Welcome to the 30 best autumn walks in Ireland
AUTUMN is finally here — the leaves have turned, temperatures are dropping and there’s no better time to get out and walking. With that in mind, we’ve asked experienced hikers Adrian Hendroff and Helen Fairbairn — between them the writers of 17 guidebooks to Ireland — to choose the routes they prefer to explore at this time of year.
Some of the walks they have chosen are in forests where you can still catch the last of the autumn leaves. Others are mountain climbs where you’ll be rewarded with big views.
Others are urban routes that most Dubliners will be able to get to easily, and include well-manicured parks, wilder coastal routes and even a cultural outing.
There are walks here for every level or ability — whether you’re a buggy-pushing new parent or a serious hiker — and routes have been chosen from all over the country.
There are looped trails and linear walks. And we’ve included the start and finish point and length of each route so that you can plan your outing. There are also links to downloadable maps or details of Ordnance Survey map numbers or guidebooks that will provide more detail, if necessary.
But all of the routes have one thing in common. They end with an extra lure — a place to refuel with a creamy pint or pot of tea or even a slap-up meal afterwards.
And if you need a bigger reason to step outside, think about this. The Romantic poets of the 18th century knew intuitively something which science is only now rediscovering — that we are part of nature, not separate from it, and that being in the countryside brings benefits way beyond those of exercise and fresh air.
Feeling the earth under our feet is good for our mental health and helps reset the body’s stress levels. We need to be outdoors to recharge our batteries. Enough said.
The usual warnings apply — if you’re tackling one of the more challenging routes, wrap up, wear good boots, bring waterproofs if the weather looks iffy, carry a charged mobile, a map, a few snacks and a thermos with something warm, and let others know your plans.
So lace up, make some sandwiches and head outdoors, there’s a beautiful landscape waiting to be explored.