Limerick By Foot: Best Walking Trails

Posted 9.12.23

Limerick By Foot: Best Walking Trails


Set at the mouth of the famous River Shannon, Limerick city and county are full of varied landscapes to enjoy as a couple. And with those landscapes come a wide range of walks and trails to help you get to the heart of all the area has to offer. 

The Best Walking Trails in Limerick

Enjoy the tranquil surroundings of pretty woodlands, or take a bracing walk along the Shannon estuary. Follow the route of a historic railway, or stand in awe at the city’s history and architecture. 

You don’t have to be a regular hiker to enjoy the area by foot. There are walks around Limerick for all difficulty levels, whether you want a gentle romantic stroll or a more challenging hike. 

Limerick City Walking Trails

Walking is the best way to experience the majesty of Limerick city. Explore its medieval castle and cathedral, cross the mighty Shannon and take a stroll through its elegant Georgian streets. 

A series of walking trails has been designed to help visitors and locals alike get out and about in the city and its environs. Two particular highlights for tourists are the Three Bridges trail and the City Centre to Shannon Fields walk. These walks around Limerick give you a sense of the life of this historic city. 

1. The Three Bridges

Needless to say, this looped walk brings you across or beside three of Limerick’s river bridges. You’ll also travel along riverside boardwalks and immerse yourself in Limerick’s medieval architecture. This 3.6km walk begins and ends at Arthur’s Quay Park.

2. City Centre to Shannon Fields Riverside Walk

Get active and follow in the footsteps of a Limerick Olympian. This 3.2km trail honours Michael O’ Shea, who is also a World Cross Country Champion. Starting at Lock Quay on Clare Street, you’ll follow the river from the city centre to the Shannon Fields (ending at Athlunkard Bridge in Corbally). In the past, Shannon Fields was a popular spot for local families to come for picnics and a swim. Don’t just stop your adventure at the end of the trail: the riverside at Corbally has a fascinating history to explore.

If you want to drive from Maldron Hotel Limerick to the city centre, it will take you approximately 10 minutes. You can also get there by a mixture of bus transport and walking.

The Limerick Greenway

Part of the Great Southern Trail, the Limerick Greenway provides a 39km stretch of safe pathway for walking and cycling. The path has an even surface, so regular shoes and outdoor clothing are appropriate. Officially opened in 2021, it’s one of the most talked-about walking trails in Limerick. 

The Greenway follows a section of the old Limerick to Tralee railway route, which operated for almost 100 years, closing in the 1970s. Lots of interesting elements of the old railway remain along the trail, including a Victorian viaduct and a tunnel which brought a small section of the track underground. 

But the Greenway isn’t just about the railway. You’ll get to explore some of the finest countryside the county has to offer. Unwind in nature as you pass through plains, pastures and forests. The viewing point in Barna (the highest point of the former railway line) offers views stretching to Clare, Kerry and Cork.

The Greenway is broken into five sections.

1. Rathkeale to Ardagh

Distance: 9km

Length of time to walk: 2.5 hours

Look out for: the old Rathkeale railway station. 

2. Ardagh to Newcastle West

Distance: 4km 

Length to time to walk: 1 hour

Look out for: Desmond Castle

3. Newcastle West to Barnagh

Distance: 10km 

Length of time to walk: 2.5 hours

Look out for: Ferguson’s Viaduct

4. Barnagh to Templeglantine

Distance: 4km 

Length of time to walk: 1 hour

Look out for: views of a wind farm

5. Templeglantine to Abbeyfeale to The Kerry Border

Distance: 9km to Abbeyfeale, 3km more to the Kerry Border

Length of time to walk: 2 hours

Look out for: Tullig Wood

There are also loop trails of three of the towns along the Greenway: Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West and Rathkeale. These towns (and plenty more towns and villages besides) are always eager to welcome Greenway visitors to their communities.

Rathkeale is the closest Greenway access point to Maldron Hotel Limerick. The drive is 28km and takes about 25 minutes. Rathkeale can also be accessed by bus. 

To find out more about each section, access points, and more, please visit here.

Glin Heritage Walking Trails

Overlooking the impressive Shannon Estuary, Glin is a picturesque village full of history. 

The area is home to the Knights of Glin (a hereditary title of the Fitzgerald family). The current castle, a Georgian country house, remains in the family, although it is operated as a luxury hotel. 

Glin is also a busy market village, especially during the horse and cattle fair in December.

The village offers three fascinating heritage walking trails, each of which start at St. Paul’s Heritage Centre, beside the gates of Glin Castle Demesne.

View the detailed trail guide to discover more about what is involved in each route. 

1. The Knight’s Walk

Distance: 4km

Length of time to walk: 2 hours

Difficulty: moderate

This walk brings you through the Race Field, which was used regularly in the last century. You’ll also amble through pretty woodlands and view the local area and surrounding counties from Tullyglass hill. See if you can spot Shannon Airport, across the river in Co. Clare.

2. Knockaranna

Distance: 8.5km

Length of time to walk: 2 hours 

Difficulty: easy 

The Knockaranna trail will introduce you to some fascinating features of Glin including the pier and Hamilton Tower. You’ll also walk along the estuary shoreline. Why not look out for some local flora and fauna as you go, using the information board in the town park as your guide?

3. The Path

Distance: 4.5km 

Length of time to walk: 1 hour

Difficulty: easy

This path also brings you along the edge of the Shannon Estuary, but in the other direction. You’ll pass features such as Glin Castle, the Gate Lodge and the bathing lodge. 

It takes approximately 45 minutes to drive from Maldron Hotel Limerick to Glin. There are a number of routes you could take but we recommend the N59 for a scenic drive along the estuary. If you have time, make sure to stop in Foynes for a visit to the Flying Boat Museum. You can also access Glin by bus.

Curraghchase Forest Park

This popular park is the former estate of the DeVere family and the remains of their home still overlook the surrounding countryside.

If you’re looking for forest walks in Limerick, Curraghchase is the best place to start. With native woodlands, a man-made lake and even an arboretum, it’s a peaceful place to while away a morning or afternoon. For those with an interest in nature, the park has a number of Special Areas of Conservation. 

Located just a 25-minute drive from Maldron Hotel Limerick, a series of walking and hiking trails can be found, ranging in difficulty to suit all abilities. 

1. The Lake Trail

Distance: 1.1km

Length of time to walk: 20 minutes

Difficulty: easy

This is the easiest of the three, designed to be accessible to all. It takes you in a pretty circuit around the man-made lake.

2. The Curragh Trail

Distance: 2.4km 

Length of time to walk: 30 minutes

Difficulty: easy

The Curragh Trail and Glenisca Trail (below), both take you through the park’s woodland and help you experience the nature and wildlife to be found in the area.

3. The Glenisca Trail

Distance: 3.6km 

Length of time to walk: 1 hour

Difficulty: moderate

Orienteering trails are also available if you want to add an extra layer of challenge to your walk! Guides for both the walking and orienteering trails can be downloaded from here

Opening hours vary throughout the year.

1st April to 31st October: 7am to 9pm

1st November to 31st March: 8am to 6pm

There is a €5 charge per car to access the car park.

Adare River Bank Walk

Adare is full of history and architecture, as well as some of the finest places to eat in Co. Limerick. This pretty village is also looking to the future, as it gets ready to host the Ryder Cup in 2027.

The Adare River Bank Walk is a flat, looped 2.3km trail, suitable for all abilities. St. Nicholas’s Church is a good place to park and start. From there you can follow the riverside path along the River Maigue to Station Road which brings you back to the village . If it’s open, call into the Heritage Centre before turning left to follow the street back to the church.

Please note that the walk includes busy roads (although footpaths are present), so take caution as needed.

Adare is a 16km (18 minute) drive from Maldron Hotel Limerick. You can also access the village by bus. 

Clare Glens (Murroe)

This easy hike brings you right to the edge of Co. Limerick and is another example of the wonderful forest walks and hiking trails in Limerick. The Clare River is the boundary between counties Limerick and Tipperary and flows through a red sandstone gorge which creates the glens. This restful woodland walk will bring you along the tree-lined riverbanks. Enjoy the soundtrack of the rushing river and waterfalls as you go.

Starting at the Clare River Bridge, you can choose either a 2km or 4km loop trail. The hiking trails are part of the National Looped Walk network and are marked with their standard signage. Waterproof walking boots are recommended.

Your Base For Limerick’s Best Walking Trails

After a busy day walking or hiking, there’s nothing nicer than coming back to a warm and comfortable room. 

At Maldron Hotel Limerick, we’re always ready to welcome you in from the walking and hiking trails of Limerick. And our Grain & Grill Bar and Restaurant is the perfect spot to refuel after your adventures.

We’ve a fantastic range of hotel rooms and offers in Limerick for couples to choose from, so you’re sure to find exactly what you need for the perfect walking holiday in Limerick. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!