When there’s a twinkle of frost on the ground or a dusting of snow on the mountains, walking in Ireland has a clean, crisp beauty all of its own.
Glenveagh National Park
A wilderness of glen, mountains and lake, this hauntingly attractive slice of County Donegal comes into its own in winter. Walk the series of trails under the shadow of Mount Errigal, a stand-out image on endless postcards and Instagram accounts.
The Lagan Towpath
Even on a cloudy winter’s morning, the serenity of this riverside route in Belfast shines through. Start from the heart of the city close to Titanic Belfast and enjoy the River Lagan, lock-keeper’s cottage, urban parks, wetlands and mixed woodland.
On a crisp winter’s day beach walks don’t get better than this stretch in County Sligo on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. With a backdrop of the mountains of Knocknarea and Benbulben, it’s perfect for brisk walks, a run, or even a barefoot winter paddle.
The Mourne Mountains
There’s something amazing about being out among snow-covered mountains, and even more so in the mystical Mournes in County Down. Set out in the cold season, and you will likely have Northern Ireland’s highest and most dramatic mountain range to yourself.
Take a walk on the wild side through a series of bridges, stone-carved staircases, tunnels and smugglers’ caves suspended barely above the waterline of the Irish Sea. This dramatic cliff path experience is in the heart of the Causeway Coastal Route, voted the world’s number one region to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.
Just a few miles from the centre of Dublin, the cliff-top trails here give winter walkers truly magical views across the city, Dublin Bay and, on a good day, right up to the coast of Ireland’s Ancient East.
The Sheep’s Head Way
For long distance winter walkers, this ridge and shoreline route in County Cork extends to over 150km, but you can start and finish anywhere you wish, or choose a series of fine looped walks extending off the main trail. Wild Atlantic scenery, picturesque loughs and fantastic coastal views abound.
A clear day in December or January is the perfect time to wrap up warm and take in the undulating hills of the heather-covered Sperrin Mountains. The quiet valleys and boggy upland trails are simply a winter wonderland.
Pick a crisp winter morning for a ramble to the highest waterfall in Ireland, set within the stunning Powerscourt House and Gardens in County Wicklow. Beyond the waterfall, there are 1,000 acres of mountain, farm, hillside, river and landscaped gardens to explore.
Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walking Trail
One of Ireland’s most scenic and majestic treks, this coastal cliff-edge walk links the villages of Liscannor and Doolin in County Clare. The walk may be a challenge in the winter season, but it will be well worth it for the unbelievable views.