Hi Everyone. I hope you are all keeping well this week. I’m happy to report that we’ve had lots of sunny days this week and spring is well and truly sprung. Great weather for walking as we continue our walking around Ireland series. This week we’re wandering into my home province of Leinster. We’ll start on my doorstep in Dublin.
Walking Around Ireland. Leinster
1. Sandymount, Dublin
Sandymount has been my haven for walking during lockdown and I am so blessed to have this wonderful piece of Dublin’s coastline right where I live. I walk the length of Sandymount Strand daily, usually with the dogs. The above pic was taken recently and me and the family were lucky enough to catch this stunning rainbow on our stroll.
For a longer stretch, it’s hard to beat The Great South Wall Walk which also begins at the strand. With it’s proximity to the city center, this is one of Dublin’s most popular walks. I usually walk across the 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.
Just before you reach the lighthouse, you’ll find the Half Moon Swimmiing Club where I’ve been enjoying my lockdown sea swims, although I have to say I cannot wait to get back to the west coast for a dip in the Atlantic!
2. Djouce Mountain, Wicklow
So next up we head into the walkers paradise that is County Wicklow. 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.
We stay in County Wicklow for a leisurely stroll in one of its finest gardens. Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry covers over 47 acres and the gardens here date back to 1731. They were voted no. 3 in National Geographic’s top 10 gardens in the world and for good reason!. I love the Italian Gardens where you get the best views of the Sugarloaf Mountain. There’s also a Japanese Garden, a statuary and even a pet cemetery!
4. Saltee Islands, Wexford
We head into County Wexford now in the heart of Ireland’s sunny south-east. We’re also doing a little island hopping! Weather permitting, you a take a 40 minute ferry ride from Kilmore Quay and find yourself in a truly unspoiled piece of Ireland. The humans left in the early 20th century but the birds have taken over, making this one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world. The sight of flocks of puffins, gulls and gannets on the sea cliffs is truly awe-inspiring and there’s even a population of grey seals. A truly magical place.
5. Hill of Tara Meath
We end our walking tour in Ireland’s Ancient East. When you climb the Hill of Tara in County Meath you are following in the footsteps of Ireland’s ancient kings. The summit is marked by the royal enclosure known as the Fort of The Kings. Two earthworks, Cormac’s House and the Royal Seat are linked by a central standing stone known as Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny). Even though the hill is only around 200 feet high, the sense of elevation feels much higher. Here we enjoy commanding views (on a clear day!) in all directions – the Mourne and Cooley Mountains to the north, the Wicklow Mountains to the south, and the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the south east. Simply stunning.
As always, it’s wonderful to have your company on our virtual trails.
See you next time,
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!