In Ireland we are fortunate to have an abundance of wonderful circular or loop walks. Irish looped walks are way marked and well signposted. Our looped walks are listed below by county and feature a map of each walk.
They are located in and around the towns and villages of Ireland where you will be sure to find that special Walkers Welcome bed and breakfast that caters to the needs of walkers.
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Our loop walks can be found in locations all over Ireland and will suit most walking skill levels. B&B Ireland Walkers Welcome activity break packages incorporating looped walks can be booked online, simply use this website to find your ideal B&B, click the Book Now button and complete the easy steps to booking your perfect walking holiday in Ireland.
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This is a circular route beginning at Belfast Castle and following the green way marked arrows. Climb up the path on your left until you reach the first junction & turn right. Follow this path through the woodland, keeping to the left of any of the junctions you come to. This path leads up through the trees, climbing on to a plateau. Stop here to admire the fabulous views over the city and Belfast Lough. Continuing on, take the next path on your left. This skirts round the Devil’s Punchbowl, passes below the largest cave before veering to the right. Follow this path as it climbs steadily up the hill, pausing to take in the surroundings and views on the way. Continue climbing up the steps to a cattle grid and fence, at the top veer to the left and follow the grass path to the top of the hill and McArt’s Fort. Pause again to take in the magnificent views before joining the main path on its gradual descent down the south facing slopes of Cave Hill. Continue downhill taking the next lane on your left. This leads down past the top of Carr’s Glen and carries on for some distance before reaching the Upper Cavehill Road. Go down the footpath a short way and take the path to the left. Climb over the ridge and descend into Belfast Castle Estate. Return to the starting point by means of the footpath.
Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
The walk can be started at various points on the circuit and walked in either direction. Car parking is available at Dungonnel Dam, in Cargan village, and at the Drum Wood. A way marked route with clear signage at all junctions, the walker is guided smoothly around.
Time: 2.5 Hours
The trail starts and finishes in the car park adjacent to the Slieve Gullion Courtyard Centre in Slieve Gullion Forest Park. The path continues uphill through deciduous woodland for about 1km until arriving at a log bench opposite a Ring of Gullion Way marker post. There are magnificent views of the Ring of Gullion peaks of Croslieve, Slievebrack and Mullaghbane Mountain. Continue uphill and you will find panoramic views from the summit take in the Mourne Mountains, Carlingford Lough, The Cooley Peninsula, and the Armagh Drumlins and beyond.
Time: 2.5 Hours
Overlooking the Slieve Russell Mountain, the trail commences in Ballyconnell, located on the Shannon Erne Waterway, which is a canal that links the Shannon and Erne rivers. This loop explores the banks of the Woodford River and Annagh Lough Woods – woodland of oak, ash and beech trees and also a wildlife reserve, and comprises of riverbank paths, woodland tracks, and sandy roadways.
Starting Point: Ballyconnell
Time: 1hr 45 minutes
Killeshandra is set in the middle of unspoilt countryside, green fields, forests and dozens of lakes and rivers. The trail commences from the car park at the town lough & continues along the lake shore, onto a roadside path & into the forest.
Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
This route goes through some of the region’s most spectacular and varied scenery. The Way crosses the Slieve Bernagh Mountains before descending to the Clare Lakeland areas around Tulla and Feakle. Circling Lough Graney, the route then climbs again over the rugged boglands of the Slieve Aughty Mountain back towards Lough Derg. The Way returns through the hills towards Scarriff and on to complete its circuit back at Killaloe.
Starting and Finishing Point: Killaloe
Time: 8 days
This is a walking route around the centre of Co. Clare in the west of Ireland, with the county capital, the busy and picturesque town of Ennis, at its centre. The route touches on the Burren to the north and the broad Shannon Estuary to the south. Terrain on the route consists mainly of quiet tarmac side roads and farm roads with only brief sections on forestry tracks and through fields.
Starting and Finishing Point: Newmarket on Fergus
Time: 6 days
The Beara Peninsula is a long mountainous finger, shared by counties Kerry and Cork, stretching into the Atlantic Ocean. Quite remote, it has remained perhaps the most unspoilt part of the south west region, and like the peninsulas to the north, is a magical world of mountains and lakes surrounded by a picturesque seacoast. The route takes you through magnificently rugged mountain and seacoast scenery which frequently passes by rich evidence of a heavily populated prehistoric past in the form of standing stones and burial monuments. Terrain consists of mainly quiet tarmac roads, bog roads, cliff and woodland paths and open moorland, some sections of which can be quite rough and remote.
Starting Point: Glengarriff
This route begins in the town of Bantry in Co Cork and running out along the north coast of the peninsula to the scenic lighthouse at the very tip before returning along the south side, passing through the pretty villages of Kilcrohane, Ahakista and Durrus. The narrowness of the peninsula means that you are never far from the glorious Atlantic Ocean when you walk. The terrain is very varied, and includes old boreens, open grassy and heathery moorland, field paths, quiet country roads and some short stretches of woodland paths. There are also some shorter walks connected to the Sheep’s Head Way.
Starting Point: Bantry
Time: 4 days
This circular, relatively flat route is named after Errigal mountain (751m), which rises to the east and whose pyramidic, grey-streaked quartzite cone is a presence frequently visible along the route, even from the coastal stretches. It is a richly varied route through landscapes that represent the best in Donegal scenery, including a promenade through moorland just under Errigal, spectacular island-scattered Atlantic sea coast and stretches beside two beautiful lakes, Lough Nacung and Lough Dunlewy. The terrain consists of coastal paths (some rough), forestry tracks, bog roads and mainly quiet public roads.
The Slí Cholmcille is an 85 km route that connects the main towns and villages of the area, passing through spectacular unspoilt coastal and mountain landscape. It is one of the main sections of the 280km Slí Dhún na nGall that circles around the remote and rugged landscapes of south west Donegal. The coastline along the route is spectacular with many inlets, bays and cliffs together with stretches of sandy beaches providing beautiful coastal walks. The terrain is mainly made up of tarmac roads, open moorland and bog roads, through wonderful landscape. There are open moorland sections which can be very wet.
Starting and Finishing Point: Ardara
There are various routes available through the Park. A popular short walk (2.2 mile) demonstrates Castle Archdale Country Park ability to combine natural beauty with evidence of its role as a vital flying-boat station in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. From Castle Archdale Courtyard, follow the sign for the Woodland Walk down the hill to the caravan site where you’ll see a large green tank, one of a few surviving WWII structures, which once provided drinking water from Lough Erne to the camp. Follow the pedestrian path uphill past the walled garden. On your left is the area known as ‘Skunk Hollow’. Carry straight on past the mature oaks to a junction, once the security checkpoint marked by a memorial stone and a lime tree arch woven together by airmen on guard duty. Go right to the car park adjacent to the Lough shore then follow the first pedestrian path to the ‘Burma Road’, cut through dense forest to give access to bomb and ammunition stores. Continue on to a T junction, go right and up the steps back to the courtyard where you started.
Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
From the car park, follow the black route, as indicated by the way marked posts. The walk is along forest tracks and takes you on a steep climb up through a hillside forest. Continue until you join a gravel path which leads to Carrickreagh Viewpoint where a wooden hut provides shelter for a well earned rest and a great opportunity to take in the views. Stretching out below you is Lower Lough Erne, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Britain or Ireland. Heading downhill, weave your way back through the forest before returning to your starting point.
Time: 20 Minutes
The Suck Valley Way is a circular route that runs up the west side of the Suck from Mount Talbot to the outskirts of the town of Castlerea and returns, down the east side. The landscape consists of a mixture of river valley, bogs, callows, woods and unspoilt traditional farmland, and makes for a varied low-land walk. The terrain consists of a pleasant mix of cross-country paths through fields and woods, quiet side roads and there are a number of stretches along the banks of the river itself.
Starting Point: Castlerea
Time: 5 days
This is a circular route that circumnavigates the peninsula, and passing through fine Kerry towns such as Glenbeigh, Caherciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare. The landscape the route passes through is very varied, from the lakes of Killarney to high and remote mountain moorland: Terrain consists mainly of quiet tarmac roads, open moorland, woodland and field paths and boreens.
Starting and Finishing Point: Killarney
Time: 9 days
This loop takes walkers northeast to the entrance to Grange Crag Wood. Walkers progress up into the forest, & pass the very interesting ‘ice-house’ structure. Follow the path clockwise to a viewing point directly above the village. From here Kilcooly Abbey and the surrounding countryside as far as the Devils Bit Mountain in the west can be viewed. The path brings the walk to the end of the wood and back by a very pleasant road down into the village again. Where refreshments can be availed of! This loop one of two is a short and easy exploration of the lower slopes and forms part of a longer circular route (the Crag Loop) – both of which have been developed as part of the Trail Kilkenny Programme.
Time: 1.5 Hours
Jenkinstown wood was formerly part of an Estate. Thomas Moore wrote The Last Rose of Summer while staying at Jenkinstown House. The loop incorporates a picnic site, forest walks, deer park, lawn area. A small garden to commemorate Thomas Moore’s association with the house has been laid down on the site of the old house.
The Walled Garden is just a 10min drive from Kilkenny City; Jenkinstown Park was once part of a large estate. Today, the old house is long gone but remnants of 1870s parkland have survived, including rare Chinese Necklace Poplars. The facilities also include a picnic site, forest walks, deer park and a craft centre.
Starting Point: Jenkinstown Park
Time: 1.5 Hours
The Walled Garden
Starting Point: The Walled Garden
Time: 1 Hour
Follow the arrows which will direct you through the forest and along streams & follow the bank of the River Barrow. Continue to follow the well worn path upriver and past the superb 3-tiered Clamp Hole waterfall. Continue to follow the path upriver. Rejoin the bank of the River Barrow and follow it for more than 1km upstream. Follow the forestry road & proceed uphill until you reach another forestry road on your right. Directly opposite it (on your left) is an entrance onto a downhill path into woodland. Take this path and follow it downhill through a mix of coniferous forestry and natural woodland.
Starting and Finishing Point: Glenbarrow Car Park
Time: 2 – 2.5 Hours
Cullahill is a small village in County Laois. The village is surrounded by wonderful Irish countryside and nearby hills. The trail follows minor roadways, laneways, forestry tracks, and cross country.
Time: 3.5 Hours
Situated close to the geographical centre of Ireland, the Slieve Bloom region links the counties of Laois and Offaly and is made up of forests, blanket bog of a type which is unique to Ireland, and hidden valleys which will be of interest to lovers of archaeology and nature. There are a few rough and rugged sections – but they rarely rise to high altitude and do not demand great stamina. This loop is one of three which start and finish at the Glenbarrow trailhead – key features include a section of riverbank along the River Barrow, a spectacular 3-tiered waterfall, and natural woodland that in Spring is ablaze with bluebells.
Starting Point: Glenbarrow
Time: 1.5 – 2 Hours
Keeper Hill is 15km east of Limerick City and is the highest mountain in the Shannon area. The ‘hill’ is wrapped in a forestry area of 3,300 hectares – the 300 hectare summit is designated as a National Heritage Area – considered important for the habitats present or species of plants and animals whose habitat needs protection. This loop overlaps with a short section of the Slieve Felim Way. While the loop explores the lower shoulders of Keeper Hill, the ‘hardy’ walker will enjoy incorporating the ‘trek’ to the summit.
Starting from the Galtee Woods car park, follow the purple arrow downhill via forestry paths to cross the Funshion River. As the river marks the boundary between the counties of Limerick and Tipperary, you have now passed from one county into another! The loop now follows a forestry roads, along the east bank of the river with fine views up into the Galty Mountains opening up. The loop leaves the forest roads & follows defined paths to wonderful views of the Galty’s.
Starting Point: Galtee Woods Car Park
Time: 1.5 – 2 Hours
Choose between a 40 minute circular walk and 20 minute circular walk. In both cases, stout footwear is required and the walk grade in respect of both routes is easy or gentle. The longer walk will lead you to a viewpoint which offers wonderful views over L’Derry city and the hills of north Donegal. It also brings you past the disused quarry, which is gradually being reclaimed by trees. Whichever path you follow, you will be impressed by the tranquillity and beauty of this precious ancient woodland.
Distance: 1.6km or 4 km
Time: 20 or 40 Minutes
The main looped Carntogher Way coded red starts on a quiet minor road and quickly turns to gravel path which climbs the east side of Carntogher Mountain, leading in turn to a section of open grassy mountainside and heathery summit, before returning on gravel paths to the start point. This route has a shorter alternative coded blue called the Skelp trail. There is an alternative lower level route coded yellow, the Seefin Trail, which begins at the car park and follows a stream through the Pollan Bog with boardwalk in the wetter places, and around Seefin Hill before returning along the same stream to the car park.
Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Kissing-gates, wooden seats and several quaint stone bridges have been installed. Have a seat and admire the stunning views over the wider Faughan Valley with its native woodland and rolling farmland. On a clear day, feast your eyes upon County Tyrone’s Sperrin Mountains which rise up to greet you. Schoolchildren have made their mark by designing and creating special mosaic tiles. Each tile was handmade with tiny pieces of coloured pebbles, carefully pieced together to form the image of a woodland creature. Strategically placed, the tiles now form the basis of a much-loved nature trail. Leave Ervey Wood Car Park and follow the red waymarker arrows around Burntollet Wood, in a clockwise direction. You will pass by several viewpoints and information panels describing wildlife and wildflowers that can be found in the area. Pass through a kissing gate to bypass a private property, before re-entering the wood through another kissing gate. Continue to follow the path back to Ervey Wood Car Park.
Time: 20 Minutes
Follow the gravel roads to a bogland area following the purple arrows until you reach a T-junction from where the loop ‘proper’ begins. Turn right here. Continue to follow the purple arrows along the bog road for 500m to reach a green track on your left as the road turns right. Turn right and continue along for a further 500m to reach a T-junction with a surfaced road. Turn left, follow the road for 200m and turn left into the bog again. This section of the bog road is less travelled – and gravel soon becomes grass! Watch for sections where people still cut and stack turf. Continue following the purple signs to rejoin the surfaced road – turn right and enjoy the 200m back to the trailhead.
Time: 2 Hours
Follow the signs through forestry, grassy roadways & surfaced roadways, minor roads, laneways & hillside tracks and experience the wonderful views surrounding this loop.
Time: 2.5 – 3 Hours
The Cooley peninsula is a mountainous finger of land that extends 19 km from County Louth into the Irish Sea between Carlingford Lough and Dundalk Bay. Like all places off the beaten track, the Cooley has an aura of agelessness and has become a popular place to escape to, however briefly. The Táin Way is a circular route that loops around Carlingford Mountain and its western outliers. Terrain consists mainly of quiet roads, forestry tracks, and open mountain paths, and from the high points the views are spectacularly good, northwards across Carlingford Lough to the Mournes, and southwards down the east coast.
Starting and Finishing Point: Carlingford
Time: 2 days
Follow the coloured arrows along the road to a T-junction where you turn left. The green and blue arrows are for the shorter Commons Loop and Barnavave Loop. Entering the village ‘square’ turn right and ascend to the main junction where you proceed straight on to the right of Savages Victuallers. Continue to follow the red, green and blue arrows (and the yellow arrows which are for the long-distance Tain Way) as the loop takes you to the top of River Road. The green loop goes straight ahead here – but you turn right onto a sandy roadway. Continue following the directional arrows into the forest and out again, then follow the grassy roadway where you re-join the Tain Way and veer downhill. The loop now sweeps downhill and right and joins a surfaced roadway. Here you rejoin the Barnavave Loop and turn left and downhill. The loop takes you down to the Parish Church on the outskirts of the village, and then turns left and back to the village square.
Time: 3.5 – 4 Hours
Follow the marked arrows for the shorter Rinn Duin Castle Loop or continue along the sand roadway for the 4.5km route following sandy roadway to reach the old Town Wall. Pass through the gateway and follow the grassy roadway to reach another gateway at a stone wall. Turn right at the gate and follow the wall for 40m to reach a stile on your left – cross it and follow the blue (and green) arrows along a boundary stone wall on the shoreline of Carrownure Bay. After 300m you reach the ruins of Rinn Duin Church on your left. The green loop turns left here – but you continue straight ahead following the blue arrows. Follow the blue arrows as the loop heads into Rinn Duin Wood. Over the next 1km you follow woodland tracks around Warren Point – towards the end of the section watch for the ruins of an old windmill on your left. From the windmill the loop goes through a gateway, passes to the left of Rinn Duin Castle, and rejoins the green loop at a stone wall where you turn right. After 200m you reach Safe Harbour where the loop turns left and follows the outside of stone boundary walls along the shoreline of St John’s Bay. The loop crosses a number of stiles over the next 1km before turning left off the shoreline. Follow a boundary fence to reach a metal gate – pass through it and cross the field to another metal gate. Pass through this and follow the stone wall of the Walled Garden to reach the sand roadway at St Johns House. Turn right and enjoy the last 100m back to the trailhead.
Time: 2 Hours
The massive bulk of Benbulben was the focal point for primitive worship. Its seamed and fluted sides present a formidable sight and the incredible scenery from the summit is awe-inspiring. The grave of W. B. Yates, the poet, lies beneath the shadow of the mountain at Drumcliff. This panoramic trail takes you along the northern flank of the iconic flat topped Benbulben mountain. You can see Sligo and Donegal bay and the monastic Inish Murray Island to the west.
Time: 1.5 Hours
The walk starts from the main car park on the B162 Cookstown to Draperstown Road. This walk is a circular route, surrounding the shores of the Lough, finishing back at the car park. The route can be followed either way around the shores and is clearly marked.
Time: 40 Minutes
Park at Gortin Glen Forest Park. Exit the Park, cross the road and turn first right onto the Lisnaharney Road. At the 5th road junction on the right hand side, leave the road and walk uphill along the Lisnaharney public right of way. From the top of the hill descend to the road, turning left at the bottom. Walk along the road until turning left again onto the Eskeradooey public right of way. This path leads to the top of the hill and then descends back to the Lisnaharney Road. On reaching the road turn left and retrace your steps back to the car park at Gortin Glens Forest Park.
The Athlone Slí na Sláinte is a 4.8 km route starting at the main entrance of the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) on the old Dublin Rd and head out of town, then turn left at Washhouse Turn roundabout onto Garrycastle Rd. Continue on past Garrycastle Bridge passing through Cartrontroy towards the junction at the top of Killyon Hill. Continue straight at this junction and follow the road down through Retreat, passing the entrances to the Community School, Our Lady’s Bower Secondary School and the Marist Brother’s Secondary School. Turn left at the Scotch Parade roundabout onto the Old Dublin Rd. Continue straight along Castlemaine Street and follow the road over the Bunnavally railway bridge travelling straight past the junction at the bottom of Killyon Hill, to arrive back at the starting point at the AIT entrance.
Time: 40 Minutes
Follow surfaced road and green arrows to reach Glenpatrick Bridge over the Glasha River. Enter forest & continue on this road as it ascends alongside the river, continue to ascend and exit onto the surfaced road. Continue on the old road – with wonderful views of the Comeragh Mountains. After km the road begins the descent towards Glenpatrick. The last section of the old road changes to a tarred surface before you join the R678. Follow this road to reach a laneway on your right. Turn right and enjoy this magical tree-lined laneway as it descends to reach a surfaced road at the ruins of a Slate Mine. Turn left – the trailhead is only 50m away.
Time: 2 – 2.5 Hours
From the trailhead follow the blue arrows along Mangans Lane. where you join the Wicklow Way (a long distance route marked with yellow ‘man’ and arrows). Ascend to reach a memorial cross & continue straight following the blue arrows. For the next 2km the loop follows an old laneway – and exits onto a surfaced roadway. Stay on the surfaced road for approx 1km to reach an old schoolhouse building. Follow the blue arrows as the loop ascends gently along a sandy roadway & onto a forestry track. Continue to ascend to reach a T-junction at the edge of forestry – turn right and ascend steeply to reach a stile at the top corner of the forestry. Follow the green arrows along the forestry to reach a waymarker which directs you back to the trailhead.
Time: 3 Hours
NOTE: The Trailhead is situated at the top of Mangan’s Lane. The 2km old lane is narrow and unsuitable for vehicular traffic but provides wonderful views of the village below. Walking to the trailhead is recommended from the Village Square or GAA Carpark. Follow the green, blue & purple directional signs.
Time: 1.5 Hours
From the trailhead cross the road and follow the purple arrows onto the sandy lane between the church and Doran’s pub. The green and blue arrows are for shorter loops. Continue along the sandy lane for more than 1km to a junction with a forestry road on your left. The loop proper begins here – you will return to this point from the opposite direction later – for now, turn left. Continue to follow the purple arrows along the forestry road for 3km – enjoying some fine views of the surrounding countryside on the way – before rejoining the sandy lane at what is known locally as the ‘hairpin’. Veer left following the purple arrows. Follow the surfaced roadway downhill for 200m to a sharp left bend – and veer right onto a narrow forestry track. Continue to follow this track as it ascends over the next 500m to reach a 3-way junction where you turn left. Descend past a sharp left bend and sharp right bend before a straight stretch of almost 1.5km takes you to a 3-way junction where you turn sharp right. Over the next 1km you ascend to reach the highest point of the loop (360m) at a 3-way junction on the shoulder of Slieveboy. Shortly afterwards you descend for 300m to exit the forestry and rejoin the sandy lane you started out on.
Time: 3 Hours
From the trailhead cross the road and follow the green arrows onto the sandy lane for more than 1km to a junction with a forestry road on your left. The loop proper begins here – you will return to this point from the opposite direction later – for now, turn left. Continue to follow the green arrows along the forestry road for 3km – and enjoy some fine views of the surrounding countryside – before rejoining the sandy lane at what is known locally as the ‘hairpin’. After 300m you pass a crossroads of forestry roads – another 200m takes you to the junction above from where you began the loop.
Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes