing birds on the saltmarsh, arrive 1-2 hours earlier than excessive tide after they push nearer to the causeway. In winter, you’ll discover flocks of geese and godwits that migrate right here from northerly latitudes. Youngsters will probably be fascinated with the murmuration of 1000’s of waders over the mudflats within the late night. The sandy stretch of Dollymount seashore is at all times a delight to stroll on regardless of the tides however in winter the sundown to the southwest could be completely compelling. In the event you’re feeling energetic, wander alongside the North Bull Wall whereas soaking the views throughout Dublin harbour to Poolbeg.
Size/Time: The total loop from Causeway Street, Dollymount Strand, North Bull Wall and again alongside Clontarf Street is 9km (2-2.5 hours).
Get there: From Alfie Byrne Street, head east for round Four.5km alongside Clontarf Street earlier than turning proper into Causeway Street — park someplace halfway alongside right here. It may be busy at weekends/public holidays.
Pack: A e-book on Eire’s birds, child will discover it enjoyable figuring out them; no hurt bringing binoculars or an extended digicam lens too. Deliver further layers — these sea winds are misleading.
Refuel: Sizzling chocolate for the children at Completely satisfied Out (happyout.ie) on the Bull Wall. Additionally they do specialty coffees as effectively.
10. Glanteenassig Woods, Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry
Greatest for: Journey, multi-gen teams
Hike: Get able to be wowed in a shocking panorama of woodland, lake and mountains. On this glaciated valley you’ll stroll underneath historical rocks, some 350 million years previous. A splash of wintry snow will give the spruce and pine timber right here a Christmassy look. Select your path from both a river stroll (1km) close to Lough Slat, earlier than heading all the way down to the lake to take a look at the imposing crag of Carrignaspaniagh (Spaniards Rock), or the Lough Caum Loop (2km) bounded by mountains. Time your go to after heavy rainfall and also you’ll see waterfalls tumble down cliff-faces at each lakes — it’s like a scene out of The Misplaced World.
Size/Time: Varied trails from 30 minutes to an hour.
Get there: Take the N86/R560 from Tralee. Flip left right into a street signed Glanteenassig Woods quickly after passing the Seven Hogs. Proceed for round 4km then flip proper right into a Coillte Recreation Space (observe its closing time). Drive up the street and park both by Lough Slat or Lough Caum.
Pack: Obtain a path map from coillte.ie/website/glanteenassig
Refuel: Pop into the Seven Hogs (traleebay.com) for scrumptious meals and beautiful sea views.
11. Kilronan Citadel Woodland Path, Co Roscommon
Greatest for: Romantics, households with youngsters
Hike: As soon as the stately residence of the King-Tenison household, this 19th-century citadel has been rebooted as a luxurious resort and spa. It’s a romantic vacation spot in a secluded location, the place the household can take pleasure in a beautiful forest stroll alongside the northern shore of Lough Meelagh. Purple path signage will take you alongside woodland paths so far as Doon Level on the lake’s western fringes. There’s an abundance of wildlife to look out for within the woods together with deer, foxes, squirrels, finches, robins and blue tits. The lake is nice for reflections and mist on a crisp, windless winter morning. The youngsters will love the swans flitting alongside the water.
Size/Time: Four.5km; 1-1.5 hours
Get there: Go away the N4 spherical 8km west of Carrick-On-Shannon, turning proper onto the R285 towards Keadew. Proceed for 11km earlier than turning left into the R284 to achieve Kilronan Citadel’s entrance 1.5km additional.
Pack: Obtain the path map on irishtrails.ie or ask at resort reception.
Refuel: Afternoon tea subsequent to the piano at Kilronan Citadel Property & Spa (kilronancastle.ie), relying on lockdown restrictions after all.
12. Ballyvaughan Wooden Loop, Co Clare
Greatest for: Youngsters aged 6-12
Hike: The phrase Burren comes from Boíreann, which means ‘rocky place’. Its karstscape is lunar-like, bleak, gray, distinctive, timeless. Midway alongside this looped stroll and shortly after passing Aillwee Cave, you’ll admire the folded limestone strata, ribboned rocky crevices and mosaic limestone cliffs. If it snows, you’re in for a deal with. The remainder of the route takes you alongside quiet nation lanes, quaint thatched cottages, stone forts, tiny fields and open farmland — simply comply with the purple arrows. Aillwee Cave, one among Eire’s oldest, is value a 30-minute extension. Skilled guides will take you into this lovely cavern to see its stalactites and stalagmites. There’s a Chicken of Prey Centre right here too providing flying shows and hawk walks.
Size/Time: 8km; 2 hours
Get there: The trailhead is situated round 250m alongside the R477 from Ballyvaughan on the southern finish of the harbour. Discover a path map at burren.ie
Pack: The path could be muddy in locations when moist, so deliver boots. The Wild Atlantic climate may also be changeable so deliver further layers and waterproofs.
Refuel: Uncover what ‘contemporary’ is all about on the Wildflower Restaurant within the Wild Atlantic Lodge (thewildatlanticlodge.com). There are tea rooms at Aillwee Cave (aillweecave.ie).
13. Three Rock Mountain and Fairy Citadel, Co Dublin
Greatest for: Views, youngsters aged Four-12 or teenagers
Hike: I’m lucky to have Three Rock as my native hill, with its masts simply over an hour’s stroll from my entrance door. From its big, granite outcrops (there are three, therefore the identify), you’ll get an distinctive panorama of town. It’s Dublin’s model of Cave Hill in Belfast and is well reached: from the automotive park, simply comply with the forest street as much as the masts and outcrops. When you get there, it’s also possible to go additional uphill to bag the 536m prime of Fairy Citadel. Its crowning glory is a big round cairn; be respectful as it’s mentioned to accommodate a megalithic burial chamber. You’ll see all of it from up right here — the ocean and all the Dublin and north Wicklow hills, town and its iconic Poolbeg chimneys, Howth, Eire’s Eye, Lambay Island and on a transparent day even the Mournes. In the event you hear ‘go-back, go-back’ calls, it’s not a hill fairy however crimson grouse, a hen of heather generally present in these components.
Size/Time: 5.5km; 2 hours
Get there: From Sandyford, head southwest alongside the R113/Hillcrest Street, then straight by way of the crossroad onto Blackglen Street. Round 650m after passing Lamb Doyles, flip left right into a street signed Ticknock. Observe this straight uphill for 1.5km to achieve the doorway for Ticknock Forest (observe its closing time). Flip left and comply with the forest drive uphill to a big lay-by and trailhead on the prime (O 170 240).
Pack: Good strolling sneakers, layers, waterproofs, snacks and water — all of the winter strolling necessities.
Refuel: Soup and sandwiches at Floor Café (groundcafe.ie) in Sandyford Village — they’ve a youngsters menu too.
14. Portumna Forest Park, Co Galway
Greatest for: Youngsters and youths with an curiosity in wildlife
Hike: The forest park is unfold out over 450 hectares alongside Lough Derg’s northern shores. It’s a terrific place to go for a wander underneath tall evergreen timber equivalent to Scots pine, Monterey cypress and Norwegian spruce — even higher if there are snowflakes falling. There’s additionally areas of scrub, marsh, ponds and quite a few little islands on the lake — so heaps to discover. In winter, many of the deciduous tree branches will probably be naked, making it simpler to identify any wild birds (85 species breed right here), and you need to use one of many hen hides to spy on wintering waterfowls, mute swans and in the event you’re fortunate maybe a white-tailed sea eagle. The woodlands are additionally residence to mammals such because the pygmy shrew, badger, fox, pine marten, crimson squirrel and a big herd of fallow deer. It’d make a terrific picture in the event you noticed one among these within the snow.
Degree: Straightforward to average
Size/Time: 4 trails of various size: Forest Pleasant (1.4km; 20 minutes), Woodland (2km; 30 minutes), Rinmaher (10km; 2-2.5 hours) and Bonaveen (10.5km; 2.5 hours).
Get there: The forest park is situated off the N65 (Loughrea to Borrisokane street) in Portumna. Observe indicators for Portumna Forest Park about 1.5km outdoors city.
Pack: Good strolling sneakers, layers, snack, drink, scorching flask. Binoculars or an extended digicam lens for wildlife. Obtain a path map from visitportumna.com/sdforestpark.html
Refuel: Blas Café (Fb: @Blas.Portumna) or Café Rose alongside Clonfert Avenue in Portumna.
15. Bertra Seaside Stroll, Co Mayo
Greatest for: Seaside walks, toddlers, multi-gen teams
Hike: With Croagh Patrick looming above and the lapping waters of Clew Bay, there’s one thing actually magical about this stretch of seashore. The stroll alongside its sandy fringes to the top of the slender peninsula is very invigorating. The route’s easy: simply circle in a clockwise route then later cross the slender break up of dunes. Mid or low tide is most secure and finest for toddlers or youthful youngsters. From the northeast tip of the peninsula, you’ll get probably the most spectacular view of Croagh Patrick — sundown within the winter months can produce vivid colors within the sky within the route of the mountain, even sweeter if its sugar-coated with snow. From up on the dune, you’ll get to understand Clew Bay and its jigsaw of drumlins. Inform your youngsters there are 365 islands, one for every single day of the 12 months.
Size/Time: 4km; an hour (however could be shortened)
Get there: Take the R335 out of Westport towards Murrisk, move the village then flip proper into Bertra Street round 2km later, following indicators for Bertra Strand/Seaside.
Pack: Wellies if the tide is excessive. A digicam. Further layers and waterproofs because the Wild Atlantic climate could be changeable.
Refuel: There’s a fairly intensive menu on the Tavern (tavernmurrisk.com) in Murrisk — they do youngsters meals too.
16. Coliemore Harbour and Sorrento, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Greatest for: Buggies, toddlers, celeb-spotters, dawn
Hike: With its vibrant boats and views out to Dalkey Island, this cosy harbour is one I can wholeheartedly suggest. It’s an ideal spot to usher within the daybreak, with the solar rising later within the weeks earlier than and after Christmas. Movie star and lockdown legend Matt Damon not too long ago fell in love with this place, and residents embrace Bono, The Edge, Enya and Van Morrison — so who is aware of who you would possibly spot. Pop into Dillon’s Park as effectively for a take a look at its gnarled timber and sea views. End on the viewpoint atop Sorrento Park (buggies can solely get midway as much as its balcony/bandstand) the place you may admire all of the little Dalkey islands, the rocket-shaped Muglins Lighthouse and the spectacular coastal panorama in direction of Bray Head.
Size/Time: 1.5km; 30 minutes however enable further for the views
Get there: From Dalkey Dart station, head southeast alongside Sorrento Street for round 800m to move the Vico Street junction. Proceed straight and, if driving, park wherever alongside the roadside adjoining Sorrento Park.
Pack: Some snacks and water ought to do for this quick stroll. Don’t neglect your digicam too.
Refuel: A neighborhood favorite, the Nook Be aware (thecornernotecafe.ie) is a beautiful little café with quirky allure and scrumptious meals.
17. Loughsalt Mountain, Co Donegal
Greatest for: Snow, teenagers
Hike: It’s reputed that the underside of teardrop-shaped Lough Salt is a crater of an extinct volcano. It’s actually one of many deepest in Eire. Climb the slopes to the suitable of the lake from a lay-by at its southern finish. The 469m summit (struck by a meteor in 1821) is graced by a trig level, two cairns, a cross and a pile of rock. As soon as there you’ll be overlooking all of Lough Salt, its plains and moorland. You’ll see Lough Greenan too and all the best way throughout to Inishowen, over to the Blue Stacks and in direction of Errigal and Muckish additional west. That is Eire’s far northwest which usually has its fair proportion of the white stuff in winter — so excellent for constructing a snowman on the best way down.
Degree: Tough. Save this for a transparent, dry winter’s day because the views are elegant.
Size/Time: three.5km; 2 hours
Get there: Head northwest on the N56 from Kilmacrenan for 4km then flip proper right into a street signed Lough Salt Drive. Later on the T-junction, flip left and comply with the street for 3km to park at a small lay-by earlier than the southern finish of Lough Salt (Grid: C 122 255). If that is full, there’s one other bigger automotive park round 700m additional on.
Pack: Mountain climbing boots, layers, waterproofs, head-torch, snacks, water, scorching flask, absolutely charged telephone.
Refuel: On the Quiet Second tearooms (quietmoment.ie) on the highest of Letterkenny’s Important Road — you’ll love the charming options created with a Bewley’s environment in thoughts.
18. Castlewellan Forest Park, Co Down
Greatest for: Sunday outings, multi-gen teams
Hike: With a citadel, lake, backyard, pond, woods and hills, this can be a very fashionable forest park in Northern Eire. There are a selection of trails to discover and you are able to do as a lot or as little as you need. Stroll alongside the lakeside, discover the citadel or in the event you’re feeling energetic, bag the 272m prime of Slievenaslat. On the latter you’ll be rewarded with a sweeping panorama of the (in the event you’re fortunate, snow-capped) Mourne Mountains. See if yow will discover the ruins of the Moorish Tower, a 19th-century folly tucked within the woods. Youngsters will love the twisting passages of the Peace Maze too — there’s a bell on the finish in the event you full it.
Size/Time: Strolling trails vary from 2-5km (enable round 30 minutes to 1.5 hours)
Begin/End: Castlewellan Forest Park (observe closing time).
Get there: From Newcastle, take the A50 to Castlewellan city. There, flip proper on the T-junction adopted by a left to enter the Forest Park at Citadel Avenue. Observe indicators for the principle automotive park (£5 payment to park) in entrance of the Grange Courtyard.
Pack: Layers, snacks, drinks, a scorching flask. Extra path information at discovernorthernireland.com
Refuel: Maginns Bar (maginnsbar.com) in Castlewellan important road, they’ve a kids’s menu too.
19. Glenariff Forest Park, Co Antrim
Greatest for: Waterfalls, youngsters aged 6-12 or teenagers
Hike: Glenariff — the Queen of the Glens — is likely one of the 9 Antrim glens in Northern Eire. Its forest park covers over 800 hectares; go to throughout a spell of snow to see its conifer timber lined in a winter coat. There are just a few trails to select from, however better of the lot is the Waterfall Stroll (3km; 1.5 hours). Drop all the way down to a rocky gorge (the steepest locations are fitted with a boardwalk and steps) to a hidden world. After a moist spell, the waterfalls will placed on a spectacular show. Look out for crimson squirrel too amongst the timber and check out the non-obligatory Rainbow Path.
Size/Time: Varied trails from 1-9km; 15 minutes to 2.5 hours
Get there: Entry the Forest Park from the A43 Ballymena to Waterfoot street. Glenariff Forest Park (£5 payment to park, gates locked at nightfall)
Pack: Sturdy strolling sneakers, a digicam and waterproofs (the spray off waterfalls could be robust particularly after rainfall or when windy). Obtain a path map from walkni.com
Refuel: Laragh Lodge (laraghlodge.co.uk), midway alongside the waterfall stroll — does take-ways or a delicious Sunday lunch with gluten-free choices.
2zero. Barnavave, Co Louth
Greatest for: Hikes for teenagers
Hike: Set off from the southern shores of Carlingford Lough. You’ll move an previous Norman citadel earlier than weaving by way of city then uphill on nation lanes and later hillside paths. It’s steep going at first, however the ever-improving vistas stretching out under will inspire full of life, younger teenagers. Save this for a transparent day; you received’t remorse the summit view the place you’ll get to marvel at Carlingford Lough in all its glory, framed by the shapely Slieve Foye and distant snow-capped mountains of Mourne. No surprise this panorama impressed C.S. Lewis’s magical world of Narnia.
Size/Time: 5.5km; 2.5 hours
Get there: Go away the M1 at Junction 18 taking the R173 and R175 to Carlingford. Begin your stroll on the automotive park by Carlingford Vacationer Workplace, following Commons Loop waymarks initially then Yellow Man indicators earlier than veering off to the 350m summit whenever you see Barnavave Loop signposts in crimson.
Pack: Mountain climbing boots, layers, waterproofs, head-torch, snacks, water, scorching flask, absolutely charged telephone. Decide up The Mourne and Cooley Mountains guidebook.
Refuel: Fish and chips at Ma Bakers Takeaway (on Outdated Quay Lane to the rear of Ma Baker’s pub) is a should — there’s nowhere else prefer it!
Adrian Hendroff has written a number of strolling guides for The Collins Press, together with Household Walks Round Dublin’. He additionally runs nationally accredited Mountain Expertise programs (adrianhendroff.com)