It's going to be a warm summer's weekend. With just occasional spot showers, Met Éireann predicts temperatures as high as 20 Celsius on Saturday. What better reason to go out an explore the country's finest walkways?
Nothing clears the mind like a stroll in the countryside. If you're eager to stretch your legs after staying indoors all week; consider taking one of these 10 nature walks.
Some are great for families; others are good for friendly catch-ups or first dates. We've selected walks from all over the country; which one will you go for?
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim
This famous rope bridge connects mainland Antrim to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede, and on a clear summer's day, you can see the coast of Scotland in the distance. This is a great place for a date with your best mate or other half – but with hilly terrain and a lot of steps, it might not suit someone with limited mobility.
Courtown Woods, Co. Wexford
These woods are a beautiful destination for a date with your dog – or indeed the whole family. With numerous routes to take, each visit is different. Stroll along the river or take a trail to the beach. The sound of trickling water and crashing waves is lovey and therapeutic.
Salthill Promenade, Co. Galway
You’ve heard it from the hit song Galway Girl, but did you know it's a beautiful walk destination? Stretching approximately 3km along the coast, this is an ideal spot to catch-up with your friends. There’s a local tradition to 'kick the wall' once you reach the end. It's for luck, so you'd be mad not to.
Tara Hill, Co. Wexford
This scenic trek takes approximately an hour, but with views across the Irish Sea, you'll never want to leave. Two trails are available – red and blue – so you can mix it up on different visits. With a historic past, it's one for the history lovers.
Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
Visitors of all ages can take a leisurely stroll along these UNESCO recognised cliffs on the Wild Atlantic Way. From the South Platform, you’re perfectly placed to see the puffin colony on Goat Island; or walk 4km to Hags Head to take in the incredible views. They're Instagram-worthy, so make sure to bring your phone.
BlueStack Way, Co. Donegal
This one isn't for the faint-hearted, but perfect for couples looking for a challenge. Running from Donegal Town to Ardara, the rugged Blue Stack Mountains have peaks in excess of 600m. The total route takes a few days to complete on foot, but there are B&B stops along the way. Alternatively, hike part of the way with a packed picnic before returning home.
Powerscourt Gardens, Co. Wicklow
It'd be rude to list Ireland's most beautiful nature walks without naming Powerscourt Gardens. In fact, they were recently voted No.3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic. Spanning over 47 acres, this site offers a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. It's very romantic and highly worthy of a date.
Blarney Castle Gardens, Co. Cork
These beautiful gardens are often overlooked because of the nearby tourist attraction of the Blarney Stone. With over 60 acres of sprawling parklands to explore, including rivers, caves, and flowerbeds, it makes for a brilliant day out (whoever your date).
The People’s Gardens at Phoenix Park, Co.Dublin
The flower gardens in Dublin's Phoenix Park comprise of 22 acres and show off Victorian horticulture at its best. There's a large ornamental lake, children’s playground, and various picnic areas – making this a lovely place to spend a summer's day. Mere minutes from the city centre, it's easy to get to too.
Hell Fire, Co.Dublin
Hell Fire is located in the Dublin Mountains, overlooking the city from the South West. It's a beautiful spot for a day out with the kids, or for a relaxing walk with your best friend, with over 4.5km of forest tracks to explore. As with many of the locations mentioned in this list, it's a gorgeous place for a picnic.
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