The Best Dog-Friendly Walks in Ireland

Do you find yourself wondering, "Where can I bring my dog for a walk near me?"

 

Ireland boasts lots of stunning landscapes and dog-friendly trails that will make your walks unforgettable. Our dogs become members of our families and so it's only natural to want to share our world with our four-legged best friends. And with warmer weather lately, it's been much easier to enjoy walking outside. First, let's tackle some logistics. Assume you're travelling within Ireland with your dog.

 

Travelling within Ireland with a dog:

 

If you're planning a trip within Ireland with your furry friend, you're in for a treat. Can you take your dog on the train? Yes, you can leave your car at home. Irish Rail allows dogs on their trains, but there are a few guidelines to follow. Small dogs are permitted on board as long as they are in a carrier or on a lead and muzzled. Larger dogs are also welcome but need to be placed in a cage or container and they must be on a lead and muzzled at all times. Additionally, there might be restrictions during peak travel times, so it's always a good idea to check with Irish Rail before your journey.

 

Travelling to Ireland with a Dog:

 

If you are travelling to Ireland how can you take your dog? If you're coming from abroad, bringing your dog to Ireland requires some preparation. Ensure your pet has a microchip, a valid rabies vaccination, and an EU Pet Passport or a veterinary certificate from an authorised vet. Non-EU pets need to follow similar steps but might require additional documentation. It's essential to check the latest regulations on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's website to ensure a smooth journey.

 

Ryanair and Aer Lingus allow service dogs only so the other option is by ferry. From England, you can book a pet-friendly cabin on a Stena Line ferry from Holyhead to Dublin and Fishguard to Rosslare. Be sure to check requirements for each port as it may vary. 

 

Where can I bring my dog for a walk near me? 

 

Now that we've got the logistics sorted, let's dive into the best dog-friendly walks in Ireland, divided by province and as a bonus, we've included links to dog-friendly accommodation too. So, starting in Munster.

 

Moylussa, Co. Clare:

 

This 9.2km out and back trail from Ballycuggaran Forest to Moylussa is the No.1 voted dog-friendly walk on AllTrails. The forest offers a variety of trails with different difficulty levels, making it suitable for all types of dogs. The paths are well-marked, and the forest is lush and green, providing a refreshing escape. There's also a lovely spot by Lough Derg where your dog can take a dip and cool off.

 

 

Dunmore East Cliff Walk, Co, Waterford:

 

The Dunmore East Cliff Walk in County Waterford is a beautiful coastal trail that offers stunning views of the Irish Sea. This easy-to-moderate trail is about 5km long and follows the cliffs, providing plenty of opportunities for your dog to explore. The path is well-maintained, but dogs need to be kept on a leash at all times.

 

 

Torc Waterfall and Mountain, Co. Kerry:

 

The Torc Waterfall and Mountain trail in Killarney National Park is a favourite among dog owners. The trail to the waterfall is relatively easy and suitable for all fitness levels, while the 7.5km hike up Torc Mountain offers more of a challenge. The views from the top are spectacular, and the forested paths provide plenty of shade and cool spots for your dog. This trail is perfect for a day of adventure and exploration.

 

 

 

A search on Booking.com showed over 255 dog-friendly properties in Munster. Whether you're looking for a cosy inn near the coast or a spacious cabin in the countryside, you'll find a welcoming place to stay with your dog.

 

If you’re searching for dog-friendly walks in Connacht on the west coast, we’ve got you covered.

 

Nephin, Co. Mayo:

 

Nephin, Connacht's second highest mountain, at 806m offers a challenging but a rewarding 7.7km hike. The trail is steep and rugged, making it suitable for experienced hikers and your dogs on a leash. The views from the top are breathtaking, with expansive views over Mayo's lakes and valleys. Make sure to bring plenty of water and take breaks as needed, as the climb can be demanding.

 

 

Diamond Hill, Co Galway:

 

Can you bring dogs up Diamond Hill? Yes, you can bring dogs up Diamond Hill! Located in Connemara National Park, Diamond Hill offers a well-maintained trail with spectacular views over the Connemara landscape. The hike is about 7km long and moderately difficult, with some steep sections. Your dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.

 

 

 

Benbulben, Co. Sligo:

 

Benbulben in County Sligo is one of Ireland's most distinctive mountains, known for its flat top and striking appearance. The trails around Benbulben vary in difficulty, with some easier paths suitable for a leisurely walk and others that are more challenging. If you just feel like a stroll, take the forest walk, it's a 5.6km loop. The views of the surrounding countryside and coastline are stunning, making it a worthwhile trip. 

 

 

 

A search on Booking.com showed over 111 dog-friendly properties in Connacht. From lakeside lodges to charming B&Bs, there's something to suit every preference and budget.

 

What about dog-friendly trails and hotels in Ulster? 

 

Binevenagh, Co. Derry:

 

Binevenagh is a stunning trail known for its dramatic cliffs and expansive views over Lough Foyle. The 6km looped trail here varies in difficulty, with some steep sections, but the views from the top are absolutely worth it. The area is relatively remote, providing a peaceful escape where your dog can roam freely and enjoy the natural beauty.

 

 

 

Dunseverick Castle, Co. Antrim:

 

This iconic walk from Dunseverick to the Giant’s Causeway is not to be missed. The trail is about 12km long and follows the rugged coastline, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The path is well-maintained and safe for dogs, but it's advisable to keep them on a lead due to the sheer cliffs. You'll have plenty to look at on your way with numerous sea stacks to see from land.

 

 

The Mourne Mountains, Co. Down:

 

The Mourne Mountains in County Down offer a range of trails suitable for different fitness levels, making it a fantastic destination for you and your dog. One popular route is the 9.5km Slieve Donard trail, the highest peak in Northern Ireland, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The trails here can be steep and rugged, so make sure both you and your dog are up for the challenge. The beauty and tranquillity of the Mournes make it a perfect spot for an adventurous day out.

 

 

 

A search on Booking.com showed over 468 dog-friendly properties in Ulster.  From charming cottages in the countryside to modern hotels in bustling cities, you'll find the perfect place to rest after a day of exploring with your dog. And now on to Leinster.

 

Ticknock, Dublin Fairy Castle Loop, Co. Dublin:

 

The Fairy Castle Loop in Ticknock offers a magical experience with panoramic views over Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains. This trail is well-marked and easy in difficulty, making it suitable for most dogs. The loop is around 5.5km long, taking you through forest paths and open hillside, where your dog can enjoy plenty of fresh air and exercise.

 

 

Howth Cliff Walk, Co. Dublin:

 

Is Howth Cliff walk safe for dogs? Absolutely. The Howth Cliff Walk is a breathtaking coastal trail that provides stunning views of the Irish Sea. This trail is safe for dogs but be mindful of the cliffs. Keep your dog on a lead, especially in areas close to the edge. The path can be narrow in places, so it's best to visit during quieter times to fully enjoy the experience. The walk varies in length, with the longest loop being about 10km, offering a mix of rugged coastline and gorgeous scenery.

 

 

 

Glendalough Spinc and Glenealo Valley Loop, Co. Wicklow:

 

Glendalough's Spinc and Glenealo Valley Loop is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. This 9km trail offers a mix of boardwalks, forest paths, and stunning views over the Glendalough Valley. The terrain can be challenging in parts, but it's well worth the effort. Your dog will love the varied landscape, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to cool off in streams along the way.

 

 

 

So where will you stay when you’re in Leinster? Finding dog-friendly accommodation is a breeze.  A quick search on Booking.com shows 75 dog-friendly properties in Leinster ranging from cosy B&Bs to luxurious hotels. Whether you prefer staying in the heart of Dublin or the tranquillity of the countryside, there's something for every taste and budget.

 

It's important to remember when we're enjoying nature, we're often walking on private land so here are some house rules to help you and your dog enjoy walking this summer.

 

  • Keep your dog on a leash.
  • Obey signs and by-laws.
  • Bring water and treats.
  • Bring a collapsible water bowl.
  • Have a tick remover.
  • Bring waste bags and take them home with you.

 

You can check out our walking collection with our most popular footwear and socks online and at one of our four locations in Westport, Galway City and Killarney. And be sure to check out our new arrivals and our most popular.

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