We take a look at some great outdoor spots on the emerald isle
St Patrick’s Day means a lot of things to a lot of people, but for us we’ve taken it as a great excuse to shine some light on an often forgotten outdoor gem. Both the Republic or Ireland and Northern Ireland have some truly luscious scenery for the outdoor fan, and with many activities on offer, it’s certainly worth venturing away from Temple Bar for a few days to check it out. We asked GO staff where their favourite outdoor spots were in Ireland, and here’s what we have come up with.
1. Giants Causeway, County Antrim
We’ll start with the obvious, one spectacle that comes to mind when you think of the outdoors in Ireland is the spectacular Giants Causeway. Not only can you visit great locations like the giants boot, and the wishing chair there are plenty of designated routes in the area that are ideal for walkers.
2. Boyne Valley, County Trim
The Boyne Valley is a stunning area filled with historic and heritage sites to take in and explore. With plenty of stories to discover, it’s certainly an area for adventure, relaxation and education.
3. Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
One of Ireland’s most visited natural attractions, 5 miles of cliffs that offer a breathtaking view. On a clear day you can see as far as the Arran Islands and Galway Bay. The area offers some great walking and bird watching opportunities.
4. Fair head, County Atrim
Fair head boasts over 400 climbs and is considered one of the best sea cliff climbing locations in the UK. Varying degrees of difficulty and stunning views of Rathlin Island and even Scotland on a good day will keep any climber in their element.
5. Mourne Mountains, County Down
The Mourne Mountains are a granite mountain range in Northern Ireland, featuring Northern Irelands highest mountain – Slieve Donnard (850m). The mountains have been given area of outstanding natural beauty and are being considered for Northern Ireland’s first national park. The Mournes are popular among climbers, cyclists and hill walkers alike.
6. Narin & Portnoo, County Donegal
The ultimate in relaxation, picturesque and quaint. Narin & Portnoo offers up plenty for those who don’t want to take advantage of the gold courses. Stretches of luscious beach and plenty of wide open space for rambling.
7. Carrick Mountain
Part of the Wicklow Mountains, Carrick mountain is almost entirely covered in forest and offer up forest paths, straights and hairpin bends that make it popular with mountain bikers among other dirttrack hobbies.
8. The Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive in County Kerry stretching roughly 179km around the Iveragh Peninsula . Popular locations are Ladies View which features a great panoramic view, Torc Waterfall among plenty more places to visit in Killarney National Park. Keen walkers can also take in the Kerry Way, which is a lovely signposted walk in the area.
9. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim
One for the brave! A short coastal path will lead you to the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the bridge stretches over a 20m chasm. Those that dare cross onto the island will be greeted by wildlife and stunning views of Rathlin and Scotland. The area is also known for it’s sea birds, porpoises, dolphins and even basking sharks.
The highest peak in Ireland. Standing 1038 metres high, it certainly has plenty to offer those who want a different mountain to climb. The mountain overlooks 3 bowl shaped valleys, each with their own lake. When you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted by a famous 5 metre high cross.
11. White Park Bay, County Antrim
No too far from the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede is White Park Bay, a beautiful stretch of sandy beach on the North Antrim coast. White Park Bay is an ideal spot for a family day out, or some much needed relaxation, even on a busy day it’s said to still feel secluded.
12. Bundoran, County Donegal
Ireland’s capital of surf, hailed as one of the world’s best surf towns it has everything you would want for a holiday of catching waves. A popular seaside resort that hosts festivals and more during the year.
These are just 12 of our favourite places in Ireland, have you got some great spots we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.