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The 9 best hikes and walks in Ireland’s Ancient East
Hikers exploring the beautiful Wicklow Way in Ireland's Ancient East.
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Get ready for epic landscapes and experience rich history on a hike in Ireland's Ancient East. Lace up your boots and climb to stunning lookouts over Carlingford, pack your rucksack for a multiday walk through the mystical Wicklow Mountains National Park and enjoy a family friendly day out on the Waterford Greenway.

Here's the best hiking trails and walking routes in Ireland's Ancient East.

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South Leinster Way is a long distance walking route which runs from Kildavin, County Carlow to Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary covering 102 kilometres (64 miles) in length and ascending some 1600 metres.

Situated close to the geographical centre of Ireland, the Slieve Bloom region links counties Laois and Offaly and is made up of forests, blanket bog of a type unique to Ireland and hidden valleys which will be of interest to lovers of nature.

Ideal for the experienced walker, the Wicklow Way was Ireland’s very first waymarked trail and remains as popular as ever. This linear route unfolds over 129km, connecting Dublin’s leafy suburbs with the raw beauty of counties Wicklow and Carlow.

Follow the River Barrow’s historic towpath on a pictorial 120km trail through counties Kildare, Laois and Carlow. Ideal for all level of walker, heritage sites and riverside scenery abound on this linear route.

Barrow Way
Barrow Way

Experience the epic Waterford Greenway, a walking and cycling off-road trail. The spectacular 46km route runs from Waterford City to Dungarvan along an old railway line.

Enjoy a moderate leg of the pastoral Nore Valley Walk on this 11km trail connecting Kilkenny City to the village of Bennettsbridge. Riversides and rural scenery treat you at every turn in this corner of Ireland’s Ancient East.

Walk among the pastoral Nore Valley landscape on this charming 11km trail in County Kilkenny. Connecting Inistioge to Thomastown, you’ll enjoy the valley’s abundance of natural beauty.

The East Munster Way is a 70km linear walking route of considerable variety, from riverside paths to woodland and from open mountain moorland to quiet country roads. It is part of the European E8 route.

Get off the beaten track and discover one of the best-kept secrets in Louth on the Táin Way. This long-distance circular route around the county’s highest peak will bring you through a landscape brimming with myths, legends, and unmatched scenery to really let your imagination run wild.

Start planning your hike now

See lakes sparkling in the sunlight, climb to mighty mountain peaks and soak up the serenity of the countryside. Plan your next hiking holiday and make sure you read Mountaineering Ireland's top tips before you go. There's so much to do in this region, so check out our Ireland's Ancient East page and plan your next holiday.

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