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26th Dec 2022

22 of the most beautiful walks around Ireland to try over Christmas

Lovin' Media

walking signpost for the beara way in cork

It’s been some couple of years for the walks.

Looking to dust off the cobwebs with a walk this Stephen’s Day?

Luckily, we’re absolutely spoiled for choice on this island of ours, and there’s always a new one to try whether you’re looking for a short ramble or more challenging hike.

If you’ve made a quiet promise to yourself to explore new parts of the country and are looking for inspiration for must-try walks with mountainous or coastal views, here’s a list of 22 of our absolute faves across Ireland to enjoy at your leisure.

Have a rummage for those hiking boots, and get ready to take in the scenes.

1. Causeway Coast Way – Antrim

33km along a mixture of paths and open tracks. Stunning scenery. Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge are the obvious highlights.

2. Divis Ridge Trail – Antrim

4.2 miles of stunning scenery along a gravel path. This is a loop walk with some light climbing involved and all worth it for the best view of Belfast along the way.

3. The Kerry Way – Kerry

All in all, the whole walk is 200km so you aren’t going to do the whole thing in one go or even in a couple of goes but the views are stunning so break it up and do as much as you can.

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A post shared by Pat O’Donnell (@patashill) on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:39pm PDT

4. Slieve Donard Walking Route – Down

This is a 9km walk that will take you a full 5 hours to do given the steep inclines. You will be rewarded with an absolutely stunning view if and when you make it to the top.

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A post shared by Paddy Martin (@paddym99) on Jan 15, 2017 at 12:11pm PST

5. Coumshingaun Loop Walk – Waterford

The walk comes in at 7.5km but it will take you at least 4 hours given how much you have to climb but as you can see it will be well worth it in the end with views like that.

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A post shared by Kevin Lanigan (@lanigankev) on Jan 14, 2017 at 12:09pm PST

6. The Wicklow Way – Wicklow

A long walk that can be broken down into smaller pieces if you don’t want to do it all in one go. Stunning views of the Wicklow countryside as it snakes its way through the mountains and streams.

7. Connemara Way – Galway

The wild West of Ireland and generally one of the most stunning places on the planet. The key here is breaking up the walk with a stop in some of the amazing pubs along the way for a nice refreshing drink.

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A post shared by Atreyu Arndts (@dutchoak) on Jan 17, 2017 at 10:12pm PST

8.The Dingle Way – Kerry

Kerry is well represented on the list but you could easily argue that the Dingle way is the top walk in the county. You’ll walk way longer than normal as you’ll be distracted by the stunning scenery.

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A post shared by Bruno Wyns (@bruno.wyns) on Jan 6, 2017 at 11:56pm PST

9. The Glen of Aherlow – Tipperary

There are actually a selection of walks here for all levels ranging from 2k to 10km so a perfect place to bring the family or kids for a day of entertainment.

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A post shared by Stair na hÉireann ™ (@stairnaheireann) on Oct 23, 2016 at 7:45pm PDT

10. The Slieve Blooms – Laois and Offaly

A walk that is so good it’ll take your across two different counties. Again you have a choice of several walks including looped tracks. Something for people of all abilities here.

11. The Burren – Clare

One of the absolute highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland in general. There are dozens of walks to choose from all of varying difficulty.

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12. Errigal Mountain – Donegal

Well worth a trip up to the very northern tip of Ireland to tackle this mountain or at least part of it. A wonderful part of the country with some of the most beautiful and rugged terrain in the country.

13. Croagh Patrick – Mayo

Probably the most famous walk in Ireland as it is a beacon for thrill seekers and pilgrims alike who tackle it in all conditions all year round. Getting to the top gives you, what feels like, views over all of Ireland.

14. Beara Way – Cork

To walk the entire trail would involve 200k and an estimated 9 days of your time. Presuming you don’t have that sort of time to spare jumping in for a 10-20k section of the walk is the best way to approach it.

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15. The Grand Canal Way – Dublin into the midlands

Dubliners will be well familiar with walking parts of the canal but not everybody knows that you can actually follow it for miles into the midlands. Great cycling options too and walking back into the city after getting dropped off as far out as you can manage is a wonderful experience.

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A post shared by Michal Pospisil (@michalpospa) on Jul 16, 2016 at 10:28pm PDT

16. Slieve Snaght – Donegal

This 650m can be tackled in a number of ways using different paths and different angles depending on the level of challenge you want to take on. The reward at the top will make the steep climb worth it.

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A post shared by Iain Miller (@uniqueascent) on Feb 27, 2016 at 8:46am PST

17. Circuit of Lake Muskry – Tipperary

The walk is 10km long and it should take about 4 hours. It is less challenging than some of the steeper walks on the list so the perfect place to bring people full of energy for a nice stroll.

18. Slieve Foye – Louth

This is just behind the popular town of Carlingford and there are a number of walks including a great looped one that is 8km which can be completed in a comfortable 3-4 hours.

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A post shared by Chris MacBlain (@chrismacblain) on Jan 2, 2017 at 2:48am PST

19. Bray Head Loop Walk, Valentia Island – Kerry

A 7km looped walk that is perfect for the family as it isn’t super challenging and can be completed comfortably in 2-3 hours. You’ll want to walk it as slowly as possible though to take in all the amazing scenery along the route.

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A post shared by Paolo Vieceli (@paolovieceli) on Jan 9, 2017 at 10:53pm PST

20. Howth Head Cliff Walk – Dublin

A well-known place for Dubliners to escape all the hustle and bustle of the city. Should be on the itinerary of anybody visiting the city along with a big plate of seafood upon returning to Howth

21. Cronin’s Yard Loop – Kerry

An 8km looped walk that will take the average walker 2-3 hours and which has a climb of 300m. Once you reach the top of the walk you could push yourself on further for even better views depending on your levels of fitness.

22. Bray to Greystones – Wicklow

We recommend getting started on the Bray side, follow the walkway up from the promenade and you’re on your way. The cliff walk is about 7km long, with glorious cliffside views and you’ll end up pretty much in the middle of Greystones. The perfect place to grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee. Follow the path back, or hop on the Dart. We do recommend checking with the local council websites as to whether this walk is open before starting your journey.

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A post shared by Christina Mcnamara (@tinamc92) on Sep 15, 2016 at 2:44pm PDT

Header image via Instagram: arnygoesonanadventure/lovindotie

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