Wednesday, March 18, 2020

5 Family Friendly Hikes in Ireland ♥

If, like us, you're a family of outdoor lovers and are looking for some beautiful places to go hiking in Ireland with the kids, then this list is for you.

Ireland is a place full of beautiful landscapes, amazing history and things to see at every corner, so hiking with the kids is a great way to take in the beautiful country and get out and about with the kids too.

All of these hikes are child-friendly, take less than 2 hours to complete and are perfect for families to enjoy together. Once the weather gets warmer and things go back to normal I'll be putting on my women's lightweight hiking boots once again and enjoying these amazing hikes with my boys once again.

Carrauntoohil, Co. Kerry
Carrauntoohil is Ireland's highest peak and it's absolutely breathtaking. If the weather is in your favour, take the path to the top to see the amazing views of the valleys and lakes below - a photography loving family's dream! The hike is accessible for kids, although younger children (4 and under), might need to be carried in parts or carried in a baby carrier.

If the weather isn't in your favourite during your visit, you could always take the Cronin's Yard Loop (which might be a bit muddy!) to take in the beautiful green landscape, roaming sheep and purple heather growing wildly. It's such a beautiful hike to experience and one that kids of all ages are sure to love.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
This is such a stunning spot. Nestled in one of my favourite counties, Clare, this hike is a real gem. Usually, you have to pay to access the Cliffs of Moher, which is a bit scandalous in my opinion, but if you hike from the beautiful and very charming town of Doolin and follow the trail, you'll approach the Cliffs from the coastline to the north and they're free to see.

Once you get to the Cliffs, enjoy them, but make sure to have your children with you at all times. I saw people with children crossing the rope to get to the actual cliff side and my heart was in my mouth! Don't cross ropes and stay to the safe paths for a beautiful and enjoyable hike to one of Ireland's most famous landmarks.

Ballycotton Cliff Walk, Co. Cork
This is such a beautiful spot, especially in the summer months when the cliff side is dotted with daisies and wildflowers, all with the lovely lighthouse in the background.

Before heading off on the cliff walk you can access the stone steps amongst the rocks down to the water - my then 6 year old loved this! The walk is about 7km in total and good hiking/walking shoes are recommended for everyone enjoying this walk.

Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
Another one of Ireland's most famous landmarks, Glendalough is such a picturesque hike and is perfect for all ages. Again, this spot is a photography loving family's dream as the landscape is absolutely amazing.

There's lots to see on this hike too, from monastic ruins, the beautiful lake, green areas and the 'miners village', you and the kids certainly won't be bored hiking here. They may even spot some animal friends along the way too.

Knocknarea, Co. Sligo
This is a fab hike for all ages, although children under three may need to be carried or in a baby carrier. This hike is full of history too as this striking limestone hill is believed to be the burial place of Queen Maebh of Connacht. Her cairn is located on the summit and although it has never been excavated, it is believe to be her burial place and is the largest cairn in Ireland, outside of the Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) sites in Co. Meath.

The view from the hill overlooks, from various aspects, the resort town of Strandhill and Ballysadare bay, plus lots of green fields below and is absolutely beautiful! This is a great hike for teaching kids a bit about Irish history and folklore.

These are just a handful of the beautiful family-friendly hikes that Ireland has to offer, but these places are a great place to start. I will be making more hike lists and giving new recommendations when we visit new areas.

Have you hiked as a family in any of these amazing places in Ireland?

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