5 walking trails you need to check out when restrictions lift
It's time to venture (safely) outside our 5k.
A number of changes are on the horizon for Ireland's lockdown regime including a relaxing of travel restrictions within people's counties. With the latest Covid update from the Government, we were told that from April 12th, the 5km travel restriction will be easing and people will be allowed to travel within their county. Despite this, we must be clear that senior Government sources have ruled out allowing inter-county travel.
Although people won't be venturing too far, it is still a welcome change for many after enduring a long winter of restrictions. It's the first glimpse of hope that we could have some semblance of a normal summer and with that in mind, we wanted to list off a few stunning walking trails that, if you're lucky enough to have them within your county, will bring some much needed holiday vibes to your weekends. It is, after all, a stunning country to be stuck in.
Diamond Hill loop - In Galway, the Diamond Hill loop walk is a 7.2km walking trail located near Letterfrack, County Galway. Mostly used for walking and hiking you'll find the odd trail runner on this loop, it's well maintained with incredible views throughout. This trail is ideal for all fitness levels but it can be quite steep towards the summit so do bear that in mind. This trail is best done when the weather is clear for some stellar imagery and reviews from hikers check out the link here.
Malahide Castle Grounds - This definitely isn't a hike it's a lovely scenic walk on the beautiful grounds of Malahide Castle in North County Dublin, just a few minutes walk from the Dart station. A full walk around the grounds is about 4kms, there are also work-out stations every few hundred meters along the path if you feel inclined to push yourself a little harder. The castle itself is a major tourist attraction and you're also not far from the beautiful coastal village of Malahide if you want to mozy around the marina.
Slievethoul Trail - Located in the Dublin mountains, the Slievethoul (or Saggart Hill) Trail and Lugg are nestled away on the westernmost edge of the Dublin mountains. From the summit, you'll have the rolling mountains of Wicklow to the east and the beautiful plains of Kildare to set your sights on. There's also a wealth of archaeological history on the trail with tombs, cairns and ring forts amongst some of the sites. Find out directions and further information here.
Erris Head loop walk - If you live out west, the Erris Head loop walk in Belmullet is a well sign-posted 5k coastal trail with stunning views that will bring you right back to nature. You start from the town of Belmullet on the R313 between Bangor and Blacksod. Follow the sign for Ceann Iorrais to reach the start/trailhead and there's a small car park to get you settled before you head off. Find out all the information you need here.
Sheep's Head trail - We're heading to Cork for our final trail and the Sheep's Head peninsula that has numerous looped walks for you to try. If you want to be bold you can walk them all over a period of around 6 days or pick from one of over 25 (1-7 hour) loop walks or additional linear routes which form a 200-km trail network along the Sheep’s Head peninsula and around Bantry. You can find out more information here.