Top ten nature trails in Ireland

There is nothing better than having hearty breakfast, getting out in the fresh air and walking.

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.

8. The Glen of Aherlow, County Tipperary

This trail is tucked away between the Galtee Mountains and the Slievenamuck Hills. The walk offers everything from low-lying strolls along verdant river banks to high-level hikes through the Galtees.

There are varies trails at various lengths which can last from half hour walks to four hour hikes.
If you want a bit of a challenge while on this trail visit Lough Curra and Lake Muskry in the Galtees. The view is superb. From there you can see  corrie lakes, wooded foothills, mountain streams and open moorland.

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.