5 hikes for beginners in Ireland to do this weekend

In the mood to get the muscles moving and breathe in some fresh air this weekend? Here are five hikes suitable for beginners to complete across the country


The New Year is all about fresh starts and resolutions. It's also prime time for people making false promises to themselves about exercising.

The key is to think about fitness and all it entails from a different perspective than the one we have been exposed to.

It isn't about punishment and deprivation. It should be fun and something which invigorates mind, body and soul.

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Hiking

Getting out into the fresh air is one of the best ways to find this enlightenment. Hiking has grown significantly in popularity over the last few months, due in part to social media and various hiking groups which have popped up around the country.

For instance, Roz Purcell's Hike Life has introduced the activity to a younger audience. It's back this Sunday with a vengeance as registration for the event completely sold out within minutes.

However, if you don't need to join an event to take part in the activity, why not get together with some friends and tackle a peak this weekend? Ireland is brimming with beautiful trails which are calling out to be explored.

If the idea scares you, we have found five of the best hikes in Ireland for beginners to help get those muscles moving after the Christmas excess.

Howth Cliff Walk

 

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Anyone who has visited Howth will know just how beautiful this part of the country is. The coastal town is only a short drive from Dublin city centre and the cliff walk provides some spectacular views of the Irish Sea. Suitable for beginners and all fitness levels, the distance is 12km for the full loop and takes 3 hours to complete. This may seem like a lot but the views are worth it and don't forget to stop off for a bite to eat in the town when you are done.

Glanageenty Loop

 

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The kingdom of Kerry boasts some of the best hikes in Ireland such as Mount Brandon and Carrauntoohil (Ireland's highest peak). However, there are some hidden gems yet to be discovered. One of these is Glanageenty Loop. Located just outside Castleisland, there are three different loops to choose from. Each differing in length and difficulty. The easiest is 4km long and takes just over an hour. Stunning views of Tralee Bay wait for you, along with a surprise visit from a few local donkeys.

Glendalough, Spinc walk, Co Wicklow

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At 9km in length and 380m in height, this is ideal if you want a little challenge. This is a marked trail that is quite steep in places but has some of the best views in Leinster to soak up if you need a break. Just an hour's drive from Dublin, parking is free at the Glendalough Medieval Monastic site.

The Lough Avalla Farm Loop

 

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Take in the beauty of the Burren National Park with this easy yet challenging walk. Allow two to three hours to fully complete. At the highest point, you will come across wonderful views of Mullaghmore and the surrounding area.

Knocknarea, Queen Maeve Trail, Sligo

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At 2.4km this is the perfect place to start your hiking journey. The hike starts near the Strandhill Rugby Club and works its way up to the summit which holds the 5,000-year-old great cairn of Queen Maeve. Here there are views which reach to Donegal, Leitrim and Benbulbin.

Image: Visit Wicklow 


Read more: Stretch the legs: 10 scenic walks to enjoy around Ireland in 2020

Read more: We're all sick of the gym, but this YouTube ballet workout is perfect to do at home

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