25 greatest autumn walks in Eire – seasonal strolls for all of the household

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Our professional writers and hikers, Helen Fairbairn and Roisin Finlay have chosen routes from throughout your entire nation to tempt you outdoor.

They embrace a delicate lakeland loop, a more durable hike that rewards you with views of the Blasket islands, a seashore you may solely attain by foot, and a stroll alongside the forest paths of an outdated nation property. There’s even a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to climb…

The early days of parenthood can put a brake on essentially the most adventurous of hikers, however our walks author Helen, a mum herself, has ideas for these early days too.

“In the event that they’re nonetheless on the buggy or backpack stage, it is all about discovering trails with accessible terrain,” she says. “However the goalposts change as the children develop. As they grow to be impartial, you may introduce quick however fascinating routes with plenty of potential for exploration. By the point they’re bodily assured, they’re going to enjoy challenges like quick hill climbs or scrambling off the path.

“Children like to show how sturdy they’re and it will not take lengthy earlier than they’re striding forward simply to impress you.”

To cater for every type and ages of household, we have featured all ranges of route right here. Regardless of how arduous or straightforward the paths are, although, all of them have one factor in widespread – someplace scrumptious to cease for a cup of tea (or one thing stronger) and a little bit of a deal with afterwards.

There is a chill within the air, the leaves are turning gold, and there isn’t any higher time as well up and step outdoors to discover.


The River Dodder

By Roisin Finlay

1. Greatest for tree-lovers

The place Massy’s Property, Rathfarnham

What This Coillte-run forest on the foot of the Dublin Mountains is a good spot for a household stroll. As soon as a grand property relationship again to the early 1800s, the now-gone stately mansion Killakee Home was the situation for extravagant events the place tables could be set with high-quality dishes and glassware out amongst the timber. What stays nowadays is an atmospheric assortment of ruins which are nice for younger explorers. They embrace an outdated walled backyard, stone bridges and an icehouse. You may additionally discover gorgeous specimen timber like cedars, limes and large sequoia. There are a selection of marked trails to comply with however the linear Riverside Path, which has white markers (6km out and again), is a pleasant possibility because it has a little bit of size. Or you may go for the 1.5km Nature Path stroll (orange approach markers).

Begin/End The property throughout the street from the Hell Fireplace Membership automobile park.

Getting there South of Rathfarnham, take the R115 street to Killakee and park within the Hell Fireplace Membership automobile park.

Stage Reasonable – the paths might be mucky.

Size/Time Riverside Path – 6km/2 hours; Nature Path – 1.5km/45 minutes

Pack Downloadable maps from dublinmountains.ie – and wellies and a replica of Peter Wyse Jackson’s pocket guide of Irish Bushes and Shrubs that will help you title the specimen timber.

Refuel at Timbertrove Nation Retailer and Cafe (timbertrove.com), beside Massy’s Wooden, which provides all the pieces from nice brekkies to scrumptious desserts

2. Greatest for recognizing seabirds and massive ships

The place The Nice South Wall, Dublin Four


The Nice South Wall

What Though you may go by a scruffy industrial space to succeed in this stroll, it is nonetheless the most effective locations to flee from Dublin metropolis. When accomplished in 1795, it was one of many longest sea partitions on the earth and provides 2km of tough promenade stretching out to the brilliant crimson beacon of Poolbeg Lighthouse. Views embrace the North Bull Island, Dollymount Strand, Howth, with the Baily Lighthouse perched on its cliffs, and the Sugar Loaf in Wicklow. Maintain your eyes open for all the pieces from brent geese to Arctic terns and razorbills. At in regards to the midway level, you may see the Half Moon Swimming and Water Polo Membership. The constructions had been as soon as dwelling to a gun battery. As of late, its shelter offers an amazing place to absorb the peace and heat of a sunny day and escape the picnic.

Begin/End In entrance of the dual red-and-white-striped towers of the Poolbeg Energy Station.

Getting there On the roundabout on the street main south from the Eastlink Bridge, take the alternative exit. Take the primary left onto Pigeon Home Street, after which the sharp proper flip. Observe the street to the South Wall.

Stage Whereas the stroll is flat, the granite blocks are bumpy so it is not buggy pleasant. Keep away from the pier if the seas are stormy.

Size/Time 4km return/ 45 minutes

Pack Binoculars and The Birds of Eire, A Subject Information by Jim Wilson which has images and tips on learn how to know every chook

Refuel Get pleasure from espresso, sizzling chocolate and snacks on the cell Mr Hobbs Espresso at the beginning of the stroll

Three. Greatest for city nature lovers


The River Dodder

The place The River Dodder Path

What The 5km of the Dodder Path, which runs from Bushy Park in Terenure to Clonskeagh, is straightforward to entry but in addition an amazing nature escape throughout the metropolis. You’ll spot geese, swans and herons right here repeatedly, and in the event you’re fortunate you would possibly see an otter or the blue flash of a kingfisher zipping by. This route brings you thru Bushy Park at the beginning and on by Orwell Park and Dartry Park too. Following the Dodder’s course, you may go weirs and small rapids, and journey by an often-lush panorama of weeping willows that dip into the water. There may be loads of proof of outdated mills and industrialisation too. Largely traffic-free, though you’ll often need to cross roads, this route is buggy- and bike-friendly as soon as you’ve got crossed the stepping-stones in Bushy Park. If you wish to double the size of the route, simply flip again to the place you began.

Getting there Bushy Park is on Templeogue Street in Terenure, Dublin 6.

Stage Straightforward

Size/Time 5km/1 hour

Pack You will not want a map as a result of the route follows the river, however there are tempting inexperienced areas alongside the path to kick a ball round.

Refuel Native favorite, the Dropping Properly pub (droppingwell.com) in Milltown serves meals and has a beautiful conservatory overlooking the river. Or take a look at close by Wilde & Inexperienced (wildeandgreen.com) in Milltown or the 105 Bistro (the105.ie) on the Clonskeagh Street proper on the finish of the stroll. Bushy Park’s Saturday market (11am-4pm) has plenty of foodie delights which you can stash away for a picnic en route.



Dublin Mountains

By Roisin Finlay

Four. Greatest for an adrenaline rush

The place Tibradden Mountain Path, Cruagh, Co Dublin

What The two.4km linear Tibradden Mountain Path (just below 5km out and again) is an ideal hike for energetic youngsters and teenagers. The route zigzags up the hill right into a forest of outdated pine timber. A tougher part follows, climbing open mountain on a stony path to succeed in the highest of Tibradden. Simply north of the summit there is a stone cairn, an amazing sheltered spot for a picnic with views throughout Dublin Bay to Howth. Then merely comply with the identical route again to the automobile park. If the troops nonetheless have power, take a look at Zipit (zipit.ie), a excessive ropes course set amidst the timber. This journey (for teenagers aged 7+) can have you climbing poles, wobbling throughout slim planks, swinging Tarzan-style into cargo nets and zooming down zipwires (all whereas secured with a harness).

Begin/End Tibradden Woods automobile park

Getting there Take the exit at Junction 12 on the M50 and comply with the R113 in direction of Ballyboden. On the third roundabout, flip proper onto the R116 (signposted Glencullen). Drive for about Four.5km till the R116 turns sharply left, heading for Glencullen. Tibradden Woods automobile park is in your left, about 200m after the sharp left.

Stage Reasonable – you are on a well-marked path however it may be tough underfoot.

Size/Time Four.8km/2 hours

Pack A map downloaded from coillte.ie

Refuel at The Merry Ploughboy (mpbpub.com) in Rathfarnham, which serves good bar meals alongside a dollop of reside music and can prepare shuttle buses again to the town centre.

5. Greatest for autumn leaves

The place Oak Park Forest Park, Co Carlow

What As soon as a part of an outdated property, the mature woodland at Oak Park Forest Park is a haven for ferns and mosses, and provides a beautiful assortment of quick wheelchair- and buggy-accessible walks. There are additionally pretty spots to have a picnic. You may often see swans, geese and sport birds on the lake and, in the event you go to in autumn, you are positive to be wowed by the leaves as they alter color and carpet the forest flooring. The woodland is dwelling to deciduous beech, oak, sycamore and larch, in addition to evergreen Scots pine and silver fir. Operating alongside boardwalks and wooded paths, there are 4 walks in complete: the Butlers Wooden Loop (zero.7km), the Lake Path (zero.8km), the Fox Covert Monitor (1.1km) and the Sally Island Path (1.7km). Or join all of them collectively for the attractive 4km Oak Park loop stroll.

Begin/End on the map board on the automobile park.

Getting there Take Exit Four on the M9 motorway. Observe the indicators for Carlow, take the primary proper after Toughers Steakhouse (toughersrestaurant.ie) after which flip left on the subsequent junction.

Stage Straightforward

Size/Time 4km /1 hour

Pack A picnic and a downloadable map from IrishTrails.ie

Refuel BeaNice Cafe (059 913 1921) in Carlow city centre serves hearty salads, home made soups and a great deal of treats, even gluten-free brownies.

6. Greatest for riverside strolls



The place Nore Valley Stroll, Co Kilkenny

What No doubt one of many nation’s best river walks, the 12km stretch from Kilkenny Metropolis to Bennettsbridge is a feast of peace, high-quality fort views, outdated mills, timber bowing gracefully into the water, meadows and considerable wildlife. Except for one 2km stretch the place you may use a quiet laneway, your entire stroll traces the banks of the River Nore because it meanders by the tranquil countryside. In autumn, the timber alongside the way in which add nice splashes of color and there are blackberries to be foraged within the hedgerows. Maintain your eyes peeled for squirrels, kingfishers, otters or foxes. And if you wish to add the romance of nightfall to your outing, bats are positive to maintain you firm.

Begin/End The river stroll leaves Kilkenny Metropolis beneath Ossory footbridge. It ends on the bridge in Bennettsbridge. Public transport from Bennettsbridge is negligible so go away a automobile right here on your return journey or pre-arrange a taxi.

Getting there You may get to the beginning from the Lacken Stroll within the metropolis (by way of Maudlin Road, or from the Carlow Street close to the HSE headquarters).

Stage Reasonable – you may cowl a wide range of terrains from grassy riverbanks, path and grasslands.

Size/Time 12km /Three hours

Pack A bucket to choose blackberries and a map from trailkilkenny.ie/activity-trail/walking-trails/kilkenny-to-bennettsbridge/

Refuel Nicholas Mosse’s Nation Store and Cafe (nicholasmosse.com) in Bennettsbridge is an ideal spot for afternoon tea with home made quiches and scones – the flour is

floor within the mill throughout the river.

7. Greatest for beginner geologists

The place Knockbarron Wooden, Kinnitty, Co Offaly

What It is at all times a good time to go to Knockbarron Wooden and exploring the 5km Eco Stroll is the best strategy to perceive all there’s to see right here. Probably the most dramatic options are the 2 eskers that had been deposited right here when the glaciers that when coated Eire melted. These ridge-like mounds are product of sand, gravel and rock that the glaciers picked up as they moved throughout the panorama. The perfect time of yr to view these eskers is winter when the vegetation is least considerable. In case you go to in spring nevertheless, you may be handled to woodland carpeted in a blaze of bluebells. In summer season, the uncommon easy newt, Eire’s solely tailed amphibian, breeds in The Marsh. And, in autumn, there are all method of fungi and mushrooms to marvel at.

Begin/End From Knockbarron Wooden automobile park

Getting there Observe the Rath/Kilcormack street from Kinnitty for two.2km. On the crossroads, flip proper and you will see an indication indicating the beginning of the stroll. Proceed an additional 1km to the automobile park.

Stage Reasonable – whereas comparatively fast, this stroll has some quick however punchy climbs and descents so is extra suited to older youngsters.

Size/Time 5km /2 hours

Pack The map from slievebloom.ie/perch/assets/knockbarron-downloadable-map.pdf

Refuel at Giltraps in Kinnitty (giltrapspub.com), the spot to carb up on steak and kidney pie, pizzas and home-grown sausage and bacon – and in the event you’re too drained to make it dwelling, guide right into a yurt on the glamping website and go to the farm’s pigs and chickens.

eight. Greatest for views

The place Forth Mountain Path, Co Wexford

What Simply southwest of Wexford city, at 235m, Forth Mountain could also be comparatively small but it surely nonetheless packs a punch, significantly at the beginning. It is a really perfect stroll to problem youngsters or teenagers, and it’s also an amazing introduction to the expertise of scaling a mountain, full with the reward of panoramic views on the finish. As you comply with the crimson waymarkers, be sure to go to Skeator Rock the place on a transparent day you’ll see the Wexford shoreline, Our Girl’s Island, Saltee Islands, Hook Head lighthouse and throughout to Dunmore East and the Waterford estuary. And once you attain the gentler Tincurra part, you’ll see the Blackstairs Mountains.

Begin/End The automobile park under

Getting there From Wexford city, Enniscorthy or New Ross, take the N25 to the Duncannon roundabout at Whitford Home Lodge. Take the R733 exit for Duncannon. After about 6.5km, the automobile park is in your proper.

Stage Reasonable

Size/Time 10km /Three.5 hours

Pack OSI Discovery Map Sequence 77 and go to wexfordwalkingtrail.ie/forth-mountain for extra particulars. Additionally, convey your binoculars to see in the event you can spot the Tuskar Rock, with its lighthouse. This treacherous characteristic has claimed 176 ships over time.

Refuel Convey sizzling soup in a Thermos and revel in these views! Then drive to Wexford, 10km away, to Button & Spoon for a classic afternoon tea (buttonandspoon.ie).

9. Greatest for former grandeur

The place Djouce Woods, Co Wicklow

What Previously a part of the Powerscourt Property, Djouce Woods would as soon as have boasted quite a few drives constructed to please the homeowners. These had names like Girl’s Drive and Earl’s Drive and at the moment are a part of a path community. The 9km Deerpark Stroll is a looped path on forest street and observe. Look out for the now-dry Paddock Ponds, which as soon as fed the property fountains. There are additionally remnants of a boathouse within the financial institution on the western facet of the ponds. After this, you’ll comply with a street to a stretch alongside the sting of the forest earlier than you progressively begin to climb. The reward on your efforts shall be views of the Sugarloaf, Bray, Glensoulan Valley and Maulin in Wicklow, in addition to out over Dublin Bay to Howth Head.

Begin/End Both of the 2 Lengthy Hill automobile parks.

Getting there Take the N11 to Kilmacanogue, then the R755. Flip proper onto the R760 till you attain Ballybawn. Flip left right here onto the outdated Lengthy Hill Street for Roundwood and the automobile park shall be in your proper.

Stage Reasonable

Size/Time 9km /Three hours

Pack A downloadable map from coillte.ie/media/2017/01/Wicklow-Djouce_Wood.pdf or convey OSI Uncover Sequence Sheet 56.

REFUEL Scrumptious soups, salads and sizzling meals, and a zillion candy treats on the Avoca Terrace Cafe at Powerscourt Home and Gardens (Powerscourt.com).

10. Greatest for historical past lovers

The place Grange, Co Louth

What If the 7km Rooskey Loop at Grange may discuss it will let you know that you just’re treading outdated laneways that had been as soon as utilized by farmers and their horses and carts. As of late, the laneways supply a tranquil strategy to discover what was as soon as an outlying farm for the Cistercian Order positioned in Newry throughout medieval occasions. Following the purple arrows, stroll alongside forest tracks, grassy roads and trails to reach at an deserted village with an outdated limekiln and the break of the Rooskey Priory – an early Christian website. Maintain your eyes peeled for the grinding stone on the finish of Billy’s Lane that was as soon as used to crush gorse vegetation for horse fodder.

Begin/End John Lengthy’s Pub, Grange Village, Co Louth

Getting there Take Exit 18 off the M1, then take the R173 in direction of Carlingford. Observe the R173 for 15km passing the village of The Bush. After roughly 1km, look ahead to a crossroads and indicators for the village of Grange in your left, at an outdated railway bridge. Flip left right here and comply with the street for roughly 1km to succeed in St James’s Church in your proper.

Stage Reasonable – there’s some ascent and descent however nothing too hectic.

Size/Time 7km /2.5 hours

Pack OSI Sheet 36 or a downloadable map from IrishTrails.ie.

Refuel Thatched old-style John Lengthy’s Pub (johnlongsbar.com) provides all the pieces from steaks to curry, with a high-quality pint. You’ll want to go away room for the killer puds.

11. Greatest for studying to navigate

The place Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare

What The house of the Aylmer household till 1935, Donadea Forest Park is now a haven for these seeking to escape to a world of nature. The park options three pretty looped walks, together with the 5.7km Aylmer Loop, the zero.8km wheelchair- and buggy-friendly Lake Stroll and the 1.6km Nature Path. And in the event you’re eager to get your youngsters began with navigation, take a look at the three everlasting orienteering programs (1.8km, Three.4km and Four.6km). As you discover, you may see the ruins of the fort and walled gardens, an icehouse, boathouse and St Peter’s church. The small lake will delight teenager with its geese and waterhens. You might also come throughout a scaled reproduction of New York’s Twin Towers. It’s a 9/11 Memorial in reminiscence of Sean Tallon, a firefighter with the New York Fireplace Division who died throughout the assault. His father was born in Donadea.

Begin/End Forest park automobile park

Getting there Take the M4 to Kilcock, then the R407 in direction of Clane/Naas. After about 5km, take a left at Baltracey crossroads to Donadea Forest Park.

Stage Straightforward

Size/Time Aylmer Loop – 5.7km/1.5 hours, Lake Stroll – zero.8km/30 minutes, Nature Path – 1.6km/45 minutes

Pack €5 in cash for the automobile park and a map from coillte.ie/website/donadea-forest-park.

REFUEL The lovable Donadea Forest Cafe ((087 672 5320) is open on weekends for snacks and coffees.

Convey a picnic for mid-week.

12. Greatest for exploring the bathroom

The place Killamuck Bathroom Loop, Co Laois

What It is a outstanding stroll for a lot of causes. The primary is that it happened when a bunch of native volunteers leased 500 acres from Bord na Mona and got down to defend it. Now a once-degraded raised bathroom is recovering, along with woodland and meadows, and a wonderland of wildlife is rising. The 8km Killamuck Bathroom loop, which follows purple arrows, travels alongside all the pieces from riverbank to outdated railway line however the spotlight is the Excessive Bathroom Walkway. This 600m boardwalk brings folks into the guts of the bathroom that will in any other case be too moist and boggy to succeed in. It was assembled by hand by the volunteers. Relying on the time of yr, anticipate to see an abundance of birdlife, butterflies and dragonflies, and an enormous array of bizarre wild vegetation and flowers.

Begin/End on the Abbeyleix Manor Lodge, Abbeyleix

Getting there The lodge is the final constructing on the left as you allow Abbeyleix City on the N8 heading in direction of Cork.

Stage Straightforward but it surely’s moist in locations

Size/Time 8km /2 hours

Pack Wellie and OSI Discovery Sequence Sheet 60 or a downloadable map from IrishTrails.ie

Refuel You may be nicely fed and watered on the Abbeyleix Manor Lodge (abbeyleixmanorhotel.com).

13. Greatest for peace and quiet


Clondra, Co Longford

The place Royal Canal Greenway from Longford city to Clondra, Co Longford

What This flat 16.5km multi-activity path for cyclists, walkers and runners leaves Longford city on an outdated canal spur earlier than becoming a member of the Royal Canal correct. Travelling alongside on outdated towpath, anticipate a route lined with inexperienced rushes, quaint lock cottages and limestone bridges, in addition to verges considerable with wild flowers. Look out for creamy meadowsweet, orange-red poppies, purple tufted vetch, crimson clover and customary noticed orchids. Many of the route is off street, though you’ll have six street crossings so take care at these and control youngsters close to the open water. This route can also be buggy pleasant, if tough in spots. It ends because the canal approaches the Shannon at pretty Clondra, a gorgeous waterside village.

Begin/End Begin at Farranyoogan Bridge in Longford City and end at Richmond Harbour in Clondra. The 22 bus travels again to Longford a number of occasions a day.

Getting there Make your strategy to Longford bus and prepare station and comply with the brown Royal Canal Greenway indicators from there.

Stage Reasonable due to size

Size 16km /Four hours

Pack Snacks – 16km with youngsters is a protracted sufficient jaunt. Take a downloadable map from IrishTrails.ie

Refuel The Purple Onion Kitchen (purpleonion.ie) serves a facet portion of artwork alongside good bar and restaurant fare




By Helen Fairbairn

14. Greatest for island views

The place Mount Eagle, Co Kerry

What This quick hill stroll offers spectacular coastal views, and is an ideal strategy to introduce youngsters to mountaineering. The journey begins with a stretch alongside the Dingle Means that climbs the hillside to a stone wall and stile. Cross the stile, then flip left and comply with the wall up the shoulder forward. Splashes of orange paint mark the path, with more and more expansive views extending throughout to the Blasket Islands. By the point you attain the jagged rock outcrop of Binn an Choma (424m), the vista is nothing wanting spectacular. A line of wood posts leads throughout the higher plateau to the trig level on the 516m summit of Mount Eagle. Benefit from the 360° panorama, then retrace your steps again to the beginning.

Begin/End at Coumeenoole Bay lay-by

Getting there From Dingle city, comply with the R559 west. Park within the lay-by above Coumeenoole Bay, some 9km west of Ventry.

Stage Reasonable to troublesome – a signed however tough out-and-back mountain path, with 500m ascent.

Size/Time 6km /2-2.5 hours

Pack Good climbing boots, a heat coat and OSI 1:50,000 map sheet 70.

Refuel at Dunquin Pottery and Cafe in Ballinglanna, 3km north alongside the R559. Scrumptious desserts and quiches and distinctive craftwork in a pleasant setting.

15. Greatest for recognizing crimson deer


Pink deer

The place Knockreer Loop, Co Kerry

What The Round Stroll in Knockreer Property is a well-liked path round an expanse of parkland in Killarney Nationwide Park. Simply 3km lengthy, it follows a large, paved footpath all through, making it appropriate for bikes and buggies. In addition to high-quality views over the Killarney lakes, you are just about assured sightings of magnificent crimson deer, which graze within the park as in the event that they had been tame. For an extended journey, add the signposted detour to 15th-century Ross Fort, an imposing preserve positioned on the water’s edge. End by looping again by way of the Deenagh River and Lake Shore Stroll. These additions will add 5km further to your route.

Begin/End at Deenagh Lodge entrance, Killarney Nationwide Park.

Getting there The Deenagh Lodge entrance is positioned straight reverse St Mary’s Cathedral, on the west facet of Killarney city. Park alongside Port Street, beside the doorway gateway.

Stage Straightforward – flat, paved paths with minimal ascent.

Size/Time 3km or 8km /1 or 2.5 hours

Pack Your digicam to seize the deer, plus route notes from KillarneyGuide.ie/knockreer-ross-5mile

Refuel at Cafe du Parc in Killarney Plaza Lodge (Killarneyplaza.com). A contemporary cafe only a quick stroll from Deenagh Lodge, with mouth-watering lunches and a particular

Funky Brunch menu on Sundays. Children will love the waffles and French toast.

16. Greatest to get pleasure from a distant lighthouse


The Sheep’s Head Means. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

The place Sheep’s Head Lighthouse Loop, Co Cork

What The Sheep’s Head is essentially the most remoted peninsula in southwest Eire; its wild surroundings combining with fabulous coastal views to make it a very memorable place. This quick circuit explores the very tip of the headland, following upland trails marked by blue arrows. Begin by crossing an expanse of rugged heathland, then go alongside the southern shore of gorgeous Lough Akeen. On the apex of the peninsula you attain Sheep’s Head Lighthouse, which lies down a flight of concrete steps. The trail alongside the northern facet of the headland runs throughout 100m-high cliffs, earlier than you flip proper at a path junction and head again in direction of the automobile park.

Begin/End at Sheep’s Head automobile park

Getting there Drive alongside the southern facet of Sheep’s Head Peninsula, by Kilcrohane village. Then comply with indicators for Sheep’s Head, reaching the street finish after 9km.

Stage Reasonable – signed mountain paths with some tough floor and 150m ascent.

Size/Time 4km /1.5 hours

Pack First rate boots and a route overview from IrishTrails.ie

Refuel at Bernie’s Cupan Tae, a tiny cafe within the automobile park that is famend for serving scrumptious desserts and sandwiches, even in wild situations.

17. Greatest for a waterfall


Overlooking the Comeragh Mountains from Mahon Falls, Co. Waterford

The place Mahon Falls, Co Waterford

What This route is an fascinating juxtaposition of two environments. You are within the dramatic coronary heart of the Comeragh Mountains, with steep cliffs and towering peaks looming throughout. But the path itself is so nicely constructed, you can nearly be in a metropolis park, so buggies and wheelchairs can cowl the gap with ease. The unrivalled point of interest is Mahon Falls, the place the River Mahon tumbles down 80m of boulders and cliffs. The route from the automobile park is apparent; out and again alongside the one path. Except it has rained lately, water ranges are typically low sufficient to let the youngsters play across the rocks and swimming pools when you arrive.

Begin/End at Mahon Falls automobile park

Getting there Take the N25 between Dungarven and Kilmacthomas. At Lemybrien, flip north onto the R676 in direction of Carrick-on-Suir. Mahon Falls is signed from the third street on the left.

Stage Straightforward – a just about flat, out-and-back path with a agency floor.

Size/Time 4km /1 hour

Pack Wellies and spare garments so the children can splash within the river.

Refuel at Made on Predominant in Kilmacthomas. A little bit gem of a restaurant, the place the in-house bakery and

delicatessen ensures each dish on the menu is deliciously contemporary.



Ben Bulben, Co. Sligo. Photograph: Tourism Eire

By Helen Fairbairn

18. Ben Bulben Forest Stroll

What Benbulben mountain is a pure icon of Eire’s northwest, but its slopes are notoriously steep to climb. This family-friendly route allows you to rise up shut and private with the mountain, with out involving any main ascent. It explores a forestry plantation on the decrease slopes, and when the timber fall again, the precipitous prow of the mountain looms straight overhead. Flip the nook and the scene turns right into a coastal masterpiece, with panoramic views extending throughout Donegal Bay. A forest rath lies hidden within the timber, and there is the choice of a shorter 4km loop for little legs. Agency gravel surfaces additionally imply you may convey the buggy.

Begin/End at Benbulben Forest automobile park

Getting there From Sligo city, take the N15 north for 10km. Flip proper in direction of Barnaribbon, then preserve left at a fork to succeed in the forest automobile park.

Stage Straightforward – a signed circuit over surfaced paths with 60m ascent.

Size/Time 5.5km /2 hours

Pack A digicam to seize the fabulous views, plus further route info from SligoWalks.ie

Refuel at Drumcliffe Tea Home and Craft Store (drimcliffeteahouse.ie), again alongside the N15. Get pleasure from fabulous desserts, quiches and salads beside Drumcliffe church, with the grave of WB Yeats simply outdoors.

19. Greatest for lakeside luxurious


Kilronan Fort

The place Kilronan Fort Loop, Co Roscommon

What Initially constructed within the 1820s, Kilronan Fort is an imposing, Gothic-style manor home that now serves as a luxurious lodge. The 49 acres of surrounding parkland contains open lawns and combined deciduous and pine forest, and extends to the shores of Lough Meelagh. There are three marked walks to selected from, various from 2km to Four.6km in size. All are buggy-friendly, with a combination of woodland trails and lakeshore paths taking you out to Doon Level, a slim promontory that extends into the lake.

Begin/End at Kilronan Fort automobile park

Getting there Observe the N4 6km west of Carrick-on Shannon, then divert north onto the R285. Observe for 10km, then flip left in Keadue to succeed in the fort after 1.5km.

Stage Straightforward – flat, signposted pathways by forest and parkland

Size/Time 2-Four.6km /1-1.5 hours

Pack An outline of the strolling route from IrishTrails.ie

Refuel on the opulent and historic Kilronan Fort Lodge (kilronancastle.ie). Reminiscences of a beneficiant, if expensive, afternoon tea served within the drawing room will final a very long time.

20. Greatest for wild headland


View from inside a coastal watch station on Erris Head, Co Mayo. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

The place Erris Head Loop, Co Mayo

What Erris Head is likely one of the nice coastal headlands of Eire, thrusting boldly into the Atlantic and holding quick towards the ocean swells. Regardless of the dramatic location, it may be visited comparatively simply on this quick loop stroll. The spectacular surroundings and easy route-finding make it an ideal possibility for households, with youngsters and adults alike left invigorated and asking for extra. The route passes close to cliffs on the very tip of the headland, so use your widespread sense right here and maintain the palms of any little ones. Convey first rate footwear too, as a result of the terrain might be tough and moist underfoot.

Begin/End at Erris Head automobile park

Getting there From Belmullet city, head north alongside the R313, then proceed straight forward at a junction. Observe indicators for the trailhead and Ceann Iorrais to the top of the street after 8km.

Stage Reasonable – a signed route over tough floor with 100m ascent.

Size/Time 5km /1.5-2 hours

Pack Heat coats and full route particulars from the brochure at MayoWalks.ie

Refuel at cosy Lunasa Tea Room (lunasa.co) in Belmullet city, the place you may get pleasure from winter hotter soups and farmer’s salads earlier than shopping the fairtrade present store.

21. Greatest (and solely) Irish fjord

The place Killary Harbour, Co Galway

What This route explores the shore of Killary Harbour, Eire’s solely true fjord. It additionally provides a poignant reminder of the Nice Famine of 1845-49, visiting a abandoned village and famine aid street which are legacies of that period. From the pier, head southeast alongside the street. After 1km, on the apex of a pointy proper bend, flip left onto a faint observe and climb to Salrock Cross. Descend steeply by a pedestrian gate, then comply with a stone wall to the abandoned famine village of Foher. Be a part of the Inexperienced Street – an outdated famine aid venture – on the base of the slope, then flip left and comply with the observe alongside the sting of the fjord all the way in which again to Rosroe.

Begin/End at Rosroe Pier

Getting there Flip off the N59 7km southwest of Leenane, following an indication to Tullycross. After 5km, flip proper to reach at Rosroe Pier some 3km later.

Stage Reasonable – an unsigned path over tough floor, with 160m ascent.

Size/Time 6.5km / 2-2.5 hours

Pack Additional route info from Helen Fairbairn’s Eire’s Wild Atlantic Means: A Strolling Information

Refuel at The Fjord Cafe (the-fjord-cafe.enterprise.website/) in Leenane, on the head of Killary Harbour. Do-it-yourself seafood chowder is a speciality and there is a good youngsters’ menu.


by Helen Fairbairn

22. Greatest for beachcombers

The place Tramore Strand, Co Donegal (above)

What The fantastic thing about this outing is the children assume they are going to play on the seashore, and so they get a stroll thrown into the cut price. Promote it as a secret seashore; no roads lead right here, so the one strategy to discover it’s by foot. The path is totally signposted, and leads by a forest to an enormous expanse of dune. The large reveal comes as you attain the 2km arc of golden sand. Drop onto the foreshore for some conventional seaside enjoyable, or just perch on the rocks to understand the gorgeous shoreline in entrance of you. The return path loops again by way of a unique course to make sure selection from begin to end.

Begin/End at Hornhead Bridge automobile park

Getting there Take the N56 to the village of Dunfanaghy, then comply with indicators to Horn Head. About 80m previous Hornhead Bridge, flip left up a lane to the automobile park.

Stage Straightforward to reasonable – a signposted circuit by forest, grass and dune, with 160m ascent.

Size/Time 5km /1.5-2 hours

Pack A bucket and spade, plus extra route particulars from Eire’s Wild Atlantic Means: A Strolling Information by Helen Fairbairn.

Refuel at Muck ‘n’ Muffins (mucknmuffins.ie), a beautiful little espresso store beside the harbour in Dunfanaghy. Admire home-made pottery as you revive with paninis, lasagne or pastries.

23. Greatest mountain stairway

The place Cuilcagh Boardwalk Path, Co Fermanagh

What Cuilcagh Mountain rises to 665m, forming an upland island within the sea of bathroom that cloaks the border of Fermanagh and Cavan. It was an arduous endeavor to scale the mountain’s flanks, however not anymore, because of what has grow to be often called the ‘Stairway to Heaven’. The out-and-back route begins with 4km of gravel observe, which winds throughout the bathroom in direction of a precipitous wood staircase. Climb the steps to realize a chook’s-eye perspective over the flatlands under. Entry to the summit itself is prohibited, however the views from the cliff prime greater than justify the trouble.

Begin/End at Cuilcagh Boardwalk automobile park

Getting there Observe indicators for Marble Arch Caves from the A4/N16 Enniskillen-Blacklion street. The automobile park is positioned 300m west of the doorway to the caves.

Stage Reasonable to troublesome -signed tracks and boardwalk with 550m ascent.

Size/Time 10km / Three-Four hours

Pack £5 or €6 to pay for the automobile park, plus further time to mix the stroll with a go to to close by Marble Arch Caves.

Refuel at Marble Arch Caves customer centre (marblearchcavesgeopark.com), the place a suspended model of a caver dangles overhead as you tuck into lunch.

24. Greatest lakeshore loop

The place Fort Lake Loops, Co Cavan

What Peaceable and delightful, this distant spot has lengthy been a favorite with native households. The most well-liked route is the 3km Lake Loop, which circumnavigates Fort Lake alongside verdant, buggy-friendly trails. The lough itself is ever-present, and there are historic websites too, such because the memorial to those that died at Insurgent Hill in 1798. For an extended outing, add a side-trip onto Fort Loop, which explores the southern a part of the forest and visits the ruins of 17th-century Bailieborough Fort.

Begin/End at Fort Lake Forest automobile park

Getting there Take the N3 to Virginia, then comply with the R178 northeast by Bailieborough. Flip left at Lakeland Dairies to the forest entrance 1.5km later.

Stage Straightforward – signposted forest tracks with 30m or 150m ascent.

Size/Time Three.5 or 6.5km /1 or 2 hours

Pack A route map from IrishTrails.ie, and wellies so youngsters can dip their toes within the lake.

Refuel at The Bailie Lodge (bailiehotel.com) within the coronary heart of Bailieborough, the place a warming soup and toasted sandwich will provide help to get better out of your exertions.

25. Greatest for Recreation of Thrones followers

What Fort Ward Property, Co Down

The place The Nationwide Belief property of Fort Ward lies on the southern shore of Strangford Lough, and provides a selection of 4 signed walks between 3km and 13km lengthy. For households, the 3km Fort Path or 4km Loughside Stroll are the most effective choices, and each are appropriate for buggies. In addition to passing by woodland and alongside the shore of Strangford Lough, you may go to quite a few historic landmarks, together with two 15th-century tower homes and the imposing manor constructed within the 1760s. Followers of the favored TV collection Recreation of Thrones may even recognise Winterfell, and discover at least 10 filming areas dotted across the property.

Begin/End on the shore automobile park in Fort Ward property

Getting there The property is signed off the A25 Downpatrick-Strangford street, round 2km southwest of Strangford.

Stage Straightforward – signed and constructed pathways with negligible ascent.

Size/Time Three-13km /1-Three.5 hours

Pack Your pockets – entry prices £9.50/Four.75 per grownup/baby, or £23.80 per household. In return you may obtain a helpful map marking all the varied strolling trails.

Refuel on the Stableyard Tea Room inside Fort Ward. Go to on a weekday and you’ll get pleasure from an old-style afternoon tea (reserving important, 048 4488 1204). Weekends supply soup, desserts and sambos.

Meet the specialists

Roisin Finlay


Roisin Finlay

Editor of Outsider (outsider.ie) journal for the final decade, loves strolling, nature and simply being outdoor. She can also be enthusiastic about encouraging others to expertise the facility of what’s outdoors our entrance door. Roisin is satisfied that being ‘coerced’ by her dad and mom to go on household walks to the seashore or up the mountains sowed the seed for a lifelong love of all issues al fresco. Now she tries to encourage the younger folks in her life, together with her 4 good step-children, to hitch her. She reckons the most effective form of household stroll is one the place the children will discover issues that curiosity them, whether or not that’s poking lifeless jellyfish on the shore, discovering frog spawn or a stroll that ends with a sizzling chocolate.

Helen Fairbairn

Because the mom of two youngsters, climbing guide creator Helen Fairbairn is nicely conscious of the pleasures and challenges of strolling with youngsters. Out of doors exercise is so vital for youngsters, offering a wholesome counter-balance to time spent on telephones or computer systems. Time spent strolling is a good alternative for household bonding too, says Helen, with experiences shared within the outdoor creating into household tales that shall be recounted for years. Helen’s youngsters usually accompany her on walks and different actions, and her most up-to-date guide, Eire’s Journey Bucket Checklist: Nice Out of doors Experiences, has a chapter devoted to household adventures together with climbing, biking, canoeing and snorkelling.

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