Tips for Hiking in Ireland

The Derry Walls, Northern Ireland

Below we have tried to summarise our tips for hiking in Ireland as we want to make sure you get the most of our walking holiday with us.

Tips for Hiking in Ireland

Hiking is a great way of exploring the wonderful scenic views and building up your fitness. There is no better way to reinvigorate yourself, awaken your senses, and discover the beauty of this lovely island that is Ireland than by hiking through its amazing hidden corners. It is pure nourishment for the mind and body.

There are numerous excellent hiking and walking tours, both guided or self-guided, to enjoy in Ireland. Some include Kerry Way, Wicklow Way, Antrim Glens and Coastline, Dingle Peninsula, and the Cooley and Mourne Mountains, to name a few. Always be prepared for any hiking tour so here are some beneficial tips for hiking in Ireland, making your trip safer, easier, and more enjoyable.

Plan your Route

 It is necessary to be realistic about your fitness levels when planning what route you choose to go on. If you don’t have navigation skills, choose a hiking route or tour that is marked or signposted for you along the way.

A good choice would be a looped walk this way you won’t have to double back over the same track. Whether you are on your own or in a group, always have a map with you and know your landmarks.

Appropriate backpack

Purchase a large backpack that is big enough to carry all your essential items. It should have convenient pockets and storage compartments which are easily accessible while walking. Make sure it is a good quality bag.

Sliabh League, Donegal Hiking Experience, Tips for Hiking in Ireland

Let someone know where you are going

Always let a family member or a friend know where you are going and what time you are expected back if you find yourself in trouble while out hiking, at least they will be to track down you down at any stage of your tour.

Keep Hydrated

No matter what weather rain, hail, sleet, or snow, you will always need to have plenty of water with you to keep hydrated. Always carry at least 1 litre of water depending on how far you are walking. Carry at least 1.5 litres for a hike of over 4 hours long. If you are hiking up a mountain, you can always top up your bottles; the higher mountain water stream would be the cleanest option.

The right footwear is crucial


Long-distance or even short distance hikes it is important to have the right footwear, comfort is the key. Purchase the lightest pair of waterproof hiking boots with plenty of ankle support. Buy a pair that is at least half a size bigger than normal this will give you plenty of extra room to wear nice and thick socks inside the boots. Always break in your boots at home.

Clothing Check

Having the right clothing on is important for going hiking or walking. It is Ireland so you could expect some rainfall along the way. You will need the following: 

  • Waterproof gear (pants, socks, waterproof jacket)
  • Dress in layers (long sleeve tops, vests)
  • Warm clothing (fleece, hoodie, hat, gloves)

Think light, breathable, and quick-dry fabrics but warm layers in case it is cold. Always carry a waterproof jacket and pants in case of rain. If you are hiking in the colder months, always carry a hat and gloves to stay warm while you are active.

Bring plenty of Food

There will be a lot of calories burnt while out on your hike. Hence, it would be best to carry plenty of energy-rich foods like nuts, fruit, granola bars, and even some chocolate. This way, you will maintain your energy levels while enjoying the wonderful scenic views. 

Always carry a first aid kit

One of the most important tips for hiking in Ireland; It is always a good idea to carry a first aid kit while out hiking. It should have all the essentials you would need inside it, including plasters, bandages, medical cold pack, antiseptic wipes, tape, and scissors. These are convenient items in case an accident may occur while out hiking.

Other essential items

  • Spare clothing (socks, pants)
  • Trekking poles
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Extra food and water
How to use a compass on the trail, Hiking Tips
Tips for Hiking in Ireland 5

Carry a map and a compass

 A map and a compass are two navigation components that you would need while on your hiking tour. Not only do they tell you where you are but how far to go. A map produced by ordnance survey Irelandshows all the different routes such as the Wicklow Way and the topographical features such as lakes, rivers, and mountain peaks. 

Carry emergency gear  

Always carry a torch, whistle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and spare batteries while out on tour. A whistle is a very effective item if you got lost while hiking in the case of an emergency. Wrap it around your neck or keep it in your backpack.

These are our tips for hiking in Ireland, what are yours?

Author: Walking Holiday Ireland

Cliff Waijenberg is a passionate hiker, nature enthusiast, and the proud founder and owner of Walking Holiday Ireland. Cliff has always been captivated by the Emerald Isle's breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural history. His love for the outdoors and genuine desire to share Ireland's hidden gems with travellers worldwide led him to establish Walking Holiday Ireland.

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