With the evenings getting shorter and the air getting crisper, autumn has well and truly arrived. There’s something special about enjoying a stroll with friends and family during the autumn season, and with the autumn leaves about to fall, here are nine Irish forests to consider visiting over the coming weeks.
9 Irish Forests to Visit This Autumn
1 Tollymore Forest, Down
Nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, and with several walking routes to enjoy, Tollymore Forest Park in County Down is perfect for a day out with the family. Famous in recent times for appearing in Game of Thrones, the park also has cycling trails to explore. About 30 minutes from Dublin, this could be a great day trip or a key part of an itinerary for exploring the spectacular Mourne Coastal Route.
Check out the latest Newcastle hotel deals and plan your break to the ‘Mournes’ today.
2 Portumna Forest, Galway
Situated near Lough Derg, and a key stop along the Lough Derg Drive, Portumna is a popular Galway town with plenty for visitors to see and do. While Portumna Castle and Portumna Golf Course can be a draw for many visitors to the area, it’s the forest park that should be on your to-do list this autumn. With four walking trails and two cycling trails, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
Check out the latest Portumna hotel deals and plan your Galway break today.
3 Rossmore Forest, Monaghan
A short drive from Monaghan Town, Rossmore Forest was the former estate of the Rossmore family who were granted the land in the 17th century. The park has several great viewing points and a range of forest and lakeside walks and nature trails. Rossmore Forest is also home to ancient tombs thought to date back some 4,000 years.
View the latest deals for Monaghan hotels and plan your day trip to Rossmore today.
4 Lough Key Forest, Roscommon
Set on the banks of Lough Key, and with the Lough Key Adventure Centre within its grounds, Lough Key Forest in Roscommon is a popular area for families, with a great variety of walks and activities waiting to be experienced. With walking and cycling trails, a kids’ playground, a marina and cafe, along with the adventure centre and Boda Borg Experience, there’s so much variety for the family at Lough Key, you will have no problem filling your day.
Check out the latest deals for hotels near Lough Key, and plan your Roscommon break today. Check out our driving itinerary for exploring the scenic surroundings of Lough Key and Lough Allen (Leitrim).
5 Glenariff Forest, Antrim
With several stunning walks to enjoy and three waterfalls providing the perfect backdrop for photos, there are very few parks in Ireland to rival Glenariff Forest Park for its sheer beauty. If you are planning a trip to Antrim to explore the Causeway Coast this autumn, be sure to add Glenariff Forest to your itinerary and marvel at the idyllic surroundings.
Plan your trip to Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast today by viewing the latest Antrim hotel deals.
6 Killykeen Forest, Cavan
Straddling Lough Oughter, and a short drive from Farnham Estate and Cavan Golf Club nearby, Killykeen makes for a great day out when visiting Cavan. Popular with birdwatchers and fishers, Killykeen Forest has a network of walks and a selection of cycling trails for the family to enjoy. Relax along the way and take in the views of the wonderful surroundings of Lough Oughter as you go.
View the latest Cavan hotel deals and plan your Killykeen Forest adventure today.
7 Killarney National Park, Kerry
Home to some of Killarney and indeed Kerry’s most popular visitor attractions, including the famous Killarney Lakes, a trip to Killarney National Park is a bucket-list location for many people visiting Kerry. One of the many jewels in ‘The Kingdom’s’ crown, there are some 10,000 hectares to explore, so chances are you’ll need more than a day to truly experience the park.
Home to Ireland’s highest mountain range, Killarney National Park is popular for hikers across the year, although autumn is a particularly popular time, with the views of the landscape enhanced with the autumnal hues. Muckross House and Gardens is the focal point for many visitors to the park, and it’s a great place to take the kids over the autumn months.
8 Avondale Forest, Wicklow
The birthplace of one of Ireland’s great political leaders, Charles Parnell, Avondale Forest has 500 acres of wooded forest and picturesque trails to explore this autumn. And when you’re finished exploring the great outdoors, head indoors and discover more about Parnell in the stunning Georgian Avondale House. Just over a one-hour drive from Dublin and a short drive to the coast, Avondale makes for a great day out should you want to consider a weekend break to Wicklow this autumn.
View the latest deals for hotels in Wicklow and plan your Avondale adventure now.
9 Hazelwood Forest, Sligo
A small, picturesque forest on the banks of Lough Gill, Hazelwood Forest provides the perfect surroundings to escape from it all this autumn. A short distance from Sligo Town, Hazelwood has some wonderful forest trails to explore and keep an eye out for some outdoor sculptures as you go.
The former seat of the Wynne Family, Hazelwood Forest has been a place of significance down the years in Sligo, while Hazelwood House was designed by the same architect responsible for some of Ireland’s most famous buildings including Trinity College, Leinster House and Powerscourt House. Unfortunately, Hazelwood House is not currently open to the public.
What is your favourite Irish forest for an autumn walk?
Have we missed your favourite forest for an autumn stroll? Be sure to share your favourite Irish forests with us below.
Images via Fáilte Ireland