Europe for Visitors - Home
Home Main Index Site Search

Walking in Ireland


ABOVE: The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. INSET BELOW: Walkers enjoy a pint at Bushes Bar in Baltimore, County Cork, and humans meet a cloven-hoofed creature on the Sheep's Head Peninsula.

photoWhat places come to mind when you hear the phrase "walking holidays"? The Scottish Highlands? England's Lake District? The Yorkshire Dales? Or perhaps Switzerland, with its scenic valleys and spectacular Alps? All are worthy destinations, but Ireland is an equally attractive paradise for walkers--and one that's virtually undiscovered, compared to most of its rivals. When you hike the coastal trails and rural paths of Ireland, most of the people you'll encounter will be Irish--and more often than not, you'll be greeted with a "Hello" or a "Hi, there" as you descend from rolling green pastures to the local pub.

photoMake no mistake: Ireland may be not be a household name among foreign walkers, but you'll find an extensive network of marked trails throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland. Just as important, walking in Ireland offers an incredible variety of sights and experiences, from Celtic monuments to country villages to dramatic geological formations and colonies of sea birds. And, unlike trails in some countries, Irish walking paths are seldom paved or "sanitized"--rocks and cow patties are commonplace, and you may find yourself sharing the right of way with sheep.

In this article, I'll describe the types of walking trips available in Ireland (independent, escorted, or self-guided) and direct you to useful Web sites. Also, see the "Walks in Northern Ireland" and "Walks in Southwest Ireland" links in the navigation table below for illustrated articles on places that I visited during a recent walking trip with Kathryn Hayes and Paddy O'Mahony of Tourism Ireland.

Next page: Types of walking trips

Walking in Ireland - General Information:
Introduction Resources and Web links
Types of walking trips  

Walks in Northern Ireland:
Giant's Causeway Rathlin Island
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Guide: Chris Murphy

Walks in Southwest Ireland:
Roaringwater Bay Sheep's Head Way
Sherkin Island Glengarriff Nature Reserve
Heir Island Guides: SouthWestWalks Ireland
Cape Clear Island  

Related articles:
Molly Gallivan's Cottage and Traditional Farm
Bunratty Manor Hotel (Shannon Airport)

Search for more information on our site:
Custom Search

"Best of the Web"
- Forbes and The Washington Post

  arrow About Europe for Visitors

Photo (c)

Need a car in Europe?

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting for visits of 21+ days. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

  arrow  Renault Eurodrive car leases


Traveling by train?

Get free schedules, maps, and guides for 50+ European railroads. (Residents of North and Central America can buy tickets and rail passes online.)

  arrow Rail Europe

Our companion sites:

  arrow Venice for Visitors

  arrow Paris for Visitors

  arrow Rome for Visitors

  arrow Europe for Cruisers