Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands are a joy for walkers. There are numerous trails and greenways meandering through idyllic landscapes.

Beara Breifne Way
The historic Beara Breifne Way is Ireland’s longest waymarked trail, stretching 500km. The follows the legendary 14-day march by the chieftain, Dónal Cam O’Sullivan Beare, and his 1,000 supporters in 1603. Along the way, it passes many of the places and communities shaped by their story.

The Way runs from the coast of the Beara Peninsula, and across six mountain ranges. It runs along the banks of the River Shannon and through the lake regions of Roscommon and Leitrim. You won’t do it all in a day!

Beara-Breifne Way, Co Cavan

The Beara-Breifne Way in Co Cavan, with Lough MacNean in the background.

Old Rail Trail Greenway

Or take a leisurely stroll or cycle along the Old Rail Trail Greenway, which stretches 42km from Athlone to Mullingar. It traces the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track past restored station houses and under stone arched bridges.

Cavan Burren

cavan burren park mindful walking

©Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

Another Heartlands gem is the Cavan Burren. Part of the Cuilcagh Lakelands Global Geopark, it is a unique place where the geological history of earth can be traced back 895 million years. You’ll discover monuments, megalithic tombs, hut sites and pre-bog walls. These prehistoric sites have stood the test of time and are located within metres of each other. The park offers stunning views of Cuilcagh Mountain, west Cavan and the wider Geopark. Walking tours of the site offer an intriguing insight into the evolution of human settlement in this area and recount the local folklore and magical stories that the Geopark has inspired.

Don’t miss out

Slieve Blooms wonder in Ireland’s hidden heartlands

Birr Castle, home to walks and waterfalls

forest bathing, birr castle

The Victorian Fernery is another ideal spot for a mindful moment or forest bathing.