Get Yer Boots On! Six Great Irish Coastal Walks for the Weekend

We’re really starting to see the stretch in the days and it’s looking like a cool and warm weekend – great weather for a decent walk. So get your boots on and check out these great walks to put a real spring in your step.

Here’s six great coastal walks for the weekend ahead!

Six Great Irish Coastal Walks - Rosses point

Gentle hills and peaceful coastline at Rosses point (Credit Alison Crummy)

1. Rosses Point Coastal Walk, Sligo

Out Sligo way? Well, this is a good one. There’s no guarantee of the blue skies but you can be sure there’ll be lots of great scenery. Starting from the Church of Ireland the walk takes you along the promenade where the Garavogue meets Sligo Bay.  At the end of the scenic walk, you can walk across the beach or turn right and follow the beach road back up to the Yeats Country Hotel. A nice and relaxing way to walk off the fry-up, or build up a hunger for one!

Distance: 4-6 km (if you add on the beach walk)

Rating:  Good for all ages, mostly flat.

Six Great Irish Coastal Walks - howth

Howth and Baily lighthouse looking pretty amazing as evening draws in.

2. Howth Cliff Trail, Dublin

On the East coast, Howth is easily one of the best walks. It’s really easy to get to, just jump the Dart to Howth and 5 minutes on foot from the station the walk begins. It’s got some stunning cliffs and is mostly a straightforward walk. The route is along the harbour before climbing away from the village around the far point of Howth and onto the clifftops. From there you can see Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye. Further on you’ll see the Baily Lighthouse before you ascend towards the car park and return to Howth Village along a path running parallel to your outward route.

Distance:  6 Km

Rating: Very mild ascent and suitable for most

*  If you heading out to Howth, we also recommend you contact Shane at Shane’s Howth Hikes if you want a really great guide with lots of local information and Howth history. Check out our interview with him here.

Six Great Irish Coastal Walks - bloody foreland donegal

The Bloody Foreland Winds its way along the Atlantic coast

3. Bloody Foreland Walk, Donegal

The Bloody Foreland is a seriously impressive spot. Along the route, you’ll see sea stacks, inhospitable coves, sheer faces and massive waves crashing on the rocks far below. If you’re into bird watching, keep on the lookout for Kittiwakes, Gannets, and Puffins. The walk mainly consists of quiet road, bog road and rough track. It can be through some boggy sections and it gets a bit tougher if the weather is not great but you get a real sense of being very far from the maddening crowd.

Distance 13 km

Rating: Intermediate, some boggy areas,

Six Great Irish Coastal Walks - cliffs of moher

The beautiful cliffs of Moher

4. Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, Clare

At the iconic Cliffs of Moher there is an enjoyable walk that links the villages of Liscannor and Doolin. The trail starts on the road from Liscannor and on protected paths at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, but further along it becomes more remote and demanding trail, with no seaward fencing. Trail features include an exposed cliff-top path, steep ascents and descents, and narrow flagstone steps.

Distance: 13 Km

Rating:  For the experienced walker with the ability to changeable weather.

Six Great Irish Coastal Walks - Ballycotton

Lovely Ballycotton in the Springtime

5. Ballycotton Head Looped Walk, Cork

Ballycotton Head Looped Walk is a gentle and easy walk, starting and finishing in the scenic village of Ballycotton. It extends westward to Ballytrasna and takes about two hours. Tons of great vistas and cliffs so bring your camera. Also, lots for the birdwatchers. Some great places to have lunch in Ballycotton so reward yourself after your walk!

Distance: 9 Km

Rating: Relatively easy

tramore dunes Six Great Irish Coastal Walks

The ancient sand dunes in Tramore

6. Tramore Dunes Walk, Waterford

This walk starts at the carpark opposite the Majestic Hotel and takes in the lakes and the Promenade, en route you have the wonderful views over Tramore Bay and town. Tramore beach leads to a line of some of the highest sand dunes in Ireland with a salt marsh and interesting wildlife. The sand dunes have been developing for over 5000 years so treat them with respect as you go.

Distance: 5 Km

Rating: Gentle and Easy

Now just pick one and go enjoy!

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22