Thinking of Ireland on St Patrick's Day? Here are some good Irish walks to encourage you to explore this beautiful country.
We have prepared a virtual pub crawl using some the great walks recommended on my.viewranger.com
To explore your surroundings even more why not download Ordnance Survey Ireland mapping to your smartphone or tablet using ViewRanger.
This city walk (1) is recommended by 'Business Traveller', which comments that "there are cheerier places to start a tour, but for a powerful insight into Irish history, Kilmainham Gaol museum can’t be bettered."
Built in 1796, the jail played a crucial role in Ireland’s struggle for independence, housing many leaders of the rebellions. With no segregation of prisoners, children arrested for petty theft were placed in the same cells as adult men and women, some of which were guilty of the most serious of crimes.
Access to the jail is via guided tour only and these run every 15-25 minutes, lasting about an hour.
The rest of the 4.1 mile route goes straight through Dublin and if you're a fan of the black stuff, your second stop can be at the Guinness Storehouse! If Guinness isn't your thing, the guided route also takes you past Temple Bar, which is packed with pubs, bars and restaurants. Business Traveller also recommends a quieter location for a drink nearby if the hustle and bustle of this area proves too much!
The Howth Head Loop (2) is a good walk recommended by Austen Garvey. It follows the perimeter of Howth, which is connected to the north-east of Dublin by a small spit of land. It is an excellent coastal route with great views over Dublin bay and the Bailey Lighthouse.
The 7.2 miles (11.8km) walk passes a Martello tower - a circular fort once used for coastal defence and connects up nicely in a loop meaning that at the end (or the beginning if you like) you can stop at The Bloody Stream for a bite to eat. This friendly bar and seafood restaurant gets its name from a ferocious battle with the Danes.
The Dublin Mountains
Daire Cronin's walk (3) on ViewRanger goes round in a 4.3 mile loop through woodlands and up over the Two Rock Mountain. The route doesn't go past a pub but we have found one near-by! The Blue Light is "a quintessential example of a rural Irish pub" in Barnacullia, Sandyford. Why not visit their Facebook page for more information.
Other ViewRanger routes in the area include Alan Fennell's 'Ticknock walk from Tibradden'. Alan comments that his route (4) starts "at Tibradden woods, walking to the hill top then on to the fairy castle, from there down to Three Rock and back through Ticknock woods to Tibradden."
For those of you who are confused, the Fairy Castle is the name of the summit. It's still interesting though, the Fairy Castle is marked by a cairn which covers an ancient tomb...
Remember you can use the accommodation function in ViewRanger (provided by Laterooms.com) to find places to stay close to all the routes on ViewRanger!
The Barrow Way
The Barrow Way runs for 114km following towpaths and riverside roads. The Monasterevin to Vicarstown route (5) on ViewRanger is just over seven miles along the canal.
It ends very conveniently near the Vicarstown Inn, a 250-year old pub which also offers self-catering accommodation.
Duhallow is a tranquil region in the North-West of County Cork. The village of Ballydesmond was built in 1832 as a resting stop for those travelling to and from Cork city and sits on the banks of the River Blackwater, which separates counties Cork and Kerry.
This loop walk (6), recommended by Avondhu Blackwaterlong, is a nice and easy quiet country road stroll travelling up north to Tanmacnally then west to Glounawaddra and back round again.
On the way back you’ll pass Bobs bar, a good point to stop and quench your thirst before heading on for the last little stretch.
The Cahir Coronation walk (7) is recommended by 'Clogheen Tipperary' (www.clogheen.net) and follows the river Suir. It is an easy walk from Cahir Castle Car Park to the Swiss Cottage. The Swiss Cottage site was once part of the Butler-Charteris Estate; the family named the walk for the coronation of George IV in 1821.
The walk runs along the back of Cahir Park Golf Club through native broadleaf woodland, planted from the 1790’s, including mature beech, oak, Spanish chestnut, sycamore, laurel, rhododendron and elder.
This walk is good all year round and come rain or shine; Morrissey’s Bar will be ready to serve you. A traditional old Irish pub, Morrissey's Bar was in fact a prize in a Guinness sponsored 'Win your own pub in Ireland' competition in 1997!
There are also a number of other pubs leading down The Square (R670).
Image from the website of Morrissey’s Bar.
Glendalough, County Wicklow
A bit more demanding is this walk recommend by Austin Garvey (8) - who could be someone to follow via ViewRanger if you are going to his part of Ireland . The route follows the Glendason River and Wicklow way, going through woodland and up over the hills.
Glendalough is also known as 'the valley of the two lakes' and is a place of outstanding natural beauty.
To finish this walk you could go back to a comfortable room at the Glenalough Hotel or stop by at the Glendalough Tavern for a sit down and a drink.
County Wicklow offers a huge variety of outdoor activities and the Wicklow County Tourism website provides some great information on walking holidays in the area. Walking festivals also take place twice a year in Spring and Autumn.