Get the most out of your walking activities by taking on our year-long list of twelve themed walking initiatives.
It is not uncommon for individual walkers to find themselves drawn to one particular type of setting every time they go out for a walk. For some, that setting will be the mountains. For others, their preference might be beaches, parkland or woodland. But why be a specialist walker when Ireland offers so much stunning variety?
To help walkers get the most out of their walking year, we have designed a series of twelve themed initiatives – one for each month – as a continuous year-long source of inspiration and guidance.
We are not asking walkers to turn their backs on their chosen “specialisms”. Quite the opposite. We are merely suggesting that they sample the other aspects of walking that they might otherwise be missing out on.
Find out more about our monthly themes in the sections below. We hope you’ll give them all a try.
January Beach Walks
At first glance, January might seem like a strange time of year to celebrate Ireland’s beaches. But, why not kick-start your walking year on the beach? The smell of the sea air. The sound of the crashing surf. A chilling breeze to blow away the cobwebs. You could even enhance the experience all the more by going into the sea for a refreshing paddle. If you’re new to recreational walking, these lowest-lying areas of Ireland are the perfect place to start. Get yourself wrapped up, and head down to the beach.
February Group Walks
Group walking is one of the best ways to socialise while exercising. For people who want to get / keep fit AND make friends at the same time, it is the perfect activity choice. Try out a local walking club in February. Many clubs allow non-members to sample one or two walks for free to help them decide whether or not to join. Alternatively, you could set up your own informal walking group through work, community, church, etc. If venturing into the uplands, we strongly recommend that informal walking groups have at least one experienced hill walker and first aider.
March First Walks
Being the first month of Spring, March is often regarded as the start of the walking season proper in Ireland. With the Winter months in the past and the days getting longer, let’s make March the month for walking “firsts”. Whether you’re a novice on your very first walking adventure in Ireland or an experienced mountaineer revisiting your first-ever Irish summit, celebrate a personal first with us in March.
April Favourite Walks
Every walker has their own personal favourite walking route in Ireland. Whether yours is in the uplands, lowlands, or along the coast, take yourself back to that special place in April. Don’t keep it a secret! Bring a friend with you who has never walked it before. Maybe it will become their new favourite walk too.
May Parkland Walks
As Spring draws to a close, parklands all over Ireland have completed their post-Winter transformation and are getting ready for Summer. With the leaves back on the trees and plenty of flowers in bloom, May is an ideal time to visit public parks, gardens and estates. Keep an eye out too for bluebell displays in woodland areas.
June Upland Walks
Hillwalking and mountaineering have become very popular outdoor leisure activities in recent years. For many experienced walkers, a walk in the uplands is often an all-day expedition. To maximise upland walking opportunities and minimise safety risks, we have chosen to celebrate Ireland’s hills and mountains in June – the month with the longest days.
You may also be interested in being part of Ireland High Points Week, a Highpointeering initiative which is closely linked to our June Upland Walks theme. Ireland High Points Week takes place every June on the seven longest days of the year.
July Island Walks
Have you ever been to any of Ireland’s offshore islands? Each of these little pieces of paradise are like a whole other world. Some are very popular tourist destinations where hundreds of visitors arrive by ferry each day during summer months. Sounds busy, but it is easy to loose the crowds when you get there. We recommend July for visiting islands because ferry crossing are more reliable and more facilities are available there during summer months.
August Way Walks
Ireland has an extensive network of “Ways”. These long distance walking trails are well signposted and pass through some of Ireland’s most scenic countryside. As well as the traditional walking Ways, there is also a growing network of greenways in Ireland. Greenways are smooth-surfaced routes designed and built to be used exclusively by pedestrians, cyclists, families and wheelchair users. Sample one of Ireland’s Ways in August.
September Water Walks
Whether it’s the sea, a lake, river, canal or reservoir, there is something particularly relaxing about walking beside water. All over Ireland, many of these geographical features have walking trails running alongside. Take yourself for a waterside stroll in September.
October Woodland Walks
Depending on how the weather has been behaving, October is generally the best month to enjoy the fullest colours of autumn in our woodlands. Witness these spectacular colours by taking a stroll through Ireland’s woodlands during the month of October.
November Trig Walks
Trig pillars can be found on hundreds of hill tops and mountain summits all over Ireland. These concrete landmarks are part of Ireland’s map-making heritage. They form the invisible all-Ireland network of triangles on which the earliest detailed maps were based. Trig pillars were constructed at elevated positions offering unobstructed sightlines to other trig pillars. This makes them great places for long, wide views of Ireland, especially in November when it’s not too hazy and not too cold.
December Family Walks
Christmas is a special time of year in Ireland when families meet up to spend some quality time together. Now that the festive feeling of Christmas seems to last the whole of December, let’s celebrate it as the month when families get together for a seasonal stroll.