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Top 10 Best Hikes in Ireland

Top 10 Best Hikes in Ireland

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Recommended by Kevin Penrose

@wildirishwanderer

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10) Glenveagh National Park – Co. Donegal

The Glenveagh National Park is by far the most wide open option on this list with a land area of just over 65 square miles. You can explore different options including the mountains, water, or forests. This leaves you available to explore whatever your heart desires that day, or make it a week long trip and explore different parts of the scenery each day. Either way you cannot go wrong with walking around the Glenveagh National Park!

 

9) Kinbane Castle – Co. Antrim

This hike is by far the most unique option on the list, especially since it is the only castle option. This castle has rundown over time due to erosion, however it does contain some extra fun due to its location. This castle sits on a peninsula extended out into the sea where you can scramble all over different mossy rocks. If you like to take pictures or have a personal drone, this location will give you countless hours of footage that will leave everyone you know in awe. At the end of the day it is a castle on the edge of the sea. What makes for a cooler hike than that?

8) Tollymore Forest – Co. Down

Before you make your own history here, this forest was actually the first state park forest in Northern Ireland. This also includes an old stone entrance which makes you feel as if you are travelling back in time. Due to the large land area, there are many different trails that you can choose from to explore the forest. The shortest being 4.4 miles and the longest option is a total of 11.7 miles. No matter which trail you decide to take, the Tollymore Forest will leave you feeling refreshed and one with nature.

7) Sloughan Glen – Co. Tyrone

This hike is by far the shortest option on the list, but also has some of the best views. It is a roundtrip total of 0.6 miles with very little elevation gain, and takes you right alongside the glen until you reach the final destination of a spectacular waterfall. Sometimes the journey can be just as beautiful as the final destination and that shows with this hike. It is a very popular option however so if you are looking to get away from people this is not the hike for you.

6) Kilbroney Forest Walk – Co.Down

If you are looking to get away from the mountains, this trail is a perfect option for you. It takes you on a loop through the forest where you will be surrounded by trees, streams, and all sorts of nature. It is a loop so you will return exactly where you began, and it is only two miles long. This makes it an excellent option for those who are looking to begin their hiking career or just want to get out of the house for a nice walk.

5) Hares Gap Trail – Mourne Mountains, Co. Down

This trail will take you right through the valley of two mountains, but unfortunately it is not a loop trail like the one above. Hare’s Gap is known as the most breathtaking mountain pass in the Mourne Mountains! However you will want to be careful if you are bringing your pets along, because there are roaming sheep that like to hangout along the trail. So either keep your pets at home or keep them on a leash at all times to prevent any problems.

4) Slieve Bearnagh – Mourne Mountains, Co. Down

If you are tired of the cliffs and want to get back into the mountains, this loop lets you hit three mountain tops all in one trip! It is a total of 8.9 miles and has an elevation gain of 3,211 feet. The only downside is that it can be a little windy on the way, so make sure to bring some jackets. You will not find many other trails in Ireland that let you hit so many mountain peaks in one trip without retracing any of your steps!

3) Slieve League, Co. Donegal

This is the first hike on the list that will give you a great view of the coastline. It includes some of the highest cliffs in all of Ireland. They are not as famous as some of the other cliffs the island has to offer, but they are three times as high. So it is an outstanding option since there will be less people, but higher views. The hike around the cliffs also has minimal elevation gain making it easier than the two hikes above.

2) Mount Errigal, Co. Donegal

If you like the idea of climbing a mountain but are looking for something less strenuous this hike is for you. Mount Errigal is the highest mountain in the county and in the Derryveagh mountains, so you will be the highest thing around at 751 meters (2,464 feet). It is only 2.6 miles so it is a relatively quick trip to the top. Unfortunately it is not recommended to bring your dogs, but with such a short journey you will see them again in no time.

1) Mweelrea, Co. Mayo

This hike takes you up the 26th highest peak in Ireland which sits at an elevation of 814 meters (2,671 feet). It is a total length of 8.2 miles and the only option is to go out and back. Since you will be climbing a mountain it is a strenuous hike, however the end is extremely rewarding. You will be higher than everything around you which gives you a great view of the scenery. The views from the top are truly remarkable which places it at the top of our list.

 

We hope that you have learned something from reading this list of the 10 best hikes in Ireland, and don’t just take our word for it go out and try the hikes on your own!

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