High 25 household walks in Eire: Get youngsters of all ages into the outside!

Loading ....

I’ll always remember my first journey after lockdown.

ollowing months of journey restrictions, my son and I drove to Co Wexford. We felt giddy crossing county traces. We parked close to Curracloe and, nicely, we did what we had being doing for 3 months: we walked.

It felt proper. In lockdown, we had tuned into nature. We knew the names of extra birds (I had my digicam, he his little binoculars). Our legs have been hardier. My telephone notifications have been off. We chatted — about critical stuff and nonsense. We received drained. We had a swim. We purchased chips. It was nothing. However it was the whole lot.

It was Eire, it was outside, and it was free. On this household strolling information, we’ve tried to seize just a little of that second, that leap, that journey. I hope these walks carry you as a lot enjoyable as they did us, and our crew, in compiling them.

– Pól Ó Conghaile

1. Ardgillan Citadel


Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Citadel

Day Desires – inventory.adobe.com

Ardgillan Citadel

Fits: Multi-gen teams

Hike: Ardgillan is a gem. A stately nation home with crenellations, the fairytale imaginative and prescient rises out of a powerful 194-acre demesne which as soon as had its personal non-public railway platform for the influential Taylor household, who lived right here till 1962. Overlooking the Irish Sea, with views to the Mourne Mountains, this sweeping coastal property affords open parkland, woods and acres of walks, trails and cycle paths. Gardening fanatics will benefit from the magnificent floral shows, from the wildflower meadow to Victorian walled backyard. A fairy tree path, guided quiz, deep woods and enormous playground will hold kids properly entertained. Comfortable tearooms with further backyard tables present refreshments and you’ll e book afternoon tea twice a month in the home’s elegant drawing room. A tour of the home is on the market, too. – JB

Begin and End at: The fort automotive park.

Get there: Ardgillan Demesne is signposted from the M1. Travelling north from Dublin, take Exit 5; travelling south take Exit 6; from the place it’s nicely signposted.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: As brief or so long as you would like.

Pack: There’s numerous house for picnics, in case you really feel like bringing a packed lunch.

Refuel: Drinks, snacks and treats are at the moment obtainable from the Brambles-run kiosk within the kids’s playground on the demesne (ardgillancastle.ie).

2. Portmarnock to Malahide

Fits: Buggies, toddlers and multi-access.

Hike: The proper Sunday stroll — flat, scenic, secure — with vast paths and quick access, this coastal stroll is good for all ages and skills. The trail hugs low cliffs, snaking northwards from Portmarnock Seaside in the direction of the gorgeous village of Malahide. En route, spy fascinating rock formations, swimmers at Low Rock, a Norman hold and two martello towers — all non-public residences with distinctive modifications — earlier than reaching the boat-studded calm of Malahide Estuary. Its elevation means sea views out to Lambay Island and Eire’s Eye, and the vistas are continually altering. Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand awaits, must you really feel like some seashore enjoyable after a round-trip.

Get there: There are DART stations at Portmarnock and Malahide. By automotive, take the Malahide Street/RI07 and comply with the indicators for Portmarnock to Strand Street/R106. The 32 bus travels the coast each hour, in case you solely fancy strolling one route.

Begin and End at: Portmarnock Lodge & Golf Hyperlinks.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 4km; a leisurely hour with youngsters.

Pack: A bucket, spade and towels for beachcombing or paddling. There are public bathrooms alongside the best way.

Refuel: Malahide is full of nice cafés and eating places. Previous Avenue (oldstreet.ie) is improbable for Sunday lunch with the youngsters earlier than the return stroll. – JB

Three. Hellfire Membership & Massy’s Property

Fits: Tweens

Hike: A enjoyable and invigorating stroll with improbable views, Dublin’s legendary Hellfire Membership will be mixed with neighbouring Massy’s Property to make an lively time out within the Dublin Mountains. The Massys have been a rich Norman clan whose mansion as soon as stood on the foot of Montpelier Hill, web site of the Hellfire Membership. Solely ruins of the walled backyard, sawmill and ice home stay, with a stunning nature path weaving its approach by the hilly forest. Above sit the imposing ruins of the Hellfire Membership with its many ghostly legends. Linked by circuitous forest trails to the summit — the 4km Montpellier Loop or extra strenuous 5.5km Hellfire Loop — you’ll climb to 383m, incomes sweeping, and shocking, views over Dublin metropolis and bay. – JB

Begin and End at: The Hellfire Membership Automobile Park.

Get there: On the R115, an eight-minute drive from the Scholarstown Street.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 5.5km /2 hours (or mix each).

Pack: You’ll be able to enter the Hell Fireplace Membership constructing, so carry a torch (even the one in your telephone) to shed some gentle on its creepiest corners…

Refuel: A bit additional up the highway at Timbertrove Café (timbertrovecafe.com) the place breakfast, lunch, espresso and residential baked muffins are all served.

Four. Prince William’s Seat

Fits: Teenagers

Hike: When does a hill change into a mountain? Some scales say 600m, others 500m (Irish summits over 500m are dubbed ‘arderins’). Prince William’s Seat splits the distinction whereas straddling the Dublin/Wicklow border at 555m. From Boranaraltry Lane, comply with the yellow Wicklow Means indicators right into a zig-zagging forest path. While you emerge, you may take a steep, mulchy path southwest to the height, or circle by way of a firmer path (pin the situation beforehand). Marked by a trig pillar, The Seat sounds prefer it has a agency historical past, however its origins are unclear – was it named for the brother of King George IV, or the Fitzwilliam household, who as soon as owned the lands? – PÓC

Begin and End at: Boranaraltry Bridge.

Get there: From Glencullen, comply with the R116 for round 1.5km, turning off onto Boranaraltry Lane. There are a number of layby areas round Boranaraltry Bridge. Alternatively, discover a small parking bay shortly after the turn-off on the R116.

Degree: Average/Onerous.

Size / Time: 9-11km; enable Three hours, relying on the parking begin level.

Pack: Snacks, water, absolutely charged telephones, correct climbing boots, rain gear and layers. It’s standard with hillwalkers, however you’re undoubtedly within the nice outside (and variable climate) right here. There’s an in depth description in Adrian Hendroff’s e book, Household Walks Round Dublin.

Refuel: Johnnie Fox’s pub (johnniefoxs.ie) is close by on the Glencullen crossroads… it’s been doing deliveries and assortment by the Covid-19 pandemic.

5. Barnaslingan and The Scalp


The Scalp, Burnaslingan, Dublin The Scalp, Burnaslingan, Dublin

The Scalp, Burnaslingan, Dublin

The Scalp, Burnaslingan, Dublin

Fits: Youthful walkers, aged Four-9.

Hike: Hikers often must pump the calves for gorgeous views, however this brief path provides all of the reward with hardly any effort (for adults, anyway). The Scalp, from the Irish for chasm or crevice, is a rocky move carved by an Ice Age glacier, and at present the route of the R117. Its boulder-strewn west face was a favorite of Victorian photographers, however you may nab smartphone pix after a straightforward ascent by the woods, following purple path signage. We introduced a picnic, breaking it out between big chunks of granite, and absorbing a panorama that ranges south in the direction of the Sugar Loaf. If you want, lengthen your go to to incorporate the close by Lead Mines and Carrickgollagan. – PÓC

Begin and End at: Barnaslingan Woods.

Get there: Take the R117 to Kilternan, comply with Barnaslingan Lane south for about 1km to the forest cark park. Parking is proscribed, so go off-peak. dublinmountains.ie

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 2km (approx); 1-1.5hours.

Pack: Water, snacks (and some historical past notes) ought to do it for this brief stroll.

Refuel: Enniskerry is a 10-minute drive away. Pop into Poppies (poppies.ie) for old school nation cooking, strong pies and an awesome berry crumble.

Join our free journey publication!

Like what you are studying? Subscribe to ‘Journey Insider’, our free journey publication written by award-winning Journey Editor, Pól Ó Conghaile.


6. Slieve Foye, Co Louth

Fits: Teenagers

Hike: Setting off from the southern shores of Carlingford Lough, this vigorous climb up Louth’s highest mountain is good for full of life teenagers who get pleasure from a bodily problem. Beginning in Carlingford, you’ll stroll away from the water, by the village earlier than discovering the leafy path that leads up Slieve Foye. A selection of routes enable for a steeper ascent or looped stroll. Altering from observe to gravel to grass, the waymarked Commons Loop weaves by rolling countryside, between forest and pastures, bathroom and heather, rock and stream, revealing wild magnificence at each flip. Slieve Foye’s summit stands at 558m, rewarding hikers with very good panoramas of the Cooley Peninsula, its light mountains and the lough stretching out under.

Begin and End at: Carlingford village.

Get there: Depart the M1 at Junction 18, signposted Ballymascanlon and comply with the R173 and R175 to Carlingford.

Degree: Tough.

Size / Time: 8km; enable Three hours.

Pack: Heat garments because it’s ceaselessly windy and damp up right here. Good footwear, heat layers, waterproof clothes, foods and drinks are additionally advisable.

Refuel: The Wildwood Café (wildwoodcarlingford.com) is a wholefood cafe in Carlingford serving tasty savoury and candy choices. – JB

7. Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare


Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare

Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare

valerijs – inventory.adobe.com

Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare

Fits: Buggies, toddlers and multi-access.

Hike: Walkers on this northwest Kildare magnificence spot are greeted by the imposing ruins of an ivy-clad fort that may set kids’s imaginations racing. Three looped trails embody the brief, wheelchair-accessible lake stroll, wrapping round a serene lake frequented by geese and waterhens. There’s a nature path with stops (1.6 km) and the 5.7km Aylmer Stroll weaves by the entire park. As soon as residence to the Aylmers, you’ll uncover stays of the household’s walled backyard, ice home, boathouse and St Peter’s church, in addition to a good-looking avenue of lime bushes. Hidden within the woods is the putting 9/11 Memorial, a scaled limestone duplicate of New York’s Twin Towers, devoted to a younger firefighter, Sean Tallon, whose household emigrated from Donadea. – JB

Begin and End at: The forest automotive park.

Get there: M4 Dublin to Maynooth, take Exit 7 on to R406 (to Barberstown). After 2km, flip proper at ESB substation and proceed for simply over 10km. coillte.ie

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: From 1km to 10km; 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.

Pack: Oats, rice or sweetcorn — not bread! — to feed the birds on the lake.

Refuel: The Faraway Tree Café (thefarawaytreecafe.com), close to the park entrance, is the place for snacks and coffees…

eight. Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny

Fits: Multi-gen teams.

Hike: There’s just a little one thing for everybody right here, and I feel Castlecomer’s central location makes it an actual choice for reunion get-togethers. Strolling trails vary from a 1.5km ‘Girls Loop’ to the Four.5km Ardra Loop, all weaving round 80 acres of woods and lakes on the previous Wandesforde property. However that’s solely the start. You too can go orienteering (€Three), take a tree high journey stroll and climbing wall (€17pp), or strive the zipline and excessive ropes programs (€27pp). Simply be sure you examine the web site for opening occasions and particulars open post-Covid-19, and e book forward. – PÓC

Begin and End at: On the Discovery Park (all-day parking prices €5).

Get there: The Park is about 25 minutes by automotive from Kilkenny, simply outdoors Castlecomer on the Dublin aspect of the N78. discoverypark.ie; visitkilkenny.ie

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 1.5km, 2km, 5km; enable not less than 2 hours.

Pack: Raingear and durable sneakers for lengthier or rougher actions… Notably in case you’re going to strive orienteering or the journey walks.

Refuel: There’s a café on the Discovery Park, or head again into Castlecomer for treats from the Avalon Home Lodge (avalonhousehotel.ie; from July 13)

9. Tomnafinogue Wooden, Co Wicklow


Tomnafinogue, Co Wicklow. Photo: VisitWicklow.ie Tomnafinogue, Co Wicklow. Photo: VisitWicklow.ie

Tomnafinogue, Co Wicklow. Picture: VisitWicklow.ie

Tomnafinogue, Co Wicklow. Picture: VisitWicklow.ie

Fits: Youthful walkers, ages Four-9.

Hike: You actually are travelling in time in Tomnafinogue forest. The virgin oak right here hints at forests that when coated south Wicklow, their wooden shoring up the whole lot from British navy ships to Westminister Corridor and Trinity Faculty. Fortunately saved from clear-felling, walks at present embody 1.3km, Three.2km and 4km trails, and woodland sculptures add to the sensation of enchantment. Mangan’s Loop is an extended 5km, marked by inexperienced arrows. It begins with a stiff climb up Garryhoe Hill, features a linear part of the outdated railway route, and crosses the Derry river to dip into the oak woods. It is going to tire youthful walkers, however with correct planning, stops (and treats), must be brief sufficient to handle. – PÓC

Begin and End at: Tomnafinogue Woods automotive park; Tinahely.

Get there: You’ll discover the oak forest automotive park roughly midway (4km) between Tinahely and Shillelagh off the R749. visitwicklow.ie; tinahely.ie

Degree: Straightforward/Average.

Size / Time: 3km (Tomnafinogue; enable 1-2 hours); 5km (Mangan’s Loop; 1.5-2 hours).

Pack: Any information you may carry on oak bushes can be lapped up — in addition to bookmarked images of the oak beams in Trinity or Westminister. Birders ought to take their binoculars; you might even see kingfishers and woodpeckers en route.

Refuel: Decide up selfmade treats from Tinahely Farm (tinahelyfarm.ie), and hold an eye fixed out for when the very good Dying Cow farmhouse pub in neaby Kilquiggan reopens!

10. Raven Level, Co Wexford

Fits: Tweens.

Hike: Curracloe was named Eire’s Favorite Seaside in our Reader Journey Awards 2020 (“you possibly can be overseas on a positive day,” as one reader put it). Whereas its 10km of sands are well-known, nevertheless, the forested sand spit on the southern finish is much less so. The Raven Nature Reserve is spiked with Corsican pine, residence to purple squirrels, pine martins and wintering geese, and seals will be noticed offshore, too. A 9km loop is essentially on the flat, rambling by forest, skirting the North Slob lands, and returning by way of castaway white sands in the direction of the wood boardwalk. Winter is for geese; summer season the wildflowers and orchids. – PÓC

Begin and End at: Raven Level automotive park (Curracloe, close by, is beautiful for a swim).

Get there: Take the R741 south from Gorey, or north from Wexford, earlier than following the R742 by Curracloe to the automotive park. wexfordtrails.ie

Degree: Straightforward/Average.

Size / Time: 9km (enable 2.5 hours, however you are able to do shorter loops too).

Pack: Binoculars (or an extended digicam lens) are important for wildlife, and togs and towels for the brisk swim afterwards!

Refuel: The Surf Shack (surfshackireland.com) at Curracloe is a buzzing native enterprise, providing not simply surf classes, however tasty pizza and Wexford’s Featherbed farm gelato too. Regulate its web site for reopening particulars.

11. Burren Nature Path, Co Clare


Burren Nature Trail, Co Clare Burren Nature Trail, Co Clare

Burren Nature Path, Co Clare

Burren Nature Path, Co Clare

Fits: Youthful walkers, aged Four-9.

Hike: It’s one of many loveliest little walks in Eire. Marked by white arrows, this nature loop units off by ash and hazel woodland, contains wildflower meadows and provides a beautiful taster of open limestone pavement riddled with grikes and fossils (you might be strolling on what was as soon as a coral reef). Pinkish ling heathers, creamy wild roses, intricate orchids and yellow ants can all be noticed, relying on the season, and also you’ll additionally see the molten lump of Mullaghmore (grown-up walkers can take a harder, 6.5km path encompassing the hill itself). – PÓC

Get there: From Corofin, take the R476 to Kilnaboy. From there, go 5km alongside the L1112 till you come to a lay-by in your proper earlier than a crossroads.

Begin and End at: Burren Nationwide Park trailhead.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 1.5km; enable an engrossing hour.

Pack: Paper and crayons to take fossil rubbings, and a magnifying glass. Obtain a path brochure at burrennationalpark.ie and discuss with it as you go.

Refuel: A 20-minute drive away, the Burren Perfumery is a aromatic oasis the place perfumes, soaps and lotions are made utilizing pure, natural elements. Its tearooms are again with a lowered, takeaway service for now (burrenperfumery.com).

12. The Knight’s Stroll, Glin, Co Limerick

Fits: Tweens

Hike: Swap Insta for a celebrity-brushed world on the banks of the Shannon Estuary. Glin Citadel is residence to Catherine Fitzgerald and actor Dominic West, and its Knight’s Stroll, named for the Knight of Glin (the final of whom died in 2011), was loved throughout a latest keep by Taylor Swift. Observe the purple arrows from the church, passing a fairy backyard and proceding into the property. You’ll move by the enchanting Rook Corridor Wooden, rising as much as tremendous views from Tullyglass Hill, earlier than returning to the trailhead by the mature Furry Hill Wooden. Who wants screens? – PÓC

Get there: Take the N69 Shannon Estuary drive from Limerick. At Glin flip left up the R524, and left once more onto Church Street. glin.ie; limerick.ie

Begin and End at: St Paul’s Church, the native heritage centre.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 4km (enable 1.5 hours).

Pack: Binoculars can be useful for the viewing platform atop of Tullyglass (see in case you can spot the ferry crossing between Tarbert and Killimer).

Refuel: Taylor Swift reportedly popped into O’Shaughnessy’s pub within the village. Or e book a desk on the native Style Restautant (fb.com/TasteGlinOfficial)

13. King’s Yard, Ballyhoura Nation


Attychraan loop walk, Co. Limerick. Photo: Fáilte Ireland Attychraan loop walk, Co. Limerick. Photo: Fáilte Ireland

Attychraan loop stroll, Co. Limerick. Picture: Fáilte Eire

Attychraan loop stroll, Co. Limerick. Picture: Fáilte Eire

Fits: Multi-gen teams

Hike: Straddling the borders of Tipperary, Limerick and Cork, Ballyhoura (vistballyhoura.com) affords walkers a mixture of undulating pastures, woodlands, hills and mountains. At Galtee Citadel Woods, 10km northeast of Mitchelstown, an area farming household has developed a trailhead at King’s Yard. You’ll be able to carry a picnic and have a sandwich within the picnic space too. Observe the loop alongside woodland trails, sandy roadways and forest tracks to tremendous views of the Galtee Mountains. The Attychraan Loop, named after the river you cross through the hike, is a straightforward, accessible stroll for all ages and skills too. It begins at Galtee Woods automotive park. – KD

Get there: Depart the M8 from Cork or Dublin at Junction 11. Take the R639 to Cahir and comply with indicators for Kilbenenny, round 17 minutes after the Cahir exit.

Begin and End at: King’s Yard, Kilbehenny; parking prices €2 per automotive. kingsyardhiking.com

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 5km; enable 1.5 to 2 hours.

Pack: A tote bag for any scavanger hunt treasure, and wellies for mucky climate.

Refuel: Market Place Restaurant (marketplacerestaurant.ie) at New Sq. in Mitchelstown is 10km away for pastas, steaks and specials. In the event you’re passing by Fermoy, strive The Heron Café (fb.com/TheHeronCafe) on Pearse Sq. for its regionally roasted speciality espresso by Badger&Dodo.

14. Waterford Greenway

Fits: Buggies, toddlers and multi-access.

Hike: Don’t fear about doing the complete 46km. Whether or not strolling or biking, the great thing about the Waterford Greenway is the truth that you are able to do it in bite-sized chunks. The 10km part between Durrow and Dungarvan is beautiful, taking in a 400m Victorian railway tunnel, the Ballyvoile viaduct and a cool stretch of Copper Coast earlier than threading you thru to Dungarvan itself. It’s linear, so plan your drop-off and pick-up — shorter choices embody strolling from Durrow to the Clonlea Street (6km) or Clonea to Dungarvan (4km), utilizing the entry at Scartore. – PÓC

Get there: Decide your entry level and plan parking close by — for reference, Kilmacthomas is the midway level. There may be parking at Davitts Quay and Strand Aspect South in Dungarvan, or at Scartore or Shanacool.

Begin and End at: visitwaterford.com has an interactive map.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: As lengthy or brief as you want.

Pack: Bone up on the historical past of Ballyvoile viaduct — it was blown up in 1922, and the images make for dramatic viewing (significantly if you’re on it).

Refuel: Eunice Energy’s AndChips is without doubt one of the better of Eire’s new breed fish n’ chip retailers. The burgers are available Waterford blaas, too (andchips.ie).

15. Allihies North Engine Loop, Co Cork

Fits: Teenagers.

Hike: This coastal hike actually does have all of it — a wonderful begin on Ballydongan seashore, churning seas, iconic sights like Skellig Micheal, artifical reservoirs, a scrambling hillside climb and atmospheric engine homes, scattered like husks within the hills. Because the identify suggests, the route traces the world’s copper mining heritage, setting off from the strand (its white sands are literally crushed quartz ore), and following within the footsteps of native miners. You are able to do a 7.5km (purple arrows) loop, or the longer Kealogue Loop (11km, blue arrows), and pop into the Allihies Copper Mining Museum (acmm.ie) to be taught extra concerning the space’s historical past. – PÓC

Get there: Allihies lies in the direction of the top of the Beara Peninsula, roughly an hour’s drive from Kenmare (R575) or Glengarriff (R572).

Begin and End at: Allihies village, or Ballydongan seashore.

Degree: Average/Onerous.

Size / Time: 7.5km to 11km (enable 2-Three hours).

Pack: Togs and towels for a sea swim, and sunscreen! These sea winds are misleading.

Refuel: The Beara Barista is a beautiful little meals truck promoting native goodies by the seashore. Assume Macroom buffalo burgers, Gubbeen smokehouse hotdogs, with yummy waffles and occasional for afters. Discover it on Fb.


16. Erris Head Loop, Co Mayo


Erris Head Loop, Co Mayo Erris Head Loop, Co Mayo

Erris Head Loop, Co Mayo

Christian McLeod

Erris Head Loop, Co Mayo

Fits: Multi-gen teams

Hike: In the event you’re after spectacular coastal surroundings, you received’t go flawed right here. The path follows a coastal loop the place walkers wind their approach across the headland, taking in magnificent views of rocky islands, sea cliffs and the vast expanse of the North Atlantic. It’s primarily alongside an earth financial institution, however additionally, you will encounter quite a few wood stiles and a wood footbridge, in addition to the shell of an outdated coastal watch station. On the midway level, pause to soak up views of Eagle Island and its lighthouse standing robust towards the endless crashing of the waves. – KD

Get there: Take the R313 from Belmullet; after about 4km, flip left off the highway on the signal for Ceann Iorrais. mayowalks.ie

Begin and End at: Erris Head Automobile Park.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 5.5km; 2 hours.

Pack: An excellent pair of waterproof boots as some sections could also be on tender or moist floor. The climate is changeable, as you may think about, so come ready!

Refuel: The crab claws, steak sandwiches and seafood chowder are legendary at Talbot’s Seafood Bar (thetalbothotel.ie) on Barrack Avenue in Belmullet.

17. Benbulben Forest Stroll

Fits: Tweens

Hike: This forest stroll permits you to stand up near the nation’s most distinctive mountain, generally known as Eire’s Desk Mountain. Benbulben is a critical climb, and changeable climate can carry risks, however this path will get you up shut and private with none peril. It begins in a secluded forest, earlier than opening out to offer gorgeous views of Benbulben Head. It’s surprisingly elevated, too — because the stroll loops round, you may absorb views of Slieve League and Donegal Bay, in addition to Classiebawn Citadel, standing alone on Mullaghmore Head. – KD

Get there: Travelling north on the N15 from Sligo, flip proper 1.6km after Drumcliffe village (signposted Barnaribbon up by a thatched cottage). Observe the highway, hold left the place it veers proper. This can carry you to the automotive park at Gortarowey. sligowalks.ie

Begin and End at: Gortarowey automotive park.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 5.5km; 1.5 hours.

Pack: Strolling boots, rain gear and liquids. That is the guts of Yeats Nation, so having a poem that mentions Ben Bulben might can help you squeeze a little bit of schooling in… the poet is buried at close by Drumcliffe Church.

Refuel: Davis’s at The Yeats Tavern (yeatstavernrestaurant.com) is 6km away in Drumcliffe, a great place for its spacious eating space and loads of family-friendly choices.

18. Lough Key Forest Park, Co Roscommon


Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon

Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon

Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon

Fits: Buggies, toddlers and multi-access.

Hike: A number of light trails are stitched by the woods and alongside the lake at this fab forest park close to Boyle, Co Roscommon. For multi-access, strive the three.5km Drumman’s Island path, which loops on forest highway, footpath and two fairly bridges across the small island. The Miners’ Means follows a Four.2km part of the historic waymarked route as soon as utilized by native miners, with some smashing oak, lime and purple cedar bushes to identify alongside the best way. Different actions within the park vary from Zipit’s woodland journey programs to a tree cover walkway and journey playground (it’s all the time smart to name forward for bookings; however particularly these days). – PÓC

Begin and End at: The Customer Centre.

Get there: Lough Key’s on the N4 Dublin to Sligo highway, 5km from Boyle. It’s additionally accessible by boat alongside the Shannon-Erne waterway.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: Three-4km, relying on the path (enable 1-1.5 hours).

Pack: Deliver cash for the parking barrier (that is refunded in case you spend €20 or extra on web site). Households might prefer to carry bikes for the traffic-free trails, too.

Refuel: The Lakeside Café has an out of doors deck, and a well-earned ice cream bar on your troopers. Reopening plans are gradual, so examine earlier than you go (loughkey.ie).

19. Rindoon, Co Roscommon

Fits: Youthful walkers, ages Four-9.

Hike: In the event you need assistance firing the imaginations, the prospect of discovering a misplaced medieval village ought to do it. The brief Rindoon Citadel Loop (3km) or Warren Level Loop (Four.5km) each take you from a farm gate again to 1227AD, with a ruined Norman fort, city wall, the stays of a medieval church and a windmill mound all awaiting eagle-eyed adventurers. Just like Kilkenny’s Jerpoint Park, it’s a brilliantly Irish Misplaced World, with the ripples and reeds of Lough Ree offering a painterly backdrop. If it was in Kerry, tour buses can be queuing up. Right here, you virtually have it to your self. – PÓC

Begin and End at: St John’s Home, Lecarrow — the trailhead is situated right here.

Get there: Take the N61 north from Athlone, or south from Roscommon, turning east at Lecarrow. The trailhead is about 3km from the village, at St John’s.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: Three–Four.5km; 1–2 hours.

Pack: Some areas get sloshy, relying on rain and the extent of Lough Ree, so put on correct footwear. There are cattle, sheep and a bull on this farmland, so please don’t carry canines and observe the nation code.

Refuel: Put collectively a picnic from the goodies at Gleeson’s (gleesonstownhouse.com) in Roscommon. Its restaurant and rooms plan to reopen in mid-July.

20. Rinmaher Strolling Path, Co Galway


Portumna Forest Park, Co Galway. Photo: Brian Morrison / Fáilte Ireland Portumna Forest Park, Co Galway. Photo: Brian Morrison / Fáilte Ireland

Portumna Forest Park, Co Galway. Picture: Brian Morrison / Fáilte Eire

Portumna Forest Park, Co Galway. Picture: Brian Morrison / Fáilte Eire

Fits: Tweens

Hike: An unlimited and luxurious forest flanking Lough Derg, Portumna Forest Park is ripe for journey. Tweens will love galavanting right here with blended terrain to discover and numerous bushes to climb. Native and unique species tower above fields and marshes, over scrubland, shoreline and wide-open areas. Sixteen species of untamed mammal name this haven residence, and 85 species of chook, so you may spy the whole lot from squirrels and fallow deer to swans, cormorants and wildfowl. There are 4 looped trails within the park: comply with the Rinmaher Strolling Path, an extended single-track loop alongside the Northern shore of Lough Derg, stopping to benefit from the viewing platform overlooking the lake, and straying off the observe at Rinmaher Level to get the very best views throughout Lough Derg. – JB

Begin and End at: Portumna Forest Park, St Joseph’s Street.

Get there: Westbound, take Exit 15 from M6 and comply with R355, signposted Portumna. Flip proper on the T-Junction on the town and drive 1.5 km out St Joseph’s Rd/R352. Coming from Galway, take exit 16 from the M6, then comply with the N65 for Portumna.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 10km; 2 hours.

Pack: Sketchbooks and pencils are useful to provide when vitality lags — hold it easy; spontaneity will be half the enjoyable of a forest stroll.

Refuel: The Derg Inn (fb.com/gastrotipp) is 15km down the highway (take the N65, then the R493) in Terryglass, Tipperary.

21. Trá Mór, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal

Fits: Tweens.

Hike: Older youngsters will love discovering a secret seashore, and Trá Mór, outdoors Dunfanaghy, looks like opening a field of delights. There are not any roads to the seashore, making its discovery all of the extra pleasurable. You’ll be able to stroll by the dunes or skirt round them earlier than the seashore seems. And it’s well worth the sense of suspense — a 2km curve of sand stops you in your tracks (in case you’re fortunate, you may need it to your self). Pack what you want for a picnic, however take care: there are harmful currents and riptides on Trá Mór, so swimming will not be advisable underneath any circumstances. – KD

Get there: From Dunfanaghy, comply with indicators for Horn Head. When you cross the lengthy, low bridge the automotive park is on the left. The tree-lined pathway begins right here.

Begin and End at: The automotive park after the bridge.

Degree: Average — buggies received’t make it, and although most individuals of cheap health received’t have hassle, the dunes may very well be a battle for youthful youngsters.

Size / Time: 7 km (or 10km in case you stroll the seashore); 1.5–3hrs.

Pack: Drinks and snacks or a picnic. Deliver a bag on your garbage and don’t neglect lengthy trousers, because the grass on the dunes will be harsh on naked legs.

Refuel: Muck ‘n’ Muffins café (mucknmuffins.ie) on the Sq. in Dunfanaghy is nice for soups, sandwiches and desserts.

22. Ards Forest Park, Co Donegal


Ards Forest Park, Co Donegal Ards Forest Park, Co Donegal

Ards Forest Park, Co Donegal

Ards Forest Park, Co Donegal

Fits: Youthful walkers, ages Four-9.

Hike: In case you have little ones, the Sand Dune Path right here is good for a leisurely stroll whereas additionally taking in fabulous surroundings. I’ve been coming right here with my kids since they have been within the buggy, and the boardwalk is ideal for little legs not able to graduate on to trickier climbing trails. On forest observe and path in addition to boardwalk, this path follows the shoreline and passes by a small wooden of conifer and broadleaf bushes onto a sand dune advanced with views over Clonmass Bay and the Again Strand. The bushes and sands have been sculpted by the salt-laden winds whipping down Sheephaven Bay. There’s a improbable picnic space and playpark beside the primary carpark.

Get there: Observe signposts for Dunfanaghy on the N56 from Letterkenny. The park is nicely signposted between Creeslough and Dunfanaghy.

Begin and End at: Ards Forest Park automotive park.

Degree: Straightforward, buggy and wheelchair-accessible.

Size / Time: 1 km; 1.5 hours.

Pack: A picnic and your digicam for many stunning photos of hidden coves.

Refuel: Café Arnou (arnoldshotel.com) in Dunfanaghy is doing takeaway, however you could find the crew and high dishes in Arnold’s Lodge. – KD

23. The Cavan Burren


The Cavan Burren, Ireland's ancient East. Photo: Tony Pleavin/Fáilte Ireland The Cavan Burren, Ireland's ancient East. Photo: Tony Pleavin/Fáilte Ireland

The Cavan Burren, Eire’s historic East. Picture: Tony Pleavin/Fáilte Eire

Tony Pleavin/Fáilte Eire

The Cavan Burren, Eire’s historic East. Picture: Tony Pleavin/Fáilte Eire

Fits: Multi-gen teams

Hike: Clare isn’t the one county with a Burren, you understand. Historical past is stacked like baklava on this discovery zone, with karstic limestone, Neolithic tombs, glacial erratics and 19th-century farmstead stays all bunched collectively in a mosey-friendly setting on the Cavan/Fermanagh border. A number of trails embody a 1.3km multi-access path passing a dolmen, wedge tomb and sinkhole, or a 2.9km route operating alongside bog-bridge; or you are able to do combos of all (the Cavan Means passes by, if you wish to make a Camino of it). I really like the tagline ‘the place Stone-Age youngsters performed’. – PÓC

Get there: The Cavan Burren Park (cavanburrenpark.ie) is simply off the N16 highway linking Sligo and Enniskillen. Earlier than you allow Blacklion, flip left on the signpost — the park is 4km away, underneath the shadow of Cuilcagh Mountain.

Begin and End at: Interpretative Centre automotive park.

Degree: Straightforward/Average.

Size / Time: 1.3km and up; enable not less than 2 hours to discover.

Pack: A picnic is a good suggestion right here — there are tables, and Cuilcagh Catering operates a meals kiosk from 12-6pm on weekends and financial institution holidays by summer season.

Refuel: For an actual deal with, e book into Neven Maguire’s MacNean Home & Restaurant (macneanrestaurant.com) in close by Blacklion.

24. Slieve Gullion Big’s Lair, Co Armagh

Fits: Buggies, toddlers and multi-access.

Hike: It’s simply 25 minutes from Dundalk, however the storied, volcanic panorama of Slieve Gullion stays off-radar to most Irish folks. It shouldn’t be. In addition to basic mountain walks and a 10km scenic driving loop, you’ll discover the Big’s Lair — a kids’s story path threaded by the woodland. Pitched as ‘a dwelling storybook’, put together to move by a wicker tunnel, sit at a large’s desk and spot dozens and dozens of fairy doorways… all on a brief, however richly immersive circuit. The floor is sweet for buggies, and there’s an journey playground and café handy, too. In the event you like this, there’s additionally a Gruffalo Path at Belfast’s Colin Glen Forest Park. – PÓC

Get there: Slieve Gullion is lower than 10 minutes off the N1/A1, between Dundalk and Newry (take the Forkhill Exit, B113). ringofgullion.org

Begin and End at: Slieve Gullion Forest Park automotive park.

Degree: Straightforward.

Size / Time: 1.6km; 1 hour.

Pack: Paper, pens and crayons could also be useful for fairy notes and drawings, or rubbings of leaves and bushes. Scan the legends on its web site to prep your individual tales, too.

Refuel: The Synge & Byrne Café (syngeandbyrne.com) is open seven days every week within the courtyard, together with a espresso dock and tuck store for treats.

25. Slieve Donard, Co Down

Fits: Teenagers

Hike: Difficult and rewarding, climbing up Slieve Donard is an excellent time out with youngsters (although youthful youngsters will handle it too.) Overlooking The Irish Sea, Northern Eire’s highest peak stands at 850m, delivering sensational views from the summit. Beginning at sea stage, the well-defined path begins with a pointy incline, however ranges out over time, weaving by thick forest and crossing bridges over the Glen River. On the larger reaches, the place Slieve Donard meets Slieve Commedagh, you’ll spy the Mourne Wall, a wondrous 100-year-old granite construction, which guides weary climbers up the ultimate 300 metres in a single steady slope. The views are price it: improbable vistas of the Mourne Mountains, with Lough Neagh, the Wicklow Mountains and even Scotland seen throughout the ocean on a positive day. – JB

Get there: Through the M1, take the Newry exit and comply with the scenic A2 by Warrenpoint and Newcastle.

Begin and End at: Donard Park automotive park.

Degree: Average.

Size / Time: 9.2km return; enable Four-5 hours.

Pack: Further layers, rain gear, sunscreen, climbing boots, meals and water.

Refuel: The Hatch (thehatch2016.com) in Castlewellan is considered one of Eire’s best meals vehicles. Examine social media to ensure they’re open.

Your strolling guidelines

Security comes first on a stroll, regardless of how simple. Examine the climate, go away phrase of the place you’re going and if you’ll be again, and pack sensible. And keep in mind, by no means go away valuables seen inside parked automobiles.A totally charged telephone, water and snacks, layers of applicable clothes and durable footwear are important for many walks. Deliver a bag for garbage, and clear sneakers and socks within the boot for afterwards.Covid-19 measures: Keep away from peak occasions at busy spots (going early, late or midweek), don’t organize to fulfill in massive teams, observe social distancing, and park considerately — go away room for farmers, locals and emergency companies to move. Examine web sites earlier than travelling for the newest opening hours for eating places and pubs, most require reserving forward, and have a Plan B in case your automotive park is full. Accountable walkers all the time respect non-public property.

Meet your guides:

Pól Ó Conghaile

Dwelling in Co Wicklow, however travelling throughout Eire and the world, the Irish Unbiased’s Journey Editor by no means leaves residence with out his boots, backpack (and much too many gizmos for his personal good). He and his household have road-tested Irish walks in all types of climate, gorging down the very best native snacks and treats alongside the best way. He oversees this strolling information.

Kathy Donaghy

Strolling throughout the dunes, listening to the sound of the ocean and discovering secret coves in her residence county of Donegal is considered one of Kathy’s favorite issues to do. A contract author for the Irish Unbiased, she’s a mum, eager outside fanatic and, like many people, the possessor of very itchy toes. ‘Now that lockdown has eased, my household has a few large walks lined up,’ she says.

Jillian Bolger

An editor specialising in meals and journey writing, Jillian loves nothing greater than climbing into the wilds. Based mostly in Dublin, her household has adventured throughout Eire, however she doesn’t cease there. From Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain to Nova Scotia’s Cabot Path, Jillian is happiest in her climbing boots, with the promise of fine meals at journey’s finish.

Join our free journey publication!

Like what you are studying? Subscribe to ‘Journey Insider’, our free journey publication written by award-winning Journey Editor, Pól Ó Conghaile.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *