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There are so many fun outdoor events to get involved with this summer. Some all-day adventures and some family-friendly festivals! There is absolutely something for everyone. Here is our list of 24 of the best outdoor events to sign up for this summer.
Why not head down to the Bantry walking festival in Cork This walking festival takes in two scenic hikes over the course of the weekend both requiring a moderate level of hiking fitness. You will hike around the stunning Sheep’s Head Peninsula as well as the breathtaking views of the Gougane Valley and Lake. This festival also includes a boat trip out to one of West Cork’s islands, Whiddy. You can explore this island’s many historical sites and take in the views.
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Organised by the Dal Riada Climbing Club, and supported by Mountaineering Ireland, the 2022 Fairhead Climbing Meet is one of the most important events on the Irish rock climbing calendar. We are delighted to see it return. The weekend promises to be full of great climbing, talks from exciting guest speakers, and great craic. Places are limited as this is a camping event. Tickets for the full meet cover three nights of camping and entry to the talk on Saturday night.
Why not join on the annual group hike of the Killeshandra Camino through the beautiful lake-dotted landscapes of West Cavan? The route is a 36km ramble through quiet forests and picturesque waterways. Be sure that your camera is charged for this one!
the women’s rock festival, although sounding like a electric picnic alternative , is a women’s only rock climbing festival that will take place in the barn in county Clare on the weekend of the 15th of July. This is the first time Mountaineering Ireland is introducing a rock climbing event dedicated purely to women who climb. There is a technical workshop focused on the fear of falling and yoga classes to prepare both body and mind for the rock climbing challenges.
Paddlefest is the largest junior paddle event in Europe. The weekend at the tail end of summer sees all the juniors in the canoeing and kayaking clubs around Ireland descend on one location, giving them the opportunity to try out all of the main kayaking disciplines in a safe and friendly environment.
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The Vitamin Sea Festival is now in its second year! The goal of this free, family-friendly event is to highlight the best of Tramore most notably food and the outdoors! Now that sounds like something we can get behind! The program offers a range of activities such as tapas trails, sauna pop up, street feasts, treasure hunts, swimming, surfing, yoga classes, and guided walks. This would be a great event to have on the calendar to cure the post-summer blues!
Gaelforce West is one of Ireland’s most iconic adventure races and is deserving of a spot on our list of top adventure races to do in 2022. Based in the stunning landscape around Ireland’s only Fjord, Killary Fjord, this challenging course attracts seasoned racers as well as those seeking the coveted finisher’s medal.
This race has 6 unique stages, all presenting their own challenges! Information about each individual stage can be found on the event page. The race covers 60km and is split into; 24.5km of running, 35km of cycling, and a “short” 1km kayak on the beautiful Killary Fjord.
It is no surprise that Gaelforce Connemara is a favourite of the adventure racing community in Ireland. A “short” 32km blast around the Inagh Valley, Maamturk Mountains, and Ireland’s only fjord, Killary. This is one to put on the calendar. The race is a 3 stage, run (12.5km), cycle (19km), and kayak (1km) course that takes in sealed roads, forest tracks, bogland, and open water.
This is one of the original Gaelforce adventure races and is always a favourite.
This Olympic distance race takes place in Wicklow town. Wicklow triathlon club who always put on a spectacular event, they are also always on the hunt for new members. This is absolutely one for the calendar this year!
This unique triathlon weekend offers a multitude of different distances and combinations of the most popular Triathlon distances so you can fit it into your training. this is not a Competitive event making it an excellent way of tasting the distances involved in in Long course triathlon. it promises to be a great weekend of swimming cycling and running definitely want to consider for 2022!
The jailbreak triathlon is a novel triathlon Ireland national series race that consists of a swim from a former prison Island across to the world’s second-largest Harbour Cove before taking in a 40 km cycle and 10 km run along the beautiful Waterfront in Cove. before finishing up.in the middle of the town! so there will definitely be quite a buzz!
Hosted by Ballina athletic club the wild Atlantic ten-miler road race Takes in some incredible views of North Mayo. this is the fourth edition of the 10-mile road race and your entry includes an event t-shirt participation medal and according to their website an “abundance of refreshments!” which will no doubt be highly valued! probably one of Ireland’s most scenic 10-mile road races this is one for the calendar!
On the first weekend of September Ireland will host the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Clonmel, County Tipperary. There will be a great buzz around this race as some of the best mountain runners in the world descend on Clonmel to battle it out with the hopes of being crowned world champion! There is a weekend of racing to enjoy in Clonmel that weekend, including an “Open Race”. Even if you don’t take part, this one is worth being at!
Over the past two years that Ecotrail Wicklow has taken place it has established itself as a highlight of the Irish trail running calendar. There are 4 different distances to choose from, all of which take in some amazing trails around Wicklow. The 19km, 30km, 46km, and 80km all offer challenging but very runnable trails. This year, for the first time Ecotrail Wicklow has partnered with running brand Dynafit for this event. It is bound to be a great day.
Three is always better than one! The Gaelforce 10k Trilogy is made up of three amazing trail runs providing perfectly spaced goals to work towards and a way to push your running boundaries without ever losing interest. The computer 10K and break 10K have already taken place but there is still time to sign up for the Howth 10K! This is your ready-made fitness plan for the year ahead. Of course, you don’t have to do all three but if you do you will receive a very unique medal! All the races are both competitive and beginner-friendly. The races are also all very accessible from Dublin!
In aid of Croí, a Galway-based heart health charity, the Corrib Cycle Challenge offers 3 distances for participants. A beginner level 40km route, an intermediate 80km and an advanced 110km all take in some beautiful west of Ireland scenery. In addition to the challenge, this is for a great cause!
Ok, so you want to really test yourself? The Quiet Man 300km is not for the faint of heart. The Quiet Man 300 features the best scenery in the West of Ireland, featuring a large section of the Wild Atlantic Way. The route is not too hilly. “However, this far west, the weather can be severe. On a good day, it is an easy 300 – on a bad day it is a tough one!”
One of the most well-known and toughest sportives on the Irish cycling calendar is the Wicklow 200. An absolute right of passage for any Irish road cyclist. The event starts in Bray and takes in many of the most famous climbs in Wicklow before returning to Bray for a hot meal! There is always a great buzz around this event and is well worth doing. if you’re not up for the 200 km challenge there is a Wicklow 100 that happens on the same day!
The annual Three Peaks Challenge sportive covers some of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes in Ireland, with a choice of 100km and 75km routes. On June 18th two groups of cyclists will head off for a few hours of spectacular sights around Killarney, spot prizes, refueling stops and food for all cyclists on completion!
Looking for a unique cycling event this summer? Why not tackle a mountain bike AUDAX? The Mayo XTRM is a long-distance mountain bike challenge that takes in some of the stunning North Mayo countryside. If 200km on a mountain bike seems a bit much (we don’t blame you) there is also a 100km event on the same day!
Another great adventure event organised by Gaelforce! The Great Fjord Swim is a 3 distance openwater swimming challenge in Ireland’s only Fjord! You can tackle a 750m, 2km, or 3.9km (Ironman distance) swims! Open water swimming events in Ireland don’t get much better than this.
Run by the same people as Gaelforce West and the 10 km trilogy that we have featured already in this article Gaelforce presents an obstacle challenge beside the beautiful Killary fjord where you will negotiate an 8 km mud run and obstacle course challenge full of climbing, swinging, jumping in the Atlantic and all sorts of other mayhem! This is a super event to do with the group and is great craic!
Why not attend Ireland’s oldest festival? Located in Killorglin in the heart of County Kerry Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest and longest celebrated fairs. It offers 12 hours of free family entertainment! This is one of Ireland’s most unusual festivals and should be on your summer list!
Every year in the middle of August we celebrate all things heritage. An initiative by the Heritage Council, Heritage Week, brings together communities, families, organizations, cultural institutions, academics, and enthusiasts, to build awareness about the value of heritage and support its conservation! There are events, many of which are free, nationwide. The 2022 iteration of Heritage Week is focused on Sustainability and Biodiversity. Keep an eye out for events in your area!
No matter what you are into, there is an event out there for you this summer in Ireland. If you have any questions about any of the events, or your run an event you want us to shout out, be sure to connect with us on social media!
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By Matthew McConnell
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