Follow our useful advice for a great walking holiday in Ireland.
Advice and safety
Choose your walk carefully. Always take into consideration the fitness levels of the members of your family or group. Make sure the walk is achievable in the time allowed and make sure to leave plenty of time for stops along the way. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.
What to bring
A good map
A torch and whistle
A warm hat and gloves
A first aid kit
Strong walking boots and socks (with a spare pair of socks).
Shorts, sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses (for sunny days)
A day sack to carry food and extra clothing
Water bottle and thermos flask
Walking poles if you need them and know how to use them
Warm trousers, warm sweaters and sparesBack to top
Ireland’s “soft” climate makes it a great place for walking all year round as winters are mild and summers are temperate. Plus, many of Ireland’s landscapes exude a special beauty in the autumn and winter months. Always check the weather forecast before you set out to make sure there is nothing unexpected around the corner. Check the time of sunrise or sunset so you are not setting out or returning in the dark. Always plan to finish your walk while there is still plenty of light. Find out moreBack to top
Leave no trace
Adhere to the 7 Leave No Trace principles at all times:
Plan ahead and be prepared
Be considerate of others
Respect farm animals and wildlife
Travel and camp on durable ground
Leave what you find
Dispose of waste properly
Minimise the effects of fire
Further details under: www.leavenotraceireland.org
Much land is in private ownership and access is only available with the goodwill and tolerance of the owner. Most landowners do not object to recreational users on their land. Always comply with a landowner's wishes. Long distance ways and looped walks are maintained by farmers though the Republic of Ireland at present as part of a walks maintenance scheme.Back to top
Check out the Discovery Series of maps at 1:50,000 scale, available from your local tourist office or direct from the Ordnance Survey websites. Many walks require a map. The Ordnance Survey (OSI / OSNI) 1:50 000 series covers the whole island and are the standard walker’s reference. Specialist walking maps and route guides are also available for many of Ireland’s most popular regions and routes.
For general planning, the four Ordnance Survey 1:250 000 “Holiday Maps of Ireland” – North, South, East and West – are invaluable. To purchase walking maps you can contact OSI for the Republic of Ireland and OSNI for Northern Ireland.Back to top
Know your walks
Walks in the Republic of Ireland are graded into Easy Ways (navigated paths with little or no climbing, suitable for all levels); Moderate Ways (includes rougher terrain with uphill sections, suitable for regular walkers); and Hard Ways (rough terrain with steep climbs and difficult sections, requires stamina and experience, as well as map reading skills and proper equipment).
In Northern Ireland, walks are assessed as Quality Walks. The assessment of Northern Ireland’s walking routes has been carried out by walkers for walkers. By choosing a Quality Walk you can leave home with the knowledge your selected route is one of the best Northern Ireland has to offer! All Quality Walks have been accredited in partnership with the Northern Ireland Environment agency and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. All Quality Walks should display the relevant Quality Stamp at the start and finish points. To find out more about the Northern Ireland Quality Walk Scheme, check out walkni.com.Back to top
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