As the rustic colours of autumn begin to dwindle to the ground along with the arrival of the shorter days we set our mode to winter time!
The fires have started, the gathered turf is stored, the coal bucket is full to the brim but the walking boots are still at the door.
Irish walking trails and routes are still as beautiful at his time of year however just a bit more thought and preparation is required before you set off.
Here is some of our advice for walking in an Irish winter wonderland which may make all the difference between a joyful or miserable experience along the many walking trails that are suitable at this time of year.
1. Dress to suit the changing Irish weather conditions. Even though it is winter be prepared for “four seasons in the one day.” this advice stays for 365 days a year in Ireland!
2. Layers of clothing are better than one thick garment as they can be peeled off or on to suit conditions.
3. A warm hat and gloves
4. Waterproof jacket and trousers are essential
5. Cotton trousers that dry quickly
6. NO DENIM
7. Keep a change of clothes for the end of the walk, especially socks!!
Strong, waterproof boots with good cleated soles and ankle support are recommended for all walks but necessary for moderate to difficult walks. Comfortable walking shoes are ok for easier low level routes. Remember the fallen leaves can make surfaces very slippery!
It is essential to carry enough food and water for your walk. Using a bin liner inside your backpack will ensure your spare clothing stays dry. Accommodation hosts may provide packed lunches so please just ask. If not there are plenty of food counters in the supermarkets where you can stock up for the day!
1. Check the weather report the night before walking.
2. Check your walking route and that you have all your gear before leaving.
3. Avoid high peaks, if bad weather seems imminent.
4. Let someone know where you are going and your expected time of return. Do not do strenuous or very difficult routes alone.
5. Bring a first aid kit.
6. Stay away from cliff edges in windy conditions
7. Keep an eye on the time for shorter days
8. Admire the scenery and take as many photos are you can to record your memories
Most of all… Enjoy!