Sick of the Park? Top 5 Short Hikes Across Ireland

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Do you feel like your loops around the local park aren’t cutting it? You’re in luck, because we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 short hikes around Ireland!

Whether you’re looking for a quick escape from your daily scenery or a way to spend quality time outdoors with family and friends, there are plenty of short one-day hikes across Ireland that are just begging to be walked.

1. Glendalough Spinc and Glenealo Valley Walk

Location: County Wicklow

Distance: 9 km

Duration: 3-4 hours

Situated in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, the Glendalough Spinc and Glenealo Valley Walk is a must-do for those looking for a change of scenery. This looped trail starts at the Glendalough Visitor Centre and takes you through the picturesque valley of Glendalough, past the serene Upper Lake, and up to the Spinc ridge. From the ridge, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the glacial valley and the surrounding mountains. The trail then descends through the scenic Glenealo Valley, where you might spot wild deer grazing.

2. Bray Head Cliff Walk

Location: County Wicklow

Distance: 7 km

Duration: 2-3 hours

The Bray Head Cliff Walk is a spectacular coastal hike that offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. Starting at the seaside town of Bray, the trail winds its way along the cliffs to the charming village of Greystones. Along the way, you’ll pass by Bray Head, a hill with a large cross at its summit, offering panoramic views of the coastline. This relatively easy hike is perfect for families and those looking to enjoy a leisurely day by the sea.

3. The Giant’s Causeway Cliff-Top Experience

Location: County Antrim

Distance: 4.8 km

Duration: 2-3 hours

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway is famous for its unique basalt columns. The Giant’s Causeway Cliff-Top Experience offers a guided hike along the dramatic cliffs above the causeway, starting at the visitor centre and ending at the stunning rock formations. This trail provides spectacular views of the rugged coastline, with the added bonus of learning about the area’s geology and mythology from experienced guides. It’s a shorter hike packed with natural wonder and fascinating history.

4. Diamond Hill Loop

Location: Connemara National Park, County Galway

Distance: 7 km

Duration: 2-3 hours

The Diamond Hill Loop in Connemara National Park offers hikers a chance to experience the wild beauty of Connemara. The well-marked trail begins at the park’s visitor centre and ascends gradually to the summit of Diamond Hill. From the top, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Twelve Bens mountain range, the Atlantic Ocean, and the rugged Connemara landscape. This hike is moderately challenging but provides some of the best views in western Ireland.

5. Torc Mountain Walk

Location: Killarney National Park, County Kerry

Distance: 7.5 km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Located in the scenic Killarney National Park, the Torc Mountain Walk is a popular hike that offers stunning vistas of the surrounding lakes and mountains. The trail starts at the car park near Torc Waterfall and follows a well-maintained path through lush woodlands and up to the summit of Torc Mountain. From the top, hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of Muckross Lake, Lough Leane, and the expansive Killarney National Park. This hike is perfect for those looking to experience the natural beauty of County Kerry in a few hours.

These short one-day hikes offer a perfect way to explore the beautiful landscapes and rich heritage right on our doorstep. Whether you’re looking for a quick escape to the coast, a quiet walk through woodlands, or a rewarding climb, these trails provide the ideal opportunity to reconnect with the nature. So, grab your hiking boots, pack your bag, and get away from your local park!

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Julia Labedz
Julia Labedz
Julia has several years of experience as a writer and editor, working with independent clients as well as larger organizations. Prior to working for ITTN she was a marketing executive. She has both a BA and MFA in English with Creative Writing, with an extensive professional and creative portfolio. In her free time, Julia works on her novel.

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