Want to embrace the good weather? Here are 5 of the best destination hikes around Ireland
With the weather promised to reach up to 20 degrees this weekend, getting the heart pumping with an escape into nature sounds extremely tempting.
There are few things more impressive than Ireland in the sunshine. While sun soaked beer gardens and coffee shop patios may call our names, there’s nothing quite like leaving the city streets behind and becoming engulfed in an expanse of the Irish countryside.
Whether it’s finding your footing on a rocky terrain or hiking up a steep incline, once you take in the view on the other side, you’ll feel thoroughly rewarded. And maybe even a bit smug.
Rugged coastline or rolling hills, we’re absolutely blessed with Ireland’s incredible landscape. Lace up your hiking boots, fill up a bottle of water and head off on any one of these destination hikes across Ireland — you won’t regret it.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co Antrim
First erected by salmon fishermen in 1755, this rope bridge is suspended almost 100 feet above sea level. Connecting the cliffs to a small fishing island, you’ll be walking right above the Atlantic Ocean. A 2.6km there-and-back trail near Ballycastle, this route should take you just under an hour and it is most definitely a bucket list activity.
Glendalough Spinc Walk, Co Wicklow
For those who are after something a little more challenging, this marked trail will make up for the steep spots with some of the most breathtaking views in Leinster. The zig-zag path will take you to a small waterfall, after which point the hike will take you onto a dirt path, and across a bridge to a boardwalk and the lakeside views are nothing short of magnificent.
Mount Errigal, Co Donegal
Just outside Gweedore, the Mount Errigal loop hike will take about 2.5 hours and will bring you through bogland and rocky terrain. An endeavour that will challenge you on the ascent and reward you with the speedy descent, it’s important to note that there are no trail markers on this hike. 751 feet above sea level, the view overlooking Denlewy Lough is truly stunning.
Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo
No list of the best hikes in Ireland would be complete without Croagh Patrick. Whether you want to embark on the barefoot pilgrimage to the summit or are making sure you’ve got all the necessary hiking equipment to hand, this climb challenges the best of us. Once you’ve made it to the top of The Reek, the views down over Clew Bay will revive your spirit before you begin your descent. This one could take three to four hours as it covers 7km in total.
Carrauntoohil, Co Kerry
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, how about summiting the country’s highest mountain this weekend? Carrauntoohil is, unsurprisingly, one of Ireland’s toughest hikes — but it’s absolutely worth it. Part of the magnificent MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, there are a number of different routes to the top to choose from based on your fitness level, but all are upwards of 6 hours. A seriously impressive achievement, make sure you pack plenty of fuel to keep you going.