Where there are horses, there is countryside, and where there is countryside, there are walks! Lots of lovely walks and trails.

Kildare is not only home to the Curragh and the Irish National Stud Farm, it is also home to some fabulous walking routes for you to go explore. Here are five of our favourite walks in Kildare.

1. Donadea Forest Park

Distance: 1.6–6km

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As a National Heritage Area, there are plenty of interesting sights to see in Donadea Forest Park, including the remains of the castle and walled gardens, an ice house and boat house. There is also a small lake filled with water lilies that looks spectacular in the summer. To top it all off, there is a quaint little cafe and, of course, three lovely walks.

For a short 30-minute stroll, why not check out the Lake Walk. As the name suggests, you’ll be lakeside! The slightly longer 1.6km Nature Trail winds its way through some of the impressive architecture of the estate. And finally, the Aylmer Walk is a 6km Slí na Slainte trail which takes you all around the park. For something different, there are also three permanent orienteering courses in the park.

More info: Coillte

2. The Grand Canal Way

Distance: 117km

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This historic canal was opened all the way back in 1801, and it remains just as an idyllic as it was back then. Starting from Lucan Bridge, Co Dublin, the Grand Canal Way follows pleasant grassy towpaths and tarmac canal-side roads all the way to Shannon Harbour.

Experience the flora and fauna dotted along its banks, the lovely locks and stunning, old lock-keepers cottages. The route can easily be split into sections, so if you’re in Kildare, check out the section which runs for about 40km. But also, if you feel like giving the whole route a shot, the many towns and villages on the route provide walkers with accommodation and public transport options.

More info: Irish Trails

Things to Do in Kildare: The Complete Guide for Adventure Lovers

3. Royal Canal Way

Distance: 146km

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Another very similar route to rival this is the Royal Canal. In fact, it was built to compete with the Grand Canal and runs almost parallel to it in parts. Now restored, it makes for an idyllic walk, running from Ashtown, Co Dublin all the way to the Shannon. Again, it can be easily split into sections where you can return to your starting point by public transport. The surrounding area features Kildare’s countryside at its very best, along with some worthy points of interest to entertain the eyes, like the impressive Ryewater Aquaduct.

More info: Irish Trails

4. Athy Slí

Distance: 2.6km

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For a beautiful and easy river walk, consider the 2.6km Athy Slí. The 30-minute walk begins at the courthouse by the River Barrow. Amble along the lovely Barrow Path, under the Horse Bridge and Railway Bridge, and along the Canal path for a nice little stretch of the legs.

More info: Kildare Heritage

5. Killinthomas Woods

Distance: 10km of trails

Just one mile outside of Rathangan village is the truly beautiful and relatively undiscovered area of Co Kildare. Killinthomas Wood has 10km of signposted walks in the wood. It is particularly special in springtime when the bluebells are in bloom. There are options for both short and long walks all starting from and finishing the car park.

More info: Into Kildare

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By Orla O'Muiri

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