We’ve just switched on the heating in the office — that means (although we’ve been vehemently in denial up until now) we are forced to admit that summer is well and truly over. Alas, chin up, it’s not yet winter, but autumn! And autumn means crisp, fresh evenings, colourful leaves and woolly hats. So, make the most of those evenings while we still have them and go for a stroll on one of these brilliant autumn walks.

1. Crone Woods – Maulin Mountain Loop

Distance: 6km

Ascent: 550m/350m


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On the south side of the beautiful Glencree Valley is Crone Woods. If you’ve yet to venture there, you’re in for a treat! The glaciated valley takes in some of the Wicklow Way. The best viewing point is without a doubt Ride Rock. The views overlooking Powerscourt Waterfall after the climb are simply breathtaking. The loop starts from the top of the car park, just follow the arrows on the red disc. It’s a tough but rewarding hike that will take roughly two to three hours. Warning, the car park closes at 4 p.m.

2. Slieve Bloom, Co Laois/Offaly

Distance: 7km


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This mountain range in the Midlands is home to a whole host of trails for you to explore. The routes are perfect for an autumn amble because of the great views and colourful forestry. One option is the Glenbarrow Looped Walks, where lies the source of the River Barrow. The Glenbarrow Waterfall Loop is one of three which starts and finishes at the Glenbarrow trailhead. Some of the highlights include the riverbank, the stunning waterfall and the natural woodland. The start point is the village of Rosenallis. From there, just follow the blue arrow.

More info: Irish Trails

3. Raven’s Point, Co Wexford

Distance: 6.8km


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Park up at the Raven Wood car park and explore the beautiful woodland walkway before emerging out onto the stunning white sandy beach. The fields to the west are the North Slob lands, home to many important species of birds. If you are doing this walk during the winter months, you might spot all the geese from the North Slob flying out to roost on sandbanks in Wexford Harbour. The beautiful blue flag beach at Curracloe is definitely the highlight of this beach walk. The walk will take about an hour and a half. It’s waymarked blue.

4. Moylussa, Co Clare


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Located a short drive from Killaloe at Two Mile Bridge, the trail leading to Moylussa, Clare’s highest peak, is relatively short (about two hours) and packs a punch when it comes to epic views. The walk starts at Ballycruggan Forest Park and follows the Crag Wood Walk and East Clare Way before breaking off to the right, onto a relatively new boardwalk that leads you to the summit. You won’t regret the effort as you take in the view of the surrounding counties and the entirety of Lough Derg.

50 of the best walks in Ireland

5. Dun a Ri Forest Park, Co Cavan

Distance: 1.5-2km


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Stretching across 565 acres, you’re sure to find some stunning trails and great views inside Dún na Rí Forest Park. On the banks of the River Cabra, it is said to be the spot that Cuchulain camped at night while defending Ulster against the armies of Maeve. There are four walks to choose, from ranging 1.5-2km in length. Make sure to check out the Ice House, Toba na Splinne Holy Well, Cromwell’s Bridge and the ruins of Fleming’s Castle.

6. The Flaggy Shore, Co Clare

Distance: 7km


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Now, this is the way to see the Burren, out of the car, immersed in the elements with the ocean on one side and the karst landscape on the other. This looped walk brings you from New Quay to Finavarra Point. The walk can be extended by walking out and back to the Martello Tower after passing around Lake Murree. Make sure to stop into Russell Gallery for some coffee and snacks.

7. Bushy Park, Co Dublin


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The perfect autumn walk for the whole family. Bushy Park in South Dublin covers over 20 hectares. There is an array of other activities on hand to entertain kids and adults alike. Make sure to check out the Native Tree Trail which is especially beautiful in Autumn.

8. Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland

Distance: 9km


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The Mountain Trail in Tollymore Forest Park is a stunning forest walk in Northern Ireland through forest plots and a beech woodland that runs alongside the Shimna River. Superb views of Luke’s mountain can be had as the trail reaches the boundary wall. To make your walk longer, add on the Drinn’s trail for a bit more of a challenge, which takes in the highest point in the Forest Park at 255m. The Curraghard viewpoint has a viewing spot to sit, catch your breath and feast your eyes on views of the Northern Mournes, Dundrum Bay, Newcastle and the Irish Sea.

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By Orla O'Muiri

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