The Best Places to Walk Your Dog In Ireland

woman out walking dog on sunny day in a forest trail-2

The Best Places to Walk Your Dog In Ireland

This month for Operation TransPAWmation, we’re shining a light on all the different ways you can have fun and get out and exercise with your furry friend. Regular exercise is essential to help keep our dogs from gaining excessive weight, and to ensure their overall physical and mental health remains intact. Getting out and about helps keep the brain active, is a great stress reliever and boredom buster; both for dogs and humans!

Check out our blog post below on the best walking trails both you and your dog can avail of in Ireland.


1. Mount Leinster & Slievebawn

Located near Myshall, County Carlow, this trail has brilliant views overlooking Carlow. It leads to Mount Leinster, which fifth highest peak in Leinster. The path then retraces its steps back down to the parking area and continues to Slievebawn on the other side of the road. This is a short trail with some steep parts along the route, but the views, especially on a clear day, are well worth the effort. Ideal for dogs and their humans to get out and have some fun!


2. Killiney Hill

A gorgeous spot to go for a walk with your dogs, and even a dip after on the beach if you’re feeling brave. Sitting south of Dublin city, this suburb stretch of hill land looks over the city and offers scenic views over the Irish Sea from its summit. With Dublin to the northwest, the Irish Sea to the east and southeast, and Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains to the south, we couldn’t think of a more perfect place for you and your dog to enjoy a hillwalking outdoor adventure. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly café, the Tower Tea Rooms provide a stunning spot to enjoy a coffee while keeping your dog a chance to relax after their walkies.

Mount Leinster
Beauitful scenery at Mount Leinster
joey the dog at the castle park in kilkenny
Joey loves his walks in Kilkenny Castle


3. Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park is believed to be one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland to hike with your dog. With nearly 3,000 hectares of scenic mountains, glorious grasslands, and enchanting forests, there are endless things to see, do and explore with your dog. With plenty of trails and lots of history to discover, it makes for the perfect place to scratch an adventure itch with your pooch.


4. Castle Park & Lacken Walk

This lovely park is right in the heart of Kilkenny City Centre. The trail takes you along the River Nore, and is the perfect area to bring both your dog and kids to. There’s a playground in the park for kids to enjoy and also a dog-friendly café for adults. Visit the rose garden for a photo opportunity after your walk, or why not head straight into Kilkenny city for a bite to eat? You’ll no doubt meet plenty of other dog-parents along your walk, a great opportunity for some socialising!


5. Ballyseedy Woods

The woodland area dates back as far as the 16th century, and today, Ballyseedy is a sustainable woodland recreational amenity for the people of Kerry and visitors alike. Locatrd just outside Tralee, it is perfect for adventuring around with your dog while also enjoying the local flora and fauna and reconnecting with nature. It is a unique and tranquil retreat which extends to nearly 80 acres, and has at least 22 varieties of native trees that are marked with their Gaelic and English names in the woods. After your stroll, why not pop by Ballygarry House Hotel or Ballyseedy Garden Centre and Café for a coffee-both offer outdoor seating and are dog friendly.


6. Abbeyleix Bog Walk

Starting at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, this relaxing and fascinating boardwalk takes you and your dog on a journey through forests, bog tracks and interesting historical sites. This 8km trail takes approximately 2 hours to get around, giving you and your pooch a good work-out. Ideal for a Sunday afternoon activity,  this trail is ideal for the whole family. A beautiful and varied environment throughout, your dog will sure have lots to sniff about as he ventures into the beautiful woodlands.

ballyseedy walk
Finton, Carla and Luna the dog enjoying Ballyseedy Woods
westport house
Enzo enjoying the sunshine at Westport House


7. Lough Gur

Get your camera ready for some incredible views that are sure to get the tails wagging. Lough Gur is at the heart of a remarkable archaeological landscape featuring sites that represent every major period of human history in Ireland. The site of Lough Gur is the only area in all of Ireland where you will see visible remains of every age of mankind throughout the centuries. With plenty to sniff around and explore, there’s no doubt your dog will have a paw-tastic time by your side in this beautiful historical site.


8. Westport House Loop

The Westport House Loop is a beautiful 3.5k trail through Westport House estate, sure to get the tails wagging. Walkers can start from any of three points – from the historic house itself, from the Hotel Westport Bridge entrance, or from the estate’s Quay entrance. Whichever you choose, you will quickly find yourself immersed in a landscape that is both historic and beautiful. Have your camera ready to take paw-tastic pictures with the beautiful Westport House as the backdrop. Ensure your dog is on a leash as there is lots of wildlife around.


9. Girley Eco Bog Walk

Starting near Drewston Woods near Kells on the Mullingar Road, this looped walk is perfect for an early morning ramble with your dog. One of only a handful of bogs in Europe due to its raised nature, it is a site of considerable conservation significance. You will be taken through a variety of environments, including woodland, and scrub which grows as a result of peat cutting. There is an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers in the area so be sure to keep an eye out. It is a bog after all so some sections of the trail are fairly muddy so bring wellies and a towel to dry your dog off if they’re prone to taking some spontaneous mud baths.


10. Kinnitty Castle Loop

This is an easy-going, well-marked and well-maintained trail that provides incredible scenery along the way, giving lots for your dog to sniff about. There is a nice mix of woodlands and open terrain for both you and your pooch to explore. Make sure to pop into the outdoor coffee shop at Kinnitty Castle for some refreshments after your walk, the perfect opportunity for dogs to relax outside with their humans. Located north of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, the picturesque village of grew up around Kinnity Castle which was built by the Bernard Family in 1811.

Views from Kinnitty Castle Loop
doorly park
Doorly Park is a hit with everyone!


11. Kilronan Castle Doon Point Loop

This unique trail offers beautiful views of Meelagh Lough as well as an abundance of gorgeous trees and woodland. Starting in Kilronan Castle Car Park, you and dog can meander through the forest along the northern shore of Lough Meelagh. Let your dog explore the outdoors while you embrace woodland scenery, captivating castle views and beautiful lakeshores. Taking around an hour to complete, there’s no doubt it’s the ideal trail to walk your dog on a brisk Sunday morning


12. Doorly Park

A fine riverside amenity, Doorly Park is around a 15 minute walk from Sligo town centre, making it an ideal place to bring your dog for a walk. The scenic lakes, wonderous woodland and wild wetlands offer great picnicking and walking for the whole family. There is a nature trail that allows you and your dog to take in the best plant life, wildlife and views. The perfect place for a fine morning stroll or afternoon jog with your pooch!


13. Mahon Falls Walk

The perfect place for an early morning stroll with your dog, this 4km looped trail features a magnificent waterfall while offering incredible views across the country and beyond. A 25 minute spin from Dungarven and about a 40 minute drive from Waterford city, it is well sign-posted off the N25. As well, it features the ‘magic road’-if you stop (safely!) on the Magic Road with the handbrake off, your car will appear to roll backwards up the hill. Although said to be an optical illusion, others argue there’s faeries at play. Treat your dog to a bit of magic on this wonderful and mysterious trail!


14. Raven Point Wood

Explore the stunning white sandy beach of Curracloe on this beautiful walk, stretching to around 6.8km in length. Taking about an hour and a half to complete, park up at the Raven Wood car park and explore the stunning woodland walkway before emerging out onto the beach. If you are out walking during the winter months, you might spot all the geese from the North Slob flying out to roost on sandbanks in Wexford Harbour. Both you and your dog will no doubt have an incredible time walking here no matter what time of the day it is.

The Maldives, or Curracloe Beach?

What is Operation TransPAWmation?

Petmania’s Operation TransPAWmation began in 2017 to highlight the rise in overweight dogs in Ireland. Since then we have extended the campaign to a whole-health campaign for dogs and cats, helping 1000’s of pet owners get to grips with their pet’s overall health and wellbeing.

Now in its 7th Year, Operation TransPAWmation is designed to help dog and cat owners identify and make small changes that can help improve their pet’s overall health and wellbeing.

For in-person support on your #PetmaniaOT journey, you can also drop into any one of our pet shops nationwide and speak with a member of our team.

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