Walks: St Anne's Park, Dublin

This green oasis in the city's northern suburbs is full of surprises and amenities. The park of about 110 hectares was part of a larger demesne owned by the Guinness and Plunkett families. Dublin Corporation developed most of the land for housing but retained the scenic core as parkland.


Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy
To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,
Or a red lady-bird upon a...


Northsiders especially appreciate the National Botanic Gardens, which attract many visitors from Ireland and abroad. The Office of Public Works (OPW) diligently manages the gardens which Dubliners term "the botanics".

Little Sugar Loaf

Above the main road follow a byroad beyond houses and bungalows. Respect private property and privacy. Below the ridge, take the well-worn track up through the heather. Sticks or adjustable poles are useful in this terrain. There is a fairly steep climb through bushes, gorse, scree and rocks. On the shoulder, pause for breath and enjoy views over Dublin Bay: Bray, Killiney and Howth. The Cooleys and Mournes are visible on a clear day.


Walks: By Ard Mhuire's Shore, Donegal

Ivy-clad trees, beech, oak, pines and laurel provide extra shelter. In season, the path is paved with pine needles and fir cones. Below the path, drops from overhanging trees make distinctive sand patterns in contrast to the wave-swept outer shore. Warning signs indicate that the strand is unsuitable for swimming and that the rocks and cliffs are dangerous. Visitors enter at their own risk, so take care.

Walks:Gartan Lake, Co. Donegal – A stroll through history

Leaving the Heritage Centre, turn right along the wooded shoreline, then left onto a road. Pause on the bridge over the river Leannan and relish lake views. Keep left at the next junction. The lakeshore road brings you to the Glebe, which the artist Derek Hill donated to the nation. There are periodic arts exhibitions at the gallery and the gardens are open to the public After the Glebe, cross the small Tehabber bridge.