Cooley Peninsula & Carlingford Walking Holidays
Hiking in Ireland’s Ancient East
Just one hour from Dublin & Belfast these walking holidays explores the Cooley Peninsula and the medieval town of Carlingford on the Ancient East coast of Ireland.
These short breaks are regularly combined with a city break to either Dublin or Belfast or a visit to Newgrange & the Boyne Valley.
The Cooley Peninsula & Carlingford
Less than an hour’s drive from Ireland’s two major cities, Dublin and Belfast, Carlingford Town on the Cooley Peninsula nestles between Slieve Foy, Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains. A unique blend of natural beauty, spectacular panoramas, myths and legends combine to make Carlingford an extraordinary place. It is Ireland’s most well preserved medieval town lending it a unique feel and atmosphere. (ask about our guided tours).
Oyster capital of Ireland
Carlingford is also the Oyster capital of the country and every August the Oyster Festival draws huge crowds into this beautiful village of white washed cottages and ancient clustered buildings.
Myths and Legends in Ireland’s Ancient East
‘An táin Bó Cuailigne’ the national epic of Ireland is centralised on the Cooley Peninsula. Here Cuchulainn, Queen Maebh and the famous Brown Bull of Cooley met their fate. Follow their route across Ireland to the Cooley mountains. This national waymarked way is known as the táin trail.
7-day Itinerary Cooley Peninsula and Carlingford Walking Holiday
Day 1 – Arrive in Ireland.
Arrive at your first accommodation in Dundalk / Blackrock in County Louth. We recommend flying into Dublin or Belfast airports. Overnight Blackrock / Dundalk.
Day 2 – Ravensdale – Lumpers (Cooley)
Private transfer to the start of the first walk in Ravensdale forest. A steep climb brings you to black mountain & Clairmont Cairn from where you have a fantastic view over the Slieve Gullion and Slieve Foye above Carlingford as well as the Mourne mountains to the Northeast. You will continue to the Lumpers Pub where you will be picked up for a transfer back to your B&B. Overnight Blackrock / Dundalk.
Walk: 12 km / 4 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads
Day 3 – Slieve Gullion
Private transfer just across the border to south Armagh for a fantastic circular walk on Slieve Gullion. Overnight Blackrock / Dundalk.
Walk: 10-14km / 4 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads.
Day 4 – Lumpers to Carlingford
Transfer to start of the hike at the Lumpers Pub. Today’s walk brings you across the Cooley Peninsula into the central valley before climbing over the crest of Barnavave and Maeve’s Gap to find Carlingford Village and Carlingford Lough at your feet. Overnight in Carlingford where your baggage awaits.
Walk: 16 km / 5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads.
Day 5 – Carlingford
From your B&B accommodation in Carlingford, we give you a variety of walking options to enjoy. These vary in Length and difficulty and all start and end in the historic medieval village with its many shops, restaurants and cosy pubs. Make sure to sample the famous Carlingford Oysters!
Walk: Various lengths and grades.
Day 6 – Carlingford
Another great day in Carlingford to explore the many walks and sights. Maybe rent a bike and take the Ferry to the Mourne Mountains across the water.
Walk: Various lengths and grades.
Day 7 – Carlingford
Departure from Carlingford
5/6 Day Program:
Day 1 Arrival in Dundalk / Blackrock.
Day 2 Walk from Ravensdale forest to the Lumpers on the Cooley Peninsula. Hike 12km.
Day 3 Walk from the Lumpers to Carlingford. Hike 16km.
Day 4 Various walk options from Carlingford. Hike: 8-16 km
Day 5/6 Depart from Carlingford.
Extra Day: 6 From Dundalk (Day 2) use the frequent bus and train links to visit Dublin and/or Belfast! Or
Stay an extra day in Carlingford and chose from the multipl hikes available from the village.
Everything was very well organised on our walking holiday and we loved our experience!
We’ll be back for sure!
I was there with my eldest son. We loved the beautiful hills and coast, the Irish people (very kind and helpful) en de B&B’s we visited were nice and clean. Our hostesses prepared us a delicious breakfast every morning: that gave us the energy for our daily hikes.
After our first night in Dundalk and a full Irish Breakfast, we did a lovely hike from Ravensdale forest to the Lumpers. After the 2nd night and another filling breakfast, we walked across the beautiful Cooley peninsula to the picturesque village of Carlingford on the coast where our bags were waiting in another superb B&B.
And a perfect place for a hike around. Also for fun and good food is taken care of. So we’ve taken one more day. In summary, a beautiful country, incredibly friendly and polite people and an excellent organisation.
As a couple we enjoyed a beautiful walking holiday this summer organised by Cliff Wayenberg of Walking Holiday Ireland. The six days of walking in Dundalk area, Carlingford and the Mourne Mountains were a good combination of different types of scenery, from easy walking to steep climbings. Walking distances each day a bit longer and a bit more difficult, giving it a nice challenge every day. B&B’s located in towns with lots to see and to do in the evening, and all with very enthousiastic hosts, willing to fulfill all wishes. We stayed two nights in each B&B, which gives good opportunity to learn more about a city and the B&B
In summary: Very well organized, well balanced and beautiful holiday!
For our walking holidays in the Cooley Peninsula we advise the following airport:
Main Airport: Dublin Airport
Blackrock & Dundalk lies about halfway on the motorway between Dublin and Belfast. From Dublin airport the car will take about 45 minutes and the bus about one hour.
Cooley & Mourne Mountains Self Guided Walking Holidays in Ireland
Start: Every Day
Season: 10 Jan – 20 Dec
Walk with Dogs: No
* Price per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.
We always recommend that you buy travel insurance!
|Price p.p.s*||Single Room:||Single Traveler|
|4 Days||€ 349.-||+ € 80.-||+ € 120.-|
|5 Days||€ 379.-||+ € 100.-||+ € 140.-|
|6 Days||€ 419.-||+ € 120.-||+ € 140.-|
|7 Days||€ 489.-||+ € 130.-||+ € 170.-|
|8 Days||€ 569.-||+ € 140.-||+ € 180.-|