Ireland is our home. We’re constantly inspired by the epic outdoor landscapes that surround us on this little island: the Mountains, Oceans, and everywhere in between. In celebration of our national holiday this 17th March, we’re sharing five Irish outdoor adventures to check out this St Patrick’s Weekend.
Ireland is pretty special all year round, but there’s no better time to explore this little island than Paddy’s Day.
Let’s get going…
If you’re looking to enjoy some of the best weather conditions you’re likely to get across the island this Paddy’s weekend, head southeast. Nicknamed the ‘sunny southeast’, counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford enjoy an average of 300 more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the country (although we can’t guarantee it)!
When it comes to enjoying the Irish outdoors, the sunny southeast is certainly one of the best places to do it. Home to some of the country’s most epic beaches, such as Curracloe Beach and Dollar Bay Beach in Wexford and Tramore Beach and Bunmahon Beach in Waterford, get the kit off and get in the water.
Aside from beautiful beaches, you can hike one of Ireland’s highest mountains, Galtymore, in County Tipperary, or just take in one of the many scenic walk and cycle trails found around the area.
If you want to soak up all the Paddy’s Day festivities while you’re here, Kilkenny is your best bet. This historic city hosts an epic festival of events throughout the weekend that focus on Ireland’s heritage and culture.
Don’t miss Dublin
It would be wrong to make a list of places to visit for St Paddy’s Day in Ireland without giving mention to the capital. Home to the country’s largest St Patrick’s festival and parade, Dublin sees thousands of visitors travelling from all over the world to embrace the celebrations on 17th March.
After you’ve watched the parade and enjoyed a few pints of the black stuff, you can make the most of the stunning landscapes that surround the city.
Hike, bike, or swim. There’s plenty of choice when visiting Dublin. Ticknock and Glencullen Adventure Park are great spots just outside the city for mountain bikers to hit the trails. Meanwhile, Sandymount Strand and the Howth Cliff Walk are perfect for those who want a slower-paced outdoor adventure.
There are plenty of hikes just outside the city worth checking out. We recommend the Dublin Mountains Way, Dalkey and Killiney Hill, and Tibradden Woods to name a few.
Have the craic in Cork
Ireland’s second-largest city is home to one of the biggest and best St Patrick’s Day celebrations across the whole island. Many consider the celebrations here to be the second-largest in the country after Dublin… others disagree, but we’ll get on to that later…
Cork is not only home to one of Ireland’s biggest Paddy’s Day celebrations. Rather, the county also boasts one of the shortest parades in the country. Head to the town of Dipsey, where you can check out the 100 m parade between two local pubs!
Aside from the festivities, there is lots of opportunity for outdoor adventure. Inchydoney and Barleycove Beach are two fantastic beaches to explore while the Gougane Barra trail, the Old Head of Kinsale Loop Walk, and the Ballycotton Cliff Walk offer scenery that makes it impossible not to feel a sense of Irish pride.
Discover the home of St Patrick in County Down
Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula could be considered hidden gems when it comes to places to visit in Ireland. Flying under the radar of most tourists visiting the island, this area offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure.
From kayaking and paddleboarding on the lough to scenic coastal walks and epic mountain bike trails in the surrounding parklands, there’s plenty worth checking out around here.
If you fancy taking on a challenge, the 82-mile Saint Patrick’s Way trail takes you from Armagh to Downpatrick, connecting key sites in the history of Ireland’s Patron Saint.
St Patrick’s Day is also a great time to visit the area, as Downpatrick is also regarded by many (apart from those in Cork...) as the home of the second-largest St Paddy’s celebration in Ireland, after Dublin, as the area is believed to have been the burial place of St Patrick himself!
Wander out west
When it comes to iconic Irish scenery, nowhere does it quite as well as the west coast. Better known as the Wild Atlantic Way, tourists flock to the Emerald Isle every year just to discover what this scenic way has to offer.
The cultural hub of Galway offers a more laid-back alternative to Dublin’s crowded Paddy’s Day festival. With plenty of Irish music, entertainment, and more, you can easily soak up the Irish spirit here over the weekend.
Adventure comes in abundance out west, too. Connemara National Park is home to some of the most scenic hikes in Ireland, such as the epic Diamond Hill. Heading an hour north of Galway, County Mayo is the perfect place to embrace Irish adventure.
Located on the outskirts of Westport town, Croagh Patrick is not just a beautiful and scenic hike. It is also an important site of pilgrimage with strong connections to Ireland’s patron saint, making it the perfect Irish adventure to check out this St Patrick’s weekend.