Hi Everyone and a very Happy New Year from The Irish Store family! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Time to dust off those holiday cobwebs with some of my favorite Irish walks.
Walking is probably my favorite pastime and of course in Ireland we have a wealth of routes to choose from. I love getting out for a good stroll no matter what the time of year, and a winter walk in Ireland gives you the opportunity to wrap up against the elements in your favorite Aran sweater! Here’s a few of my favorites.
Lulu’s 5 Favorite Irish Walks
1.Gortarowey Looped Walk, Sligo
As regular readers will know, county Sligo holds a very special place in my heart. It’s my go to place to get away from it all so I’m going to begin and end my list of favorite Irish walks in my favorite Irish county. The Gortarowey looped walk takes about an hour and a half and the distance is around 5km. What I love about this walk is that it just keeps on giving. The walk begins in secluded lush wooodlands and then opens out and you find yourself at the foot of the mighty Benbulben. It also offers stunning views of Donegal Bay, Mullaghmore and the Slieve League mountain. (we’ll be taking a stroll in that area later!)
2. Great South Wall Walk, Dublin
Next on my list is right on my doorstep in the capital. The Great South Wall walk is probably one of the most popular in Dublin city as it’s really close to the city center. This is the perfect way to blow the cobwebs away on New Year’s Day. I usually walk across Sandymount Strand before following the south wall all the way to Poolbeg Lighthouse. The views are stunning as you enjoy the full sweep of Dublin Bay with Howth Head to the north and Dun Laoghaire and Killiney Head to the South as well as panoramic views of the Dublin Mountains and the Sugarloaf.
3. Djouce Mountain, Wicklow
Heading into neighboring county Wicklow now. When it comes to walking trails, Wicklow has so much to offer. The Wickow Way is a hugely popular National Waymarked Trail which crosses the Wicklow Mountains and covers some 80 miles. There are so many routes to choose from but my personal favorite is to climb Djouce Mountain. You park at the foot of the mountain in the J.B. Malone car park (he was the hill walker and journalist responsible for the establishment of the Wicklow Way). You can then use the boardwalk to ascend the mountain. The incline is gentle and not too difficult. When you reach the summit, the views are breathtaking, taking in the mountains, lakes and the 6000 acre Luggala estate owned by the Guinness Family.
4. Slieve League, Donegal
Before we reach our final destination in Sligo, we have to stop off in neighbouring county Donegal and Ireland’s highest seacliffs. I warn you, this walk is not for the faint-hearted! Their highest point stands at a staggering 1998 feet- 3 times higher than their cousins in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher! Venturing beyond the main viewing point to One Man’s Pass is strictly for the experienced hiker. On a clear day, you can enjoy astounding views of Sligo, Leitrim and even the mountains of Mayo. Maybe leave this one until the weather gets better!
5. Streedagh Beach, Sligo
So last stop Sligo and my absolute favorite beach walk in the whole of Ireland! It is so peaceful here as you walk the sweeping 3km long strand. The crashing waves of the Atlantic provide the perfect soundtrack while the mighty Benbulben provides a stunning backdrop.
Once again, I would just like to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! And don’t forget our unmissable Winter Sale is still on if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy.
Stay safe and well,
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Slán go fóill!