Outdoors

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Reopened in 2013, the Cliffs of Moher coastal path is undoubtedly Ireland’s busiest low-level route.

Early in the 21st century, little existed to attract walkers to Ireland, as access problems abounded. It was mostly just the high mountains – which we(...)

Hiker walking along Leenane Hill after snowfall with Killary Fjord and Mweelrea mountain in background.

About a year ago a walker set out to climb Ben Nevis, which is the highest mountain on these islands, while unprepared for the challenge. Without prop(...)

Autumn oak in Donadea, Co Kildare: Our fascination with trees is not just because they are objects of beauty but because they are “living beings that breathe and grow and struggle to survive and recreate just as we do ourselves”.

Our appreciation of trees seems to peak in the autumn months as we witness the splendorous colour of leaves falling from broadleaf trees. The importan(...)

Forest bathing: an increasingly popular wellness practice that may help prevent ill-health. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

I’m on my first forest bathing walk with a group of 27 people in Glendalough, Co Wicklow. Shirley Gleeson, nature and well-being consultant and leader(...)

Sea kayaking at Reen Pier, Union Hall, west Cork at  twilight. Photograph: Emma Jervis

The debate on how humans have lost their connection with nature continues. Yet anyone who goes hiking in the hills, swimming in the sea or even regula(...)

The unusual combination of pine woods, sand-dunes and beach at Raven Point. Photograph: Zoe Devlin

“Pondlife” shouldn’t be a term of abuse, because pond life can be very, very beautiful. Zoe Devlin and I are watching dragonflies over a pond in the R(...)

Charlotte Salter-Townshend,  who devised the new walks,  will focus on the geographical origins of plants and the role some played in the development of slavery and international trading routes

Plants and Power: Botanical Imperialism is the intriguing theme of a new series of guided walks in the National Botanic Gardens on Saturdays in Septem(...)

Making rooms for nature: members of Portlaoise Men’s Shed with nest boxes for birds and mammals outside their workshops. Photograph: Johanna McDonald Steenkist

“We would have been better off in our nude. We were drenched to the skin the whole time,” Dominic Kessie recalls wryly. He and his colleagues from Po(...)

March sunrise at Counshingaum. Photograph courtesy Paddy Dwan
A cure in the Comeraghs

“Why should I want to go to Africa, or anywhere else?” Paddy Dwan asks, surveying the broad expanse of the Comeragh mountains from a roadside gap betw(...)

Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard wrote, ‘every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness’. Photograph: iStock

“You get old when you stop walking. You don’t stop walking because you get old,” says Shane O’Mara, professor of experimental brain research at Trinit(...)

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