Hi everyone. I hope I find you all well and that you had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day. Well, spring has definitely sprung here in Ireland-perfect walking weather and what better place for a hike or a stroll than one of Ireland’s six national parks. Time to get those virtual hiking boots on and get on the road!
Ireland’s National Parks
1. Killarney National Park
We begin at Ireland’s oldest national park in the beautiful Kingdom of Kerry. Killarney National Park was established in 1932. The area covers some 26,000 acres and the stunning scenery includes a wealth of lush woodlands, lakes and the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, Ireland’s highest. The tallest peak in the country is Carrauntoohil, standing majestically at 3400 feet.
2. Connemara National Park
Heading further north now to the irresistible rugged beauty of Connemara. The area covers almost 5000 acres and was established in 1980. This stunning region perches on the edge of western Europe and boasts endless mountain vistas, lake-studded boglands and miles of golden beaches washed clean by the mighty Atlantic. A truly special part of the worls, it also home to Irelannd’s nation al gemstone, Connemara Marble.
3. Wild Nephin National Park
Our next stop takes us to Count Mayo to Ireland’s youngest national park which was first established in 1998. The Nephin Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to this awe-inspiring landscape which includes a vast expanse of Atlantic blanket bog, one of the largest areas of its kind in Europe. This area also includes Mayo Dark Sky Park-the perfect place the Irish night sky.
4. Glenveagh National Park
We head even further north now to County Donegal, the home of Glenveagh National Park, the second largest in Ireland. It stretches over some 40,000 acres. The majestic Derryveigh Mountains sweep down to the shores of Lough Veagh and a visit to the beautiful 19th-century Glenveagh castle and gardens is a must.
5. Wicklow Mountains National Park
We head down to the Wickoow Mountains now. This is a true walkers paradise with ts heather smothered slopes, swathes of forests, deep lakes and twisting country roads. The highest peak is Lugnaquilla at 925 meters but my personal favorite is the much loved Great Sugarloaf which stands at 501 meters.
6. The Burren
We end our journey in counties Clare and Galway and the unique and magical landscape of The Burren. It covers an area of some 250 square kilometers and is home to a wealth of arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants that live side by side due to the unique conditions of the terrain. Poulnabrone Dolmen (pictured) can also be found here, believed to be some 5,800 years old.
Thanks so much for your company,
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Slán go fóill!