Night walking might sound a bit like something you would do on Halloween to give yourself the jitters, but actually if you haven’t been night walking before you are really missing out.
There is something really different and special about hitting the road in the darkness, whilst everyone else is asleep and you are out having an adventure.
Even walking paths that you know well can seem different in the day, you notice different things, hear different sounds and see different wildlife.
There are some wonderful night walks in Ireland and we’ve picked our fave’s below.
Full Moon Walk, Wicklow
This full moon walk takes places on the Carrickgollogan Hill, County Dublin, which is 276 metres high and rises above the village of Shankill on the eastern edge of the Dublin Mountains.
The walk will take you through lovely wooded trails with fantastic 360 degree night views across the eastern coastline of Dublin and Wicklow.
The track is very good ,making it easy to walk in the darkness.
As mentioned above this route is best done during a full moon when the night sky is at its brightest because you can see the incredible views from the top of the hill.
Walk The Line, Dublin
Walk the Line is a fundraising event for the Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team. There are two challenging courses to choose from that run across the Dublin Mountains. Both routes begin in the afternoon and run until the night. You can choose from either a 10km or a 20km loop depending on how much you feel like challenging yourself.
If you’d like a guide then by a member of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team will be on hand, or you can opt to self-navigate for those more experienced walkers.
Hill Top Treks, Full Moon Walks
Hilltop Treks give you the opportunity to encounter the gorgeous setting of Glendalough, Luggala, Djouce and more, lit only by head torches and the moonlight.This is a magical experience and is an altogether different one than walking in the daylight. Each walk will take approximately 2-3 hours and will be suitable for most levels of ability.
All walking guides are fully qualified and will also provide you with historical information during the walks as well as information about nighttime navigation, so you’ll have no need to worry, you’ll be in safe hands.
Terra Firma Night Hikes
Terra Firma Ireland offers many different options to explore County Mayo under the night sky. These beautiful moonlight hikes take you to the remote WIld Nephin Wilderness where you can witness the silhouettes of the Nephin mountain range in the distance while you hike along the Bangor Trail and the Letterkeen Loop. This particular route is guided and will take approximately 3-4 hours.
Another option is The Magic, Myth, and Moonlight Hike which departs from Newport, Co Mayo and heads for the heritage site of Burrishoole Abbey.
This walk begins with some moon-gazing before following the north star towards Letterkeen while the guides share stories as they carry only candles.
Taking around 2-3 hours you will traverse different short walks through the forest and woodland trails.
The final hike is the Terra Firma’s Dark Sky Stargazing Safari which brings you along the Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park. If you are interested in star gazing then this is the one for you as you will spend the evening looking up at the stars and hearing mythological legends about the night sky and the constellations. This walk will take around 2-3 hours.
Dublin By Night
Ok, so we did say that night walks weren’t all about Halloween and scaring ourselves silly, but if you do fancy a more atmospheric experience then the folks at Hidden Dublin Walks run a series of spooky walking tours in and around the city.
The Northside Ghost Walk takes you to Oxmantown; the former Viking enclave that’s positively steeped in history, while you’re in for a real scare on the Hellfire Club tour - a three-hour excursion to a part of the Dublin Mountains associated with the occult.