Amazing river walks in Ireland

River Lee, photo by Hazel Coetzee

Take a look at a satellite image of Ireland, and you’ll see a patch of green crisscrossed by tendrils of blue, surrounded by seas and oceans. The blue lines, the rivers of Ireland, are quite a few, and where there’s a river, there’s a walk to be made on its banks. River walks are popular in Ireland, especially along rivers that cut through a town or city, and they offer a welcome respite from the traffic and crowds (not that these are especially bad in Ireland). Several of the major cities in Ireland – Cork, Galway, Limerick, Dublin or Watarford – have their own river passing through them. So here are some of the most amazing river walks in Ireland.

River Shannon, Limerick

photo by Graham Horn

For a refreshing walk of 50-60 minutes that will show you the best side of beautiful Shannon, take bus 308 or 302 from William Street in the city center to the campus of the University of Limerick. It will drop you off at the gates, so you’ll have to make your way to the river on your own – just ask any student you see wandering around. You can follow the embankment along the Shannon right back to the city (take some food with you to feed the swans and ducks you will surely meet on your way).

River Liffey, Dublin

One of the best ways to see Dublin as it really is, in all its mundane glory, just let the River Liffey guide you. The most natural way of seeing the city is to follow the river from the newly restored Dublin Docklands, which turned from run-down to one of the most popular areas of the city, and make your way to O’Connel Bridge, next to O’Connell street, the very center of the city.

River Corrib, Galway

photo by Joseph Mischyshyn

River Corrib not only passed through Galway, but it also sends of several canals through the city, thus making for several walk possibilities. To see some of the attractions of Galway, start at the Millenium Playground near the Cathedral, and follow the Corrib with a small canal on your right (look out for the ducks!). You can either end your walk at William O’Brian Bridge, or continue further towards Wolfe Tone Bridge until you end up at Claddagh where you can see the famous swans.

River Lee, Cork

photo by Richard Fensome

River Lee passes through Cork in two main channels, so to get from one point of the city to another, you will find yourself constantly crossing bridges. For a 3 hour walk, start on the Daly Bridge, and continue to the old Cork Waterworks, pass by the former gothic District Lunatic Asylum. If you keep walking on Lee Road, you will eventually end up in an open field, and you can continue a pleasant walk in nature until you reach a rusty iron gate – a very nice place for a picnic and a great way to end one of the most amazing river walks in Ireland.


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