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10th Nov 2023

10 of the most beautiful walks in Ireland, as chosen by you

Fiona Frawley

bray to greystones cliff walk

It’s well understood at this stage, the people of Ireland love a good walk.

Over lockdown they were the main event in our social calendar, and outside of that they’ve always been the go-to activity to clear the head or get the heart pumpin’.

As it just so happens, we live on one of the most beautiful islands in the world for an aul spot of walking, but many of us may be attached to our favourites and could do with broadening our horizons. We’re here to help, and have taken to Insta to ask our followers to share their favourite walks across the country.

Here are ten of the most popular, in no particular order:

Mass Path

Derrynane, Kerry

Length: 6.3 km, allow 2.5 – 3 hrs
Difficulty: Moderate

A popular loop trail along a rocky path, with plenty of history to discover along the way. There’s a mixed terrain with the walk taking you through woodland, beach and farmland, with some of the tougher uphill sections well worth it for the views of the picturesque Kerry countryside.

Image via kerrycountryside.com

Doneraile Walk

Tramore, Waterford

Distance: 5.9km, allow 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

With the huge popularity of the Wild Atlantic Way when it comes to holidaying in Ireland, the Copper Coast is sometimes overlooked and it’s a sin. This beautiful seaside walk in Waterford offers unspoiled views of Tramore Bay, with loads of great spots for picnic-ing along the way too.

Image via waterford.fyi

Boyne Ramparts Walk

Navan

Distance: 8km, allow 3 – 3.5 hours

Difficulty: Easy

A linear walk that’s steeped in history and heritage, passing by the passage graves of Newgrange, Knowth & Dowth, the Battle of the Boyne site at Oldbridge and the Estate Village of Slane. There’s also plenty of wildlife to discover along the way if that’s your bag, with kingfishers and baby chicks to be found playing in the canal on a sunny day.

Image via discoverboynevalley.ie

Doolin Cliff Walk

Clare

Distance: 8km, allow 3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Considered by many to be the best way to experience the Cliffs of Moher, the Doolin Cliff Walk will take you along rugged cliff edges, through vibrant grassland with plenty of wildlife and famous viewing points. The walk can get a little uneven and steep in some parts, and extra caution is advised along the cliff edge.

Image via cliffsofmoher.ie

North Engine Loop Walk

Allihies, West Cork

Distance: 7km, allow 2.5-3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

The Beara coastline is one of the most impressive in Ireland with no shortage of scenic trails, so it’s no surprise the area gets a mention on this list.  The North Engine Loop Walk takes you from beautiful Ballydonegan Strand along the cliff’s edge and uphill through an area dotted with disused mine sites. End up back in Allihies Village for some of the creamiest pints you’ll find in Ireland.

Image via rovingroy.com

Connemara and Diamond Hill Loop

Galway

Distance: Shorter walk 1.5 hours, longer walk 2.5 to 3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

An impressive path through Connemara National Park with great birdwatching, wildlife and river views to discover along the way. It can be fairly windy and steep in parts so do bear that in mind – regular trundlers of the trail say it’s well worth it for the views though.

Tollymore Forest Walk

Down

Distance: Various trails of different lengths within the forest

Difficulty: All skill levels

A fairytale-esque forest full of woodland trails to suit all levels,  steeped in history as Northern Ireland’s first state forest park. With its towering trees and flowing rivers it’s no surprise that a number of Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here – there’s also a herd of wild fallow deer and plenty of red and grey squirrels to spot along the way too.

Image via gameofthronestours.com

Ballyhoura Attychraan Loop

Limerick

Distance: 5km, allow 1.5 to 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Woodland trails, sandy roadways and forest tracks guide you through the Galtee Castle Woods and mountains and past the remnants of a water mill. With a great range of scenery and plenty of wildlife, this walk is a bit of a hidden gem and its unlikely you’ll come across anyone else along the trail.

Image via visitballyhoura.com

Howth Cliff Walk

Dublin

Distance: 4 trails of varying lengths to choose from

Difficulty: Moderate

Howth’s cliff walk is arguably one of Dublin’s most beautiful trails, boasting incredible views of the rugged coastline and neighbouring headlands. A hugely popular spot for Dubliners and tourists alike, the variety of trails are ideal for a quiet walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city regardless of fitness level.

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Bray to Greystones

Wicklow

Distance: 7.1km, allow 2.5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

A hugely popular walk with amazing coastal views, it’s easy to see why this trail is so well-trodden. As well as très Instagrammable scenery there’s a chance to spot dolphins, black harbour porpoises and basking sharks along the way and when you arrive to Greystones there’s no shortage of places to treat yourself to coffee, lunch or a cheeky pint afterwards.

Image via visitwicklow.ie

Have another walk you’d like added to the list? Let us know!

Header image via visitwicklow.ie

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