6.The Wicklow Way
The Wicklow was stretches along 83 miles through the Wicklow mountains right up to the suburbs of Dublin City. Although some of the best walking trails are in the south west of Ireland the Wicklow Way is a great way to get a taste of Ireland's beautiful countryside if you're staying in the city.
The central section of the trail is covered by the Wicklow Mountains National Park - its headquarters are in Glendalough and worth a visit. The route follows on occasion the Military Road, constructed by the British in the early 19th century to gain access to the lower regions of the county and the Irish rebels hiding within.
Wicklow is known as the 'Garden of Ireland' and its lush valleys and spectacular mountains will not disappoint. About 20% of this trail is on tarred roads.
7. Antrim Hills Way, County Antrim
This is a short trail of just 22 miles. However, it is not for the faint hearted either. The Antrim Hills is blessed with heather-laden ground and tussocky grasses and the walk will also bring you off-road through fields where your only spectators are lazily grazing sheep and cows.
Along the way you'll be blown away by the Antrim coastline, the Giant's Causeway, a vast seabird colony at Rathlin Island and Dunluce Castle ruins. The trail begins at Glenarm Village and ends at Slemish.
9. The Slieve Blooms, County Laois and County Offaly
The best way to describe this inland trail is rural and unspoilt. It travels through the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Along the way you will be close to nature hearing nothing but the great collection of birds and the wind in the trees.
The circular trail stretches for 33 miles along the midland plains and also up into the environmentally protected areas in the hills.
At Arderin, the highest point in these hills, you are rewarded with a spellbinding panoramic view. In fact, it’s said that on a clear day, you can see the highest points in all four Irish provinces: Lugnaquilla in Leinster, Mweelrea in Connaught, Carrauntoohil in Munster and Slieve Donard in Ulster.
10. The Burren, County Clare
The Burren is 310 square miles of silvery limestone-layered fields which stretch from Galway, across Clare and to the Atlantic Ocean.
In this unusual landscape the rivers run underground through a honeycomb of caves carved by nature through soft limestone, where year-round pastures flourish at rocky heights and where Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants grow side by side as strange flowerbed fellows in secret stone pockets and rocky wrinkles.
This region offers numerous scenic shorter looped walks as well as long-distance routes for those seeking a challenge.
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