Ireland: Hiking Slieve League


Our last guided tour with Wilderness Ireland was a guided hike up Slieve League. We met our guide, Barry, at the Tí Linn Cafe cafe before heading up to a car park. Slieve League is a series sea cliffs that are over 600 meters (2000 feet) above sea level.

There are a couple of main trails up Slieve League. Barry took us up the back of the cliffs along a trail called the Pilgrims Path and then along range to the highest part called the One Mans Pass. This is about a 6 mile hike. There is also a path along the edge of the cliffs that a charity hike took the same day. We saw them walking along the cliffs in the early morning fog, the scene looked like something out of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Small run off stream

As with our other guides, Barry, was a wealth of information. The Pilgrims Path got its name because it let to a stone church high on the cliff side where catholics would practice when Ireland asunder protestant rule. Only the outline of the floor remains of the church but it is a neat. The trail was not as steep as the one we hiked up the Mourne Mountains. It was beautiful reaching the top of the cliffs just as the last of the morning mist burned away. Before us was the Atlantic Ocean. If you stepped off of the isle of Ireland and started swimming, you wouldn’t reach land until you got to North America.

Barry on the diving board rock

The diving board is near the summit of Slieve League but to get to it you must cross the One Mans Pass. This is a narrow slit of land with a fall down to the Atlantic on one side and a roll down on the heather cover bog on the other. Thankfully there wasn’t too much wind the day we visited and the crossing was easy. We ate lunch on the summit, toasties and crisps. You couldn’t find a better view at any five-star restaurant.

Overlooking the Atlantic
Those are people on the hill top in the distance.

If you are looking for a beautiful and lesser known hike in Ireland, I highly recommend visiting Slieve League. If you don’t want to hike, I recommend seeing the cliffs from the car park at the trailhead of the Cnoc Ramhar trail (I think). It is also an option to take a boat tour to see the cliffs from the water. I would do this hike again, it was fantastic and Barry was a wonderful guide. What are some of your favorite hikes with sweeping views? Let me know in the comments! Remember to leave no trace and safe travels.

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!

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