Continuing on our journey across the United Kingdom and Ireland's national trails, we visit Ireland. This is a land designed for walkers, with 43 National Waymarked Trails and 775 officially recognised walking trails across Northern and Southern Ireland. That's enough to keep even the most ardent walker occupied for a lifetime!
Anyone who likes walking and exploring is going to love Ireland. It's a good job we have a few dozen top quality holiday cottages for you to stay in while you're here! There are obviously too many trails for us to list them all here, but visit Irishtrails.ie and you'll see all of them listed by county. Then, check holidaycottages.net to find a cottage close by. It couldn't be easier!
Here are a few highlights from that very long list of trails, including National Waymarked Trails of Ireland.
Ballyhoura Way is a national National Waymarked Trail of Ireland located in County Cork. It crosses into Limerick and Tipperary too over its 89km. The traditional start point is St. John's Bridge and ends at Limerick Junction. It would take around 4 days for an experienced walker to traverse.
This trail has its origins in 1602 as the escape route for O'Sullivan after the Battle of Kinsale. That's why we feature it here, history and geography all in one, what's not to love?
East Clare Way
The East Clare Way has seen some changes over the past decade that leave it less of a trail than it was. Nevertheless, at 180km, it's an epic trail that takes in some of the best of County Clare. The trail begins at Killalor and ends at the same place.
This loop highlights many aspects of Ireland you don't get to see from the tourist trail and for that reason alone we think it's a worthy trail to try.
Monaghan Way is 56.5km long and begins in Monaghan Town in County Monaghan. It ends in Inishkeen after taking in some of the best countryside, rolling hills, lakes and arable land in the area. The trail is well marked, well maintained and well worth a try.
It's shorter and could be done in a day or two for experienced walkers. There's no rush though, we are in Ireland after all!
Western Way is in County Galway. It is 55km long, begins in Oughterard and finishes in Leenaun. It's a wild area that takes in the best of Connemara as it skirts the edge of Lough Comb. There is mountain, bog, farmland and small villages to take in on this trail, offering a great view of Ireland in its natural state.