Walking Holidays in Ireland

Mourne MountainsThis is an unashamed plug for a friend who runs a walking holidays company.  Macs Adventures arrange hill walking tour and cycling holidays all over Europe.  Being a bit of a hill walker myself this gets my interest.

However I first thought when looking at walking holidays – Why would I pay for someone to arrange this for me?  I am the eternal student, in my head anyway, and I think about the cost of things.  But on second thoughts I discovered that I am not so right in this.

For about the same price of doing it all myself, phoning dozens of Bed and Breakfasts and trying to get a reasonable price, having one that is the right distance from the last one – so that I get a good long walk during the day, and having a B&B that caters to hill walkers – well I begin to see the sense in having someone else do all this work for me.

For example, if you are walking the West Highland Way in Scotland, you have to sit down and work out how far you intend to walk each day and if there is a B&B at the point you want to stop.  The other point is the rucksack.  Why carry you own all day, when included in the holiday you can have someone ferry it to your next stop and all you have to carry is a reasonably light daypack.

I have walked many long distance routes in Europe, from the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Wicklow Way in Ireland, The West Highland Way – walking up Ben Nevis should not be missed at the end – to walking around the Ring of Kerry.  I know how much work and planning can go into arranging all this myself.  This is the main reason I raved in a recent post about a hostel in the Mourne Mountains – I arrived, they had breakfast and diner for me, made my packed lunch – but the great part, they had ten walks and the associated maps printed and sitting in the room for me.  This is always the hardest part of arriving somewhere new – finding the start of the walks, knowing what to prepare – I can walk around the Wicklow Hills easily as I do so often, as I know the area very well  – but it takes more time than I often have when I am away on a walking holiday.

Anyway back to Macs – they have walking and cycling tours all over Europe – give them a look, two that are on my radar for the future is Hadrian’s Wall and the Coast to Coast walk.

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