The 5 Best Hikes In Ireland This Spring

Spring has to be one of the best times of the year to get those walking boots back out and hit the great outdoors. After months of cold weather and hibernation its just incredible to see the countryside bursting back into life, to see all of the gorgeous colour flowers and blossom and to get some nice fresh air into your lungs.

There are just so many incredible walks in Ireland which boosts some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, but we’ve narrowed it down to these five and we think you’ll agree that they are pretty special.

1.Cruagh Wood, Dublin Mountains

crugh woods.jpg

This route is accessible to everybody including children in buggies and wheelchair users, yet is still reaches 450m high and offers fabulous views over Dublin city, making it a fantastic walk.

There are several signed walks to choose from but in our opinion the best circuit is the Sli na Slainte trail which makes a relatively straightforward loop that follows forest tracks and surfaced paths throughout.

Along the way you’ll be surrounded by pine trees and will do a gentle climb and descent of 100m.

When the trees break you’ll be treated to a fabulous views over the Dublin Mountains, the city and the east coast.

2.Bray Head Loop, Bray, Co Wicklow


Bray head is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the western end of Valentia Island, County Kerry.

This is a moderate family friendly 2-3 hour loop that is 7km in length. The gorgeous walk goes to Bray Head along the coastline at the west end of Valentia Island, Co. Kerry in the south west of Ireland.

There is a steady climb to the tower but it is definitely worth making the effort to get to the top to take in the views  out west over the Skellig Islands, north looking out over the sheer cliffs to Dingle and south along the Skellig Coast, Portmagee and Puffin Island. If you’re lucky you may also be able to see some whales passing the headland in the water below.. Be careful with younger children though as there are exposed cliffs.

3.Annaloughan Forest, Co Louth

Cooley peninsula.jpg

The Cooley peninsula is a mountainous finger of land that extends 19 km from County Louth into the Irish Sea between Carlingford Lough and Dundalk Bay and the Annaloughan Loop is situated in the heart of the Cooley Peninsula.

This popular circuit is fully signed posted making it easy to navigate. It explores the lower slopes of Annaloughan Mountain and the trees of Rockmarshall Forest which is a mixture of deciduous and pine trees, with patches of bluebells and wood anemone in spring. You’ll be treated to views over Dundalk Bay and Slieve Foye too.

Because most of the loop is not exposed to the elements it can be done in all kinds of weathers meaning balmy spring days or rainy, windy days won’t affect this walk.  There is number of options with this loop dependent on how far you want to go and there are plenty of nice areas to stop and take a break should you need to.

The full loop is around 6km and takes roughly 1.5 hours which combnies a mixture of country roads, forest trails and mountain paths.

4.Killinthomas Woods, Co Kildare

Killinthomas Woods, Co Kildare.jpg

This beautiful deciduous woodland features one of the country's best carpets of bluebell and wild garlic during the spring making it a beautiful walk for this time of the year. Primrose and celandine can also be found beneath the leaves of the beech trees.

Depending upon how much time you have and who you are walking with choose from 10km of signed walking routes, all of which start and finish at the car par making it super easy.

There are options for both long and short outings, with the 'Camp Walk' and 'Bluebell Walk' both accessible to wheelchairs and buggies.

5.Derrybawn Woodland Trail, Glendalough, Co Wicklow

Derrybawn Woodland Trail, Glendalough, Co Wicklow.jpg

This gorgeous route explores Glendalough's beautiful oak woods, and is particularly nice to visit  in the spring when bluebells and other wildflowers light up the forest floor.

The walk is signed throughout and a great little detour would include visiting the 6th Century monastic city.

You’ll start with a steep climb up beside the Polanass Waterfall before turning left and gaining a high forest road. From here an easier climb brings you above the valley before dropping back down to the Green Road and return through majestic Oak forests to the car park, just perfect for a beautiful spring time walk.