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Ireland’s rugged terrain and wild coastlines make it a dream location for adventure travellers who don’t mind a little rainfall. From big-wave surfing on the western shores to summiting the country’s most majestic peaks, there is adventure to be had across the island. Here is Culture Trip’s guide to adventure travel in Ireland’s four provinces.
In the east, your first port of call should be Kilkenny’s Castlecomer Discovery Park, which launched Ireland’s longest over-water zipline in 2016 – 300m (984ft) long and 35m (115ft) above ground at its highest point. The park also offers treetop rope walks, boating and more. If you’d like to get a bit closer to nature, the Kippure Estate Adventure Centre on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains National Park offers wilderness skills, clay shooting, mountain navigation, kayaking and other adventures in some of the most beautiful countryside in Ireland. It also has various lodges and hostel-style accommodation for rent. In Dublin, the Howth peninsula is popular with kitesurfers.
County Sligo kind of has the market covered when it comes to adventure travel in the west, even having deemed itself the adventure capital of the entire island of Ireland, and it might be right. Its abundance of unspoilt coastline affords endless opportunities for water sports, including freediving, kitesurfing, powerboating, sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, while its rapid rivers make it perfect for whitewater rafting – see Adventure Sligo’s website for full details. Big-wave surfing at Mullaghmore is the ultimate adrenaline rush, but it’s only suitable for veteran surfers. Farther inland, you can go abseiling, horse riding, biking, hill walking and more. Venturing south, you can hike the mountains of Mayo, including the province’s highest peak, Mweelrea.