Looking for a stress-free, no need for lifts at the other side kind of stroll? Then, you will love these looped walks.
Looped walks are the best walks for one reason only. They are minimum hassle. A looped walk means that you start and finish in the same spot. Therefore you can park the car, go for your wander and return without having to double back on yourself or get someone to collect you at the other end. We are big fans, so without further ado, here are some of the best-looped walks in Ireland.
1. The Coumshingaun Loop, Co Waterford
OS Map: 75
This loop around the beautiful Coumshingaun corrie lake and the surrounding mountains will make your jaw drop. It’ll take you about four hours. Park up at Kilclooney bridge and begin the gentle ascent up the mountain. Take in the steely blue of the lake and the beauty of the surrounding area. There is also some great rock climbing and ice climbing spots in the area.
2. The Lugnaquilla Mountain from Glenmalure Loop Walk, Co Wicklow
OS Map: 56
This is a bit of a strenuous one, taking in two peaks. But don’t let that deter you, the views are worth the strain! A six-hour walking route to the summit of the ever popular Lugnaquilla Mountain (925m) from Glenamalure and returning via Cloghernagh (800m). The views en route are pretty mindblowing, taking in the Wicklow Mountains, the Glen of Imaal, Glendalough and Glenmalure.
3. The Lough Avalla Farm Loop, Co Clare
OS Map: 51
This is the perfect walk to experience the beauty of the Burren National Park. The trail is easy but has a few challenging spots, so allow two to three hours to complete it. Meander through the classic Burren limestone pavement and note the fascinating geological features. At a height, you’ll be treated to views of Mullaghmore. Keep an eye out for the delightful details left my a local farmer along the way. A stash of handmade hazel walking sticks for visitors to use and drop back. Handmade hazel gates and stiles, and two glass mugs from a hazel tree to allow walkers to drink from the well. It’s rumoured to cure diabetes!
Check out our full review of the Lough Avalla Loop.
4. Benbulbin and Kings Mountain Loop Walk, Co Sligo
OS Map: 16
This loop will take you three to four hours. Climb to the plateau of Kings Mountain which is steeped in Irish mythology and thought to be Fionn mac Cumhaill’s table. Then on to the cliffs at Benbulbin Head (526m). Experience the home of Yeats in all its glory. No wonder he was inspired to write such brilliant prose, with views like this on his doorstep.
5. Old Head of Kinsale Loop Walk, Co Cork
OS Map: 87
This is a beautiful and easy walk, perfect for a winters afternoon. The Old Head is a stunning headline jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, so get excited for the panoramic views of the cliffs and ocean you will see throughout the walk. Look out for the Old Head Lighthouse built in the 17th century and the remains of the Lusitania passenger ship, which was torpedoed by a German U-Boat during WW2.
6. Cronin’s Yard Loop, Co Kerry
Distance: Beaufort – 12km, Killarney – 22km
OS Map: 78
The Cronin’s Yard Loop will take you across sandy paths and up through mountain tracks. Starting from the trailhead at the exit from Cronin’s Yard, just follow the purple arrow. You’ll walk along the Caol River, the Gaddach River and Lough Callee. Cronin’s Yard is the gateway to the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. Plus, you can get your packed lunch before you head off and a hot shower afterwards.
7. Errigal Mountain and Mackoght Loop Trail, Co Donegal
OS Map: 1
This 3.5hrs hike is considered to be a moderate to strenuous trail and is known for its’ iconic peak at the top of Errigal Mountain. You’ll experience a tough but brilliant 751m climb to the summit of Donegal’s highest mountain, with views over nearby Dunlewy Lough and Glenveagh National Park.
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