Dublin and Leinster
Hiking-guide author Helen Fairbairn says winter is one of her favourite times for Irish walking. Ignore the grey, wet days, and head out whenever the sun shines. Nothing can beat standing on a snowy summit in clear, crisp conditions, when the polar air makes the views extend forever.
Cold weather excursions are more invigorating than warm ones, she claims, and the post-trip treat of hearty food and cosy fire is one life’s great pleasures.
Helen’s skills extend to basic mountaineering, and she has tackled some of Ireland’s most renowned mountain ridges in winter conditions. She says not all outings have to be epic mountain challenges however; winter can bring just as much beauty to a woodland stream, when frost crystallises along the veins of leaves and forms mini icicles along the edge of a waterfall.
If you need any extra encouragement to keep active this winter, Helen’s walking guides — which include Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide and Ireland’s Best Walks — are a great place to start. David Flanagan is a keen hiker, climber and cyclist who is lucky enough to be able to combine his passion for the outdoors with his work as a writer and publisher.
Ever since his introduction to hiking as a cub scout he has enjoyed getting out in the hills particularly during the cold, crisp winter days. One of his most memorable winter walks was tackling the legendary Bangor Trail in late November. The trail, which runs through the heart of the Nephin Wilderness in Co Mayo, is one of the remotest walks in the country and doing it over two short days in cold weather made a tough challenge all the more memorable. Flanagan, co-author of the first guidebook to the Wild Atlantic Way, Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, is currently working on a guide to the best of Irish cycling, due out in spring 2018.