Home Walking the Ireland WayStages of the Ireland Way What is the Ireland Way? Trail Overview

What is the Ireland Way? Trail Overview

by Derek Cullen

Thinking about hiking the Ireland Way?

This post is a quick overview of the Ireland Way and what I think you might wish to know about the hike. It’s by no means comprehensive but I will be adding to this post over time and including as much information as possible.

Let’s start with the obvious.

What is the Ireland Way?

The Ireland Way is a hiking route that connects a series of long distance trails between the top and bottom of Ireland – namely the Beara Breifne Way and the Ulster Way. The Ireland Way begins and ends in either Cork or Antrim – depending on which direction you decide to hike. It stretches for more than 840km and takes most hikers between five and seven weeks to complete. However, you should also know that the Beara Way and Ulster Way consist of many more “shorter” trails (list down below) and some of these sections are still under development.

Start/Finish – Castletownbere, Beara Peninsula (Cork) & Ballycastle (Antrim)

Distance – 1,000km

Here’s a basic outline for the map of the Ireland Way…

Here’s a closer look at this map of the Ireland Way

About Terrain and Conditions on the Ireland Way

Half of the Ireland Way is off-road and travels across fields, mountains and bogland. This means hiking poles and waterproof gear is a necessity and you should expect to get wet and muddy. The other half of the Ireland Way goes along country roads and tracks. As the Ireland Way is still under development, there are a couple of sections that follow busy roads and some recommend taking a ride/lift for these “link sections” rather than walking the busy road.

Where to Stay on the Ireland Way

There are Bed & Breakfast options at various points throughout the Ireland Way but most hikers find wild camping more reliable. That said, you should at least practice wild camping before considering this option for a longer hike.

List of Trails on the Ireland Way

The Beara Way

The Slight Gaeltacht Mhuscrai

The North Cork Way

The Ballyhoura Way

The Multeen Way

The Ormond Way

The Hymany Way

The Suck Valley Way

The Lung Lough Gara Way

The Miners Way

The Leitrim Way

The Cavan Way

The Ulster Way

The Causeway Coast Way

Do you have any questions about the Ireland Way? Please ask in the comments rather than sending an email.

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