Great Family-Friendly Hikes In Ireland
Sitting on a hill overlooking a valley makes for one of the best experiences during family-friendly hikes in Ireland.
People have been walking and exploring for thousands of years. It is in our nature to go and see what lies beyond the horizon, and this instinctive urge has changed very little over the centuries. Today, many people go hiking to escape the chaos of urban cities and reconnect with nature. It is not only great for your physical health but also your mind.
Hiking is one of the best exercises and adventure opportunities you can have by yourself or with your family. It is also a fun and affordable way to explore and discover beautiful landscapes you’ve never visited before. There is so much one can see by hiking in Ireland.
Although small in landmass, Ireland offers a plethora of incredible vistas to see. With various hiking trails to choose from, you can select the difficulty of your hiking trips and adjust them to suit your or your child’s abilities. Let’s discuss some of the best family-friendly hikes in Ireland.
Diamond Hill, Connemara National Park
Moving to a new home is very difficult for adults and children. Knowing how to make moving easier for your kids can help them get accustomed to their new home much faster. If you just moved to Ireland and are looking to have fun after the process, hiking offers just that. It will let your children explore their new surroundings, be in nature, and have lots of fun. One of the best family-friendly hikes in Ireland you can experience can be found on Diamond Hill in the Connemara National Park.
Diamond Hill is a great way to unwind after a long move. The hill is about 440m above sea level and offers an incredible hiking experience for your family. It takes around 2 hours to reach the top, and the way to it consists of well-maintained mountain paths and gravel tracks.
There are three trails for you to choose from, all of which are difficult. The path to the summit begins at the Connemara National Park Visitor Centre, where you can also park your car.
Hikes are a great way for family bonding.
The Great Sugar Loaf
This hiking trail leads up to a mountain about 500 meters above sea level. However, being the only highly elevated terrain in proximity, you can get some fantastic views of the surrounding area once you reach the top. It is an excellent trail for children and is not very physically demanding.
The Great Sugar Loaf can be found 4km west of Wicklow county. It is visited by many families with small children. The hiking trail is well-defined and easily accessible from the car parking lot. You can reach the top in about an hour, depending on your fitness level and speed.
Reaching the very top will require using a bit of both your hands and feet, which can turn into a very fun challenge for your children. Make sure to bring a jacket as it gets quite windy at the top!
Mount Brandon, Dingle Peninsula
As one of the highest mountains in Ireland, Brandon offers an incredible hiking adventure for you and your children. Although it takes a bit longer to reach the peak compared to the Great Sugar Loaf (about 3-4hours), the path to the summit is appropriate for self-guided tours and is family-friendly.
You can follow the pilgrim’s path all the way to the top, which is marked with checkpoints in the shape of a cross. The path itself is mostly grassy, with some boggy slopes. The weather on this mountain is quite shifty, and most often, you will have clouds looming above. Sunny weather at the summit doesn’t occur as often, so make sure to take a photo if you happen to get fortunate with the weather. The pictures will look incredible!
If you wish to learn something about the local history and have a fun hiking experience, Glendalough has both. Located just south of Dublin in the Wicklow Mountains, the valley nests an old monastic city that can be explored. There are several Spinc trails in this area, each with different difficulties to satisfy the needs of various kinds of hikers. They are all marked with different colours to separate them and have signs posted all the way through. The paths are quite well-maintained, too.
This is a very popular spot, and it can get a bit crowded and difficult to find an empty parking slot. Make sure to visit early to find a parking spot.