Top ten walking trails in Ireland - SEE PHOTOS
Take a break from the usual tourist trail and explore the wonderful walks to be found in Ireland
4.The Dingle Way
This one might not be for the faint of heart. It stretches over 112 miles and was one of the first national walking routes. The trail follows minor country roads and beaches.
The most dramatic part of the hike comes with a 1,200 feet descent crossing the shoulder of Brandon Mountain between Ballydavid and Cloghane. The walk skirts the mountains of Slieve Mish which form a spine of 40 miles jutting out in the Atlantic Ocean.
The peninsula is littered with remains from the early Christian period, oratories, beehive huts, megalithic tombstones, monastic enclosures, high crosses, to name a few. Beautiful white sandy beaches, a temperate Gulf Stream climate and the profusion of strong colors in the flora – montbretia, fuchsia, purple loosestrife to name a few. A truly amazing spot and 40% of this walk can be made by road.
5. The Sheeps Head Way, County Cork
The Sheeps Head Way starts in Bantry and takes you to the tip of the peninsula at Sheeps Head. The whole trail is 55 miles.
Cork is a spectacularly beautiful place and therefore much visited by tourists and Irish people alike. However this area is the least visited part of Cork which makes it truly idyllic.
Along the walk there are a couple of climbs but it is primarily a ridge and shoreline route. The terrain varies widely, making the walk a moderate rating.
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.
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.