Hill Walking in Ireland – Streams of Whiskey

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Tom Smith blog writter
Tom Smith
Published: 12/04/2020
Updated: 1/06/2021

We may be biased but we think Ireland is a great place to take a walk or a hike! For such a small island, it offers a huge variety of landscapes to explore. From coastal routes to mountain climbs and child-friendly trails, nowhere is too far from the start point of a good walking route so we encourage you to boot up and step out!

Most visitors to Ireland will land in Dublin City on the East coast of the Island and just over an hour later you could be in wilderness in the Wicklow Mountains. Scattered with rolling hills and high mountains, dense woodland, steeped in history, sprinkled with native flora and fauna and known as the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow is an enchanting place to get lost in – be it for a day or week.

Glendalough walk in Ireland
Glendalough walk in Ireland

On the Wild Atlantic Way, along the Western Coast of Ireland, you are spoilt for choice! There are more strenuous waymarked trails in the world but few are as spectacularly beautiful as The Dingle Way in Co Kerry. The Mount Brandon range (1000m) dominates the peninsula and was voted by National Geographic as one of its top five most scenic hikes on earth. Incidentally, NG also describes the Dingle Peninsula as ‘the most beautiful place in the world’. It is a natural, open-air museum with something ancient and interesting around most corners!

The Western Way through Counties Galway and Mayo in Connemara is wilderness, remote and isolated at times yet combines all that is hauntingly beautiful about the west coast of Ireland and The Wild Atlantic Way.  It is Ireland's largest tract of land without a through road so it is not very crowded to say the least. Connemara has a strong association with traditional Irish culture and contains the largest Gaeltacht (Irish language speaking area) in the country. It was drastically hit by An Gorta Mor – The Great Hunger - in the 1840’s and it has never recovered in terms of population.

Ireland landscape
Ireland landscape

The Beara Way is a very interesting trail, half in Kerry and half in Cork! The roads are narrow and no buses can get past the village of Adrigole so it is off the beaten path for most tourists and attracts lots of artists and crafts people.  The presence of the warm Gulf Stream makes it a rich marine environment. The qualities of the waters off the Beara Peninsula are a Grade A standard and the region’s traditional maritime culture is as strong as ever. The ruggedly beautiful landscape of the area is breath taking with stunning waterfalls and valleys, splendid heritage tails and walks, historic copper mines and mountains. Many visitors to the area have commented that life progresses at a different pace.

Lake in Ireland

Our stunning Atlantic coastal scenery comes with some caveats to Mountain Safety. Our mountains may not be very high but the changeable weather can come as a surprise. Always be prepared with waterproof jacket and trousers, walking boots plus warm layers, hat and gloves.

There may be no streams of Whiskey but there’s always a warm welcome…

See you here soon – Slán agus Beannacht.

Ready for the time of your life?

About the author
Tom Smith blog writter
Tom Smith
Tom Smith is a content writer, translator, educator and lyricist. He is also a passionate traveller and explorer of the human condition. Tom works and lives in Ljubljana.

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