Ireland’s woods and forests are not just about trees – they are tranquil havens teeming with diverse flora and fauna that have rich historical associations. Find details of just some of Ireland’s favourite woods and forests below.
This steep wooded hill, north of Augher, is topped by huge stones with remarkable inscribed designs of the Bronze Age tomb of Knockmany. They are inscribed with the finest example of megalithic art in Ulster and are said to be the final resting place of Aine, the shadowy 2nd-century queen. The view from the monument is superb. The walk to the stones and viewpoint is quite steep and fairly strenuous along a pathway about 2km from the upper carpark. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake at Knockmany Forest, passing through a Heritage Stand of Douglas fir planted in 1924.
Lis Ard Gardens cover a huge area of 200 acres devoted to Irish nature. The gardens incorporate woodlands, waterfalls, meadows, and lakes, giving visitors a truely enjoyable experience of tranquility and calmness. Trees more than 150 years old tower overhead, setting the stage for fascinating light shows in the Sky Garden created by James Turell. If you are seeking accommodation in the area, check out GoIreland’s range of Skibbereen hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Carnagh Forest in Castleblayney is a small forest of mixed conifers and broadleaves. It incorporates a nature reserve and lakes.
The exceptional harmony of woodland, water, parkland, and old buildings gives Crom its very special quality. One of the most important nature conservation sites owned by the National Trust, the estate woodlands consist of fine stands of ancient oak, providing a rich and diverse habitat, while the shoreline of Crom support many very rare plants. The fine old buildings which enhance the landscape include Crom Old Castle, Crichton Tower and Crom Church.
Cabra, Cootehill, Cavan
A forest park that includes part of the Cabra Estate formerly is situated in the parish of Enniskeen. Steeped in history and legend, it is said that Cuchulain camped there while defending Ulster against Maeve’s armies. The forest is also associated with the Normans and with Cromwell’s armies.
Dun A Ri is a forest of 229 hectares, 146 hectares of which is managed as a commercial forest. Its oak trees produce a valuable veneer crop. Accommodation is available in a wide range of Cavan hotels which can be booked instantly and securely.
An easy 3/4 mile forest walk along the Blackwater takes in a meadow and deer lawn with adjoining picnic area. A shorter walk through larch woodland leads to a gigantic Druid stone known as St Patrick’s Chair. Nearby is a small dish shaped depression carved out of solid rock called St Patrick’s Well, which is credited with special healing powers. This is the venue for Bilberry Sunday festival in July. Check out GoIreland’s list of hotels in Derry should you wish to book quality accommodation.
Centred around the ruins of Curraghchase House, the 18th Century home of poet Aubrey deVere, this beautiful 600-acre park includes an arboretum, a wildlife lake and a nature trail which takes you to many of it’s most beautiful features. A Caravan and Camping park is also on the grounds.
Also known as Ardnageeha, Ard Na Gaoithe lies 3km south-west of Cong on a 3rd-class road via Ashford Castle. It incorporates a picnic site, forest walks, and scenic views. Browse GoIreland’s listing of Galway hotel accommodation, which includes Clonbur, if you wish to book accommodation in the area.