When you think of going walking in Ireland you immediately think of beautiful uninterrupted countryside, mountains, rivers and lakes, but did you know that there are some really fantastic city walks in Ireland too? These can often be overshadowed by countryside walks which is understandable, the Irish countryside is simply beautiful, but we think you’ll love these three city walks too. 1.Dublin Dublin is a bustling city on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. Primarily people visit Dublin to check out its array of shops, pubs, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions, but hidden amongst the hustle and bustle you’ll find some fabulous city walks that even the most avid hiker will love. Being a relatively small city you can do some self-guided city walks that will allow you to see some of the major attractions without having to walk for miles and miles. O’Connell Bridge is a great central starting point and did you know it is reported as being the only bridge in the world that is as wide as it is long? From here you are bang in the middle to walk to all parts of the city, with the affluent southside on one side and the once slumsy northside on the other. Check out the O’Connell memorial and the angel crushing a serpent, plus the Irish wolfhound that is complete with bullet holes from the fighting in 1916. The Garden of Rememberance and Moore Street Market are great to visit plus the Ha'penny Bridge, Temple Bar and the Bank of Ireland. Trinity College is a beautiful, impressive building which can then follow along to Grafton Street, St Stephen's Green and Merrion Row. There is a lot to see in the city centre and it depends how much time you’ve allowed as to how far you can go and what you can see, so pick your wishlist and crack on with your city walk.
If you’d like to get away from the hustle and bustle a bit then head down to the docklands where you’ll find stunning modern architecture, historic buildings, art galleries and river trips. If you fancy a little peace and quiet you could head up to the Hellfire Club / Montpelier Loop trail which starts near Montpelier Hill, north of Dublin’s Marlay Park and Edmonston and loops around. At the top are the ruins of Mount Perlier, now known as the Hellfire Club.
2.Galway Galway is a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast sitting where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean and is the second largest city in Ireland. Think festivals, beautiful coastline, independent book stores, pubs, aquariums and museums. Since you’re on foot you could do what many have done before you and take a pub walking tour, you’ll get to see the city whilst enjoying a beer or two in traditional Irish pubs where the log fires are lit and the locals are welcoming. If pub city walks aren’t your thing though we are sure the Salthill walk will be. With one of the most beautiful panoramas in Galway, Irish countryside stretched for miles and sandy beaches at your fingertips you are sure to enjoy this walk. You could also have a horse ride on the beach, play golf or even go diving.
3.Cork Cork is just inland from Ireland’s southwest coast and is centred around the river Lee. This is a university city so is busy and vibrant whilst having Irish countryside on its doorstep. You could easily do a whistle stop tour of the city in 60 to 90 minutes and if you’ve got longer then pick your must-see areas and wander around soaking up the atmosphere. Many people who live here will tell you that Cork holds the real essence of Ireland so take in the culture, chat to locals and enjoy your city walks. Places of interest to visit might include Cork City Goal, the English Markets, Farmgate Cafe perched on a balcony overlooking the markets is a great place to grab a coffee, Cork Opera House, Market Lane and Triskel Arts Centre are to name but a few.
If you fancy exploring the areas that surround Cork then you could try the Tracton Wood Walk. Tracton Wood is a long narrow V shaped wood in a river valley. Walks here are really beautiful but the wood is quite steep in parts so best to bear that in mind. In the lower parts of the wood the pine trees are dense which means this area is often quite dark which can feel like a real adventure, especially for little ones. There are some lovely, relatively flat trails by the river.
Ireland is a country with many faces, from luscious countryside, to beaches and mountains, there is so much to explore but certainly don’t overlook their fabulous cities and the city walks that these offer.