Search icon


27th Aug 2019

Louth Bucket List: 13 Things To Experience In This Beautiful County During Your Next Short Break

Brian Dillon

Louth Area article feature image

For a little county, Louth has a fair amount of things to do, see, and eat. For history buffs, thrill-seekers and foodies alike, the wee county really is a bit of a hidden gem.

We told our lovely audience recently all about Slieve Foye Loop on the Cooley Peninsula, encouraging you to take a short break thereby giving you all the juicy deets on its incredible scenic views and the tales to be heard along the way.

In fact, it’s probably one of the most rewarding walks you can do in Ireland’s Ancient East.

You’ll receive spectacular views of Carlingford Lough which was visited by the Vikings who named the lough over 1250 years ago. You’ll also be able to see Haulbowline Lighthouse and, on a super clear day, The Isle of Man.

Legend has it that the great Irish giant Fionn Mc Cool threw a rock at a giant on the other side of the lough and it landed in the Irish sea, and that rock is now known as The Isle of Man.

There’s a lot more than the trail to enjoy in Louth which will enhance any short break.

This year, make sure Carlingford and the Slieve Foye Loop is on your list of trips away – cos you don’t want to miss out on all of these experiences.

Stay at the cosy Ghan House

Ghan House has 12 bedrooms in total including four rooms in the main house and eight garden bedrooms located just ten yards from the main house.

The 18th Century Georgian house is just 50 metres from the centre of Carlingford, off Old Quay Lane.

With two acres of gardens and amazing views of Slieve Foye Mountain, the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough, it’s a great choice of accommodation for your short break in Carlingford.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foye Loop: 1 minute

Enjoy a break at the Four Seasons, Carlingford

You’ll be pretty active during your few days in Louth, so you deserve to stay somewhere extravagant to wind down.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford offers standard and family rooms, or if you’re looking to treat yourselves, you can upgrade to one of their deluxe or superior rooms.

Guests have access to the luxury spa and leisure centre, which includes an 18m swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Not too shabby at all.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 2 minutes

Go on a guided tour of medieval Carlingford

Carlingford has such a rich history dating back centuries. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic views and listen to the wealth of myths and legends which makes this town and area such a unique short break choice.

Learn about the Viking history, myths and heritage of this enchanting area while a local expert walks you through the narrow streets of the amazingly preserved medieval town.

Walking tours are available every day from 11am and 3pm and must be booked in advance.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 1 minute

Go horse riding in Carlingford

What better way to discover what an area has to offer than horse riding through it.

Ravensdale Lodge Equestrian & Trekking Centre is located in the heart of Ravensdale, a 25-minute drive from the town of Carlingford. Nestled against the backdrop of the Cooley Mountains, beside a picturesque woodland, the centre offers a wide range of activities from riding lessons to trekking stunning scenic routes, and cross-country riding to horse riding holidays.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop:  25 minutes

Go kayaking in Carlingford Lough

The inherent natural beauty of the area can equally be appreciated on land or sea. So why not take to the water?

Carlingford Adventure Centre has plenty of adventurous water activities for visitors to experience during their stay, including kayaking and canoeing. The centre also has holiday accommodation for your few days in Carlingford.

It’s a fab way to see the Cooley Mountains and the rest of the peninsula from a different perspective.

Click HERE to find out more.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 5 minutes

Sip on a cocktail in the Loft

Listen, when you’re on your holidays in Louth, a cocktail is mandatory.

The talented bartenders in The Loft serve up classic cocktails for you to sip on in this modern and chic lounge. And if you fancy a munch, they also serve up tasty tapas.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 1 minute

Zip through the skies at Skypark

Skypark on the Dundalk Road is the country’s largest adventure park and has a host of aerial and land activities including zip-lining, 40ft climbing frames, aero-ball, archery, footgolf and much more.

You should also check out Ziptopia, Ireland’s longest treetop zip line park complete with 15 separate Zip Wires and 18 Suspended Challenges, some up to 45ft height.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 5 minutes

Head to Brú na Bóinne

Brú na Bóinne, which is a historical landscape including Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, is just a 50-minute drive from Carlingford. From there, you can take a shuttle bus to all three archaeological sites in Louth.

Visiting Newgrange is like transporting back thousands of years. The 5,200-year-old passage tomb is surrounded by over 90 kerbstones that are engraved with megalithic art.

Meanwhile, visiting Knowth is also a fascinating experience. The great mound is also over 5,000 years old and is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds.

Dowth, the ‘Fairy Mound of Darkness’, is about the same size as Newgrange.

Note: the visitor centre at Brú na Broinne is closed until September, but you can still get a shuttle bus to both Newgrange and Knowth.

Click HERE to find out more.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 50 minutes

Discover wildlife

County Louth is a particularly good spot to observe some wildlife.

Carlingford Village, Cooley Point and Balaggan Point are popular vantage points for spotting some enchanting bird species.

Slieve Foye Forest is also brimming with wildlife.

Click HERE to find out more.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 5 minutes

Eat local seafood at Darcy’s

You have not visited somewhere until you’ve tried the local cuisine. Fact.

Darcy’s on Tholsel Street offers up modern seasonal food that’s sourced from the waters of Carlingford Bay and the farms around the Cooley Peninsula.

This super cosy spot is a must-try. Situated in a central location with loads of shops and pubs around, it’s ideal for an evening out during your break.

Click HERE to find out more.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 1 minute

Hop on your bike

While you’ll be doing plenty of walking around Slieve Foye, a great way to discover the rest of the Cooley Peninsula and Louth is by cycling.

Located right at the start of the Carlingford Lough Greenway in Carlingford Marina, On Yer Bike offers bicycle hire for all ages and will arm you with expert advice on where to go on your journey.

The Greenway which links Carlingford to Omeath has some stunning views.

Click HERE to find out more.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 5 minutes

Cruise around Carlingford Lough

There are tonnes to see in and around Carlingford Lough alone.

There are speed boat tours of the Lough, so you can see the stunning sights while experiencing the thrill of a speedboat ride at the same time.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 5 minutes

carlingford speedboat

Enjoy a pint at PJ O’Hare’s

This old-school traditional pub is located in the heart of Carlingford.

It’s a brilliant spot for live music and their lounge bar is Carlingford’s main weekend venue. They also have an impressive beer garden that’s perfect on a sunny day.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 1 minute

Go on a medieval walking tour of Drogheda

The medieval town of Drogheda in County Louth is a 50-minute drive from the Slieve Foye/Cooley Peninsula area and is definitely worth exploring while you’re in Ireland’s Ancient East.

The area is overflowing with hidden gems and rich in medieval history, such as the Millmount Fort and the town’s old walls.

Click HERE to find out more.

Distance to the Slieve Foy Loop: 45 minutes

For spectacular sights, invigorating sensations and unforgettable experiences, make your next short break a walking break in Ireland’s Ancient East. Walking makes your break.

To find out more, head to

For more information or to plan your walking break in Ireland’s Ancient East, visit the Tales and Trails hub here.