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Hiking in Ireland – Responsible Travel Tips

Why do we travel? For many reasons, for the sense of adventure, to broaden our minds, for the sheer joy of movement. But is it possible to smother something with love? We think it might be. In order to make sure that you don’t squeeze our dear island so tight that it cannot breath we’ve put together a few tips for responsible travel while hiking in Ireland.

Leave it be

There is no denying the wistfulness of Connemara’s stone walls or the unique beauty of the Burren, so we’d like to keep them that way! Please don’t take any rocks from walls or flowers from meadows. Remember what is that you travelled to Ireland (or indeed anywhere) to see, let’s try and do our best to preserve the magic in every conceivable way!

Keep the peace

Many hikers will be retreating to nature as a means to escape. Keeping noise levels to a minimum helps to maintain the sense of tranquillity that many people will be seeking out on their hike. In addition to this, there are many religiously significant sights in Ireland, while many people who walk or hike around these sights may not be there for religious reasons, it’s important to be aware that is still a possibility.

The right way

A good rule of thumb for hiking etiquette is to keep to the right. Be conscious of your surroundings. Give way to faster hikers approaching from behind, especially those hiking uphill as they may need to keep up the momentum (they may also be happy to have a break and let you pass but leave that up to them!).

Gates & Signs

Much of hiking in Ireland will be among farmland so your bound to come across a number of gates and many fields. When crossing fields, keep to the headlands, in order to avoid erosion of soil and damage to crops. If you open any gates make sure to close them behind you so as not to set free any farm animals. Avoid leaning on gates as putting weight on them causes them to fall and breaks their latches. And Respect any signs that say “no trespassing”.


Apparently banana skins don’t actually disappear into thin air the moment you set them on Irish soil, in fact they take up to four weeks to biodegrade, the same goes for orange peels and apple cores take less. While organic waste is indeed biodegradable, they are still an eye sore during the time it takes them to decay, pack a few sandwich bags for food waste that can be kept in your bag until you come to a bin.

Give the phone a rest

Not a necessity, but a suggestion. You came here to connect with the land, not to the WiFi. Of course, what you do with your phone is your own business but I guarantee a little less time looking through a lens can never be a bad thing!

Our partners at leave no trace offer some very useful information or you can also check out our responsible travel checklist.

To find out more about hiking in Ireland or to request a quote, contact our travel specialists


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