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The Best Hikes in Leinster


1. The Lugnaquilla Mountain from Glenmalure Loop Walk

Distance: 15km

Things to do in Wicklow

This is a bit of a strenuous one, taking in two peaks. But don’t let that deter you the views are worth the strain! A six-hour walking route to the summit of the ever popular Lugnaquilla Mountain (925m) from Glenamalure and returning via Cloghernagh (800m). The views en route are pretty mindblowing, taking in the Wicklow Mountains, the Glen of Imaal, Glendalough and Glenmalure.

2. Bray to Greystones cliff walk

Distance: 7km

Running and Hiking Events in Ireland
Image: Gaelforce

This cliffside walk has become somewhat of a favourite in recent years. Hop on the DART and head to Bray or Greystones to walk this coastal path that connects these two beautiful little towns. Walk the well-worn track and gaze out at the blue waters to try and spot some marine life. You can also climb to the top of Bray Head if you want an even better view along the east coast. An alternative and fun way of doing this particular route is as part of Gaelforce’s Bray 10km cliff run!

3. The Avonmore Way

Distance: 12km

The Avonmore Way is a relatively new trail along the beautiful Avonmore river in Co. Wicklow. Take a stroll through the wooded valley, starting at Trooperstown Forest. Follow the waymarked trail through the forest under the cover of spruces and emerge out at the hamlet of Clara Vale. This 12km route will take you three to four hours to complete.

4. The Wicklow Way

Distance: 127km

Walks in Wicklow
Image: James Fennell/Tourism Ireland

The Wicklow Way was one of the first long-distance hiking trails in Ireland and it still remains the most popular one in the country. Don’t let that deter you though, if you are seeking solitude, you’ll still find it here. Bar around Glendalough, chances are you won’t meet too many kindred spirits walking. The waymarked trails include mountains, upland lakes, steep-sided glacial valleys, fast flowing mountain streams, forests and farmland. Beginning in Dublin’s southern suburb of Rathfarnham and travelling down through Wicklow to finish in the picturesque village of Clonegal, Co Carlow.


5. Howth Cliff Walk

Distance: 12kms for the full loop

Best irish hike for beginners Bailey Lighthouse, Howth
Bailey Lighthouse, Howth Head, Dublin, Ireland.

This little slice of heaven is located a short journey from the city centre but offers the perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise. Oh, and the views out over Dublin Bay, the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland’s Eye and Lambay are pretty epic too! There is an abundance of fantastic restaurants and cafes in Howth to finish off what is always a great day or evening out! The starting point is Howth DART station or just beyond Sutton Dinghy Club. This walk is suitable for beginners and all levels of fitness.

Check out our other walks for beginners here.

6. Ticknock

Distance: 5.5km

Ticknock Hike
Image: Rob Durson/Fáilte Ireland

Ticknock offers a great network of mountain and forest walks just a stone’s throw away from Dublin. Nestled in the hills just beyond Sandyford in south Dublin, you can drive to Ticknock from the city centre in around half an hour but the walk will make you feel like you’re lost in the wilderness.

There are around 10km of walking trails through forests and mountains with incredible views of the greater Dublin area from the top of Three Rock Mountain. You can do an out and back if you don’t want to go too far, or there are plenty of loop walks in this area like the Fairy Castle Loop which is 5.5kms.

For more info on Ticknock walks click here.

7. Malahide to Portmarnock Coastal Walk

Distance: 4km

This is a very easy 4km coastal path between Malahide and Portmarnock on the northside of Dublin city. It’s tar sealed and wide so can accommodate buggies and kids on bikes. The coastal route passes the lovely Malahide Village and marina, the beach and rocky shoreline, Lambay Island and brings you around to the Velvet Strand and Ireland’s Eye Island at the Portmarnock end.

There are plenty of other options if you want to add on to your walk, by exploring Malahide Castle and Demesne or there’s the Robswall Park Hillside Hike at the end of Malahide beach if you want to cross the road and head up the hill for a better view.

Check out more of our favourite Dublin walks.


8. The Barrow Way

Distance: 120km

This four-day walk along the River Barrow is still somewhat of a hidden gem for anyone but the locals. The Barrow Way follows surviving towpaths and riverside roads, from Lowtown in Co Kildare to the idyllic little village of St Mullins in Co Carlow. The peaceful route winds its way through the sylvan landscape following the river. You’ll find accommodation in one of the many quaint villages dotted along the grassy tracks of the Barrow Way.


9. Mt Leinster

Height: 793m

things to do in Wexford

Standing on the summit of Mt. Leinster, you will revel in the biting winds, beautiful views of the patchwork green fields of the valley below and the semi-wild horses and sheep grazing on its pastures. The mountain overlooks the three counties of Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow and there are plenty of walks to choose from.

The Blackstairs Challenge walk is a 30km undertaking that traverses the entire range. But perhaps the most accessible option is to drive to the gap at the Nine Stones and to make the 6km round trip to the summit via the access road. Although be warned, the nine stones themselves are very unimpressive! There are also some great mountain bike trails in the forestry carved by the local club Racing795 if you are so inclined.

10. Raven’s Point Wood

Distance: 6.8km

Wexford Walks
Image: Failte Ireland

Park up at the Raven Wood car park and explore the beautiful woodland walkway before emerging out onto the stunning white sandy beach. The fields to the west are the North Slob lands, home to many important species of birds. If you are doing this walk during the winter months, you might spot all the geese from the North Slob flying out to roost on sandbanks in Wexford Harbour. The beautiful blue flag beach at Curracloe is definitely the highlight of this beach walk.

11. Tintern

Distance:  0.9km – 7.2 km

Wexford Walks
Image: Brian Morrison/ Failte Ireland

There are four incredible walks in Tintern, all of varying distances and difficulties. Gardener’s Trail (.9km) starts at Tintern Abbey and explores the architecture and the mixed woodland. This trail is suitable for buggies and wheelchair users. The Tintern Demesne Trail (2.4km) is one for nature lovers. You’ll discover fine beech, oak, and chestnut trees and hopefully spot some kingfishers, egrets, buzzards, red squirrels, stoats and seven type of bat.

Bannow Bay Trail (7.2 km) is for the history buffs. It takes in the old estate village of Saltmills, an old IRA memorial, a rare double lime kiln and a grounded dredger. Finally, there is Foxboro Trail (3.5 km) for the fit. This woodland trail along the Tintern river includes some great climbs.


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