Top regions to experience the great outdoors this New Year’s

Friends early swim at Ballycuggeran, County Clare © Patrick Bolger

Spend time in the great outdoors in Ireland this New Year’s, increase wellbeing with a leisurely beach walk and relish the beauty our great island has to offer. You may be tempted to sit by a warm open fire but this will be all the more rewarding when you return from an outdoor excursion in the lush Irish countryside. Make your New Year’s resolutions from somewhere new, there is something very alluring about a winter escape in the wilds of Ireland.

Dingle Peninsula

Inch Beach, County Kerry

For years Dingle has been a firm favourite and a New Year’s hot spot but don’t let that stop you. Although this New Year’s Eve might be a little quitter, no spectacular firework display over Dingle Bay or a lively marching band entertaining the crowds we still know Dingle is the perfect New Year’s holiday destination. 

The Dingle Peninsula is a playground and paradise for the great outdoors. With some of the most spectacular scenery and mountains in Ireland, it’s a great holiday destination to explore this winter. There are a variety of walks available locally, from demanding hikes to more gentle slopes and beach walks with many waymarked routes to choose from. Here are some of the most beautiful beach walks you can explore with loved ones this New Year’s on the Dingle Peninsula.

Beach walks aren’t just for warm summer days, wrap up warm and head to Inch Beach a 5km long sand spit jutting into the sea between the outer Dingle Bay and inner Castlemaine Harbour overlooking magnificent Iveragh and Dingle Peninsulas. One of the most iconic sites on the Dingle Peninsula is Coumeenole, the perfect spot for a winter stroll and New Year’s photo opportunity with loved ones. A little closer to Dingle is Ventry, a 3km long sandy beach perfect for families with a easily accessible car park close by.

Connemara

Connemara Galway © Chris Hill Photographic

A wild and magical landscape on the west coast of Ireland. Bound on the north by Clew Bay, on the south by Galway Bay and on the east by Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, a diverse rich landscape.

There are so many outdoor excursions you can experience like the scenic Sky Road, one of the most picturesque areas in Connemara. This spectator drive, cycle or walk is easily accessible from many of our holiday homes dotted along Sky Road. Discover unbeatable views of the Atlantic Ocean, off shore islands, and the rugged windswept coastline of Ireland.

Head to Dog’s Bay Beach with your nearest and dearest, a spectacular horseshoe-shaped white-sand beach or venture inland to experience the beauty and trails in Connemara National Park. If Connemara sounds amazing, why not visit this New Year’s?

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The Iveragh Peninsula

Rossbeigh beach, County Kerry

The Iveragh Peninsula is Ireland’s largest peninsula, home to the awe-inspiring Ring of Kerry scenic drive, Carrauntoohil Ireland’s highest mountain and pretty towns such as Killorglin, Ballinskelligs, Waterville, Caherdaniel, Sneem and Kenmare. This impressive peninsula will warm the cockles of your heart even on the coldest of wintery days in Ireland.

A popular tourist destination in the summer months but the byroads and beaches are sure to be a little quitter over the New Year’s holiday period, making it a great time of year to explore this diverse peninsula. A great way to experience the Ring of Kerry is to explore the stunning scenery by car, stop at castles, historic sites and ancient stone circles or head to Derrynane Beach for breath-taking coastal walk or fresh Atlantic sea dip.

Driving the Ring of Kerry is the classic way to explore this peninsula, but for those seeking a more outdoor and active New Year’s you could hike within the Ring of Kerry and scale Ireland’s best mountains.

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Wild Atlantic Way

Sheep’s Head Lighthouse, County Cork

Experience the longest defined coastal drive in the world, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Wherever you stay along the Wild Atlantic Way, you will encounter moments of magic. A outdoor holiday along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is sure make this New Year’s a special one.

From our cluster of seaside holiday homes in Bundoran go for a family New Year’s Day walk along Tullan Strand. Or a little further south hike Croagh Patrick in County Mayo which offers breath-taking views across Clew Bay. Leave your troubles on the shoreline and take a chilly dip at Spanish Point in County Clare. The waters at this time of year are cold enough to test the New Year’s resolve of the hardiest swimmers.

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way enjoys one of the last sunsets in Europe. This makes it a perfect place to watch the final sunset or first sunrise of 2021. Book a New Year’s holiday on the rugged Beara Peninsula and experience the howling winds and crashing waves that whip along its incredible coastline as your ring in the new year.

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Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Take a journey into this mysterious lush and green heartland and uncover the very heartbeat of Ireland – Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Explore the iconic River Shannon or take a tranquil walk along the banks of Lough Derg. Reunite with family & friends in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands this New Year’s from our lake side holiday accommodation in Killaloe.

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Ireland’s Ancient East

Aughrim Holiday Village, County Wicklow

Ireland’s Ancient East is a fantastic opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover 5,000 years of history. From Megalithic tombs to medieval monasteries, Ireland’s Ancient East is a treasure trove of history. It’s sure to provide an enriching experience this New Year’s.

The rich landscape covers an area of great beauty and features some spectacular coastline. We have a range of secluded self-catering holiday homes and unique cottages located throughout this region. From our holiday homes in Waterford experience the scenic Waterford Greenway. Head north to Bettystown in County Meath and enjoy long family walks along the 1.4 km long magnificent sandy beach.

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For a healthier and happier New Year’s head outdoors and explore Irish gems free of tourists this December. Take the time to explore the great outdoors and winter delights of Ireland. You will be well rewarded and rested when you return home from an outdoor holiday in the wilds of Ireland.

Eilís M – Editor of the Trident blog

  • Favourite escape: Exploring the Beara Peninsula and trail running in the Wicklow Mountains
  • Top tip: Pack a big smile and an open mind.

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