Set out from the pretty waterside town of Carlingford to take on the Táin Way, 40km of quiet roads, forest and mountain paths that form a loop around the scenic, mountain-dotted Cooley peninsula. This well-marked, popular route is ideal for hikers of average fitness looking for a fulfilling walking challenge that can be enjoyed over a weekend or short break.
With some seriously great scenery to revel in - from woodlands and open mountainsides to unspoilt shorelines - this route is a must-do in Ireland’s Ancient East.
With a total aggregate ascent of 1000m or so, the Táin Way poses a modest test of endurance, but rewards those who take it on in spades with panoramic views from lookout points over Carlingford Lough, the Mournes, Dundalk Bay, and even the east coast of Ireland looking south.
- The Táin Way is often walked as a detour along the Ulster Way.
- Customise your journey with the option of two alternative trailheads for the route: set off from Omeath via Clermont Bridge or from Ravensdale, where you can park at Lumpers Pub. Both will end in Carlingford.
- The Cooley peninsula is famous for being the site of the mythical Cattle Raid of Cooley, where Queen Meabh of Connacht battled the warrior Cú Chulainn over the enormous Brown Bull of Cooley.
- Rich history abounds in this region; along the trail you’ll pass passage graves, portal tombs, and more.
- The start and endpoint of the trail, Carlingford, is known for its history too; King John’s castle was built here in the 13th century.
- Overnight accommodation options are plentiful, making planning your walk a breeze.