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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 5 April, 2020

15 gorgeous places to visit around Ireland this autumn

Nothing better than a nature walk.

AUTUMN IS THE best.

It’s not too Baltic just yet, so you can enjoy brisk, crisp evenings with the sun setting low as you head home from work. It’s nearing hat and scarf season – and more importantly, it’s hot toddie by an open fireside season.

In order to capitalise on this wonderful but all too brief time of year, we’ve chosen some of the most leafy, beautiful nature walks around Ireland to enjoy the great outdoors as the colours change.

Do let us know your favourite in the comments too!

1. Coole Park, Galway

In the forest deep Source: Liamfm .

Coole Park in Galway, just near the limestone region to the west of Gort, is smack in the heart of a rare wetlands system – including underground rivers, turloughs, springs and swallow holes. And it’s pretty damn beautiful to boot, of course.

2. The Furry Glen, Dublin

Furry Glen, Phoenix Park Source: Rob Hurson

Day trips up to Dublin don’t have to be about shopping and nights out – there are also scenic spots for a ramble just outside the capital, and the Furry Glen in the Phoenix Park a great example.

3. Cong, Mayo

2011-10-04 Irlanda 347 Cong Source: Luiyo

Tucked away in what has been dubbed Ireland’s Lake District, Cong is a great spot not only for nature rambles but also fishing and taking in the sights. Check out Ashford Castle as well, a lakeside residence built by the Guinness family.

4. St Catherine’s Park, Dublin/Kildare

An Autumn Evening in St. Catherine's Park Source: bbusschots

A lovely walk along the lesser-seen side of the Liffey down in Lucan Demesne. Two hundred acres of woodland and grass lands with the aforementioned river running right through it.

5. Slieve Bloom, Laois/Offaly

Untitled Source: Eoin McNamee

The hills of Slieve Bloom are the perfect spot to take in the leaves changing colour, no matter which of the various hill walks and trails you pick. (And on a clear day, you can see all four provinces of Ireland from the peak of the hills. So now.)

6. Deer Park, Sligo

Ireland - County Sligo Source: yakshini

Sligo is a beautiful place, all told, and there’s a wealth of walks to discover – if you want to see forests, lakes, waterfalls and coastal views, this is the spot for you. Since it’s autumn we’re enjoying at the moment, we’ve gone with a forest walk so you can take in the change of the seasons.

7. Ballincollig Regional Park, Cork

Ballincollig Regional Park Source: davidbrookes

A walk with a bit of a pep in its step – this site was where gun powder was once manufactured back in the 18th century. Check out the now-defunct mills complex where it was made and take in woodland. There’s also a skatepark if you felt like taking up a new sport…

8. Raven Point Nature Reserve, Wexford

Raven Point Source: Connor Walsh

A favourite with lots of native Wexford folk, this walk runs parallel to Curracloe beach. There’s a pine forest too – just imagine the lovely scent as you ramble about. Good for strollers and families with kids in tow. Lovely stuff.

9. Blackrock Castle, Cork

DSCN0876 Source: K.ristof

Also popular with runners, this 8km route between Blackrock Castle and Mahon has nice, scenic views out onto the harbour and river. Stick by the river and loop around.

10. Mullaghmeen Forest, Westmeath

beachwood Source: Pretty/Ugly Design

The largest planted beech forest in Ireland right here. See if you can spot the Sitka spruce, the Scots pine and noble fir along the various trails across the forest. Lots of historical interest too, including relic walls of famine fields along the White Trail.

11. Bray Head Cliff Walk, Wicklow

Bray Head in the distance Source: Bods

Stroll along this stunning coastal path that connects Bray and Greystones. Both places have lots of lovely restaurants and cafés to kick back in and rest your weary bones, so you won’t go without a cup of tea. And sure wouldn’t you deserve one after all that walking?

12. Bolus Head, Kerry

Kerry Walk Source: TheLizardQueen

Stick on your hiking boots and head down to the Kingdom. There are so many lovely walks in Kerry, but this one at Bolus Head is particularly scenic. There’s really nowhere quite like the vistas down in Kerry anywhere else on the planet.

13.  Dunmore East Coastal Walk, Waterford

Portally Cove, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford Source: l0st-imochroi

If you’re into the niche hobby of geo-caching, then this coastal/cliff walk may be for you – it has three along the way. It’s an hour round walk, or just half an hour if you’re heading one way.

14. Tibradden Wood, Dublin

Cruagh Road, Dublin Source: Rob Hurson

This photo was taken just at the far side from Tibradden, at the entrance of Cruagh Wood. As you can see, it’s fairly magical – like something from a fairytale picture book, but real, and a hop, skip and jump outside Dublin.

15. Adare Village Riverbank Walk, Limerick

Adare Manor 5 Source: Gatsby's List

Situated on the Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon, there’s plenty of history to take in on this Limerick ramble. The easy terrain for this one means it’s ideal for beginners.

Have we missed your favourite? We know there are so many more out there – share the wealth in the comments section. Happy rambling.

Check out Iarnród Éireann’s Autumn Seat Sale – now is the time to snap up a great deal and head off into the countryside. Fares have been slashed across all routes – relax and make time for yourself by travelling in comfort with Iarnród Éireann.

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