Northern Ireland named top global hiking destination

Grab your hiking boots and take to the great outdoors as Northern Ireland has been named a top global hiking destination.

As the good weather and longer days make their long-awaited return, many across Ireland are eager to get back outside to explore the stunning natural landscapes the Emerald Isle has to offer.

The north is no exception to the rule, with plenty of mountain treks and country trails to keep even the seasoned hiker on their toes.

With so many amazing routes to choose from for all ages and abilities, Northern Ireland has officially ranked as a top global hiking destination.

In-depth research – a global study reveals Northern Ireland as a top global hiking destination

Northern Ireland named a top global hiking destination.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The UK’s top online retailer for running, gym, and hiking gear conducted in-depth research to discover the top places in the world for hiking

Researchers analysed Google searches for more than 500 hiking routes alongside walking and hiking holidays in more than 100 countries. They then combined this with social media data on each individual hike to create an index that reveals the best locations for hiking in the world.

By compiling the data, researchers concluded that Northern Ireland is a top global hiking destination.

Worthy contenders – other top hiking destinations

Spain topped the rankings.

Ranking alongside Northern Ireland, Spain came out on top as the top global hiking destination, boasting 170,830 annual searches.

Japan came in a close second with England in third and Scotland in fourth. Australia ranked fifth, with 20,000 searches and 54,155 hashtags on Instagram.

Germany ranked in sixth position, followed by France in seventh. Wales came in eighth, Italy in ninth, and Northern Ireland closed out the top ten.

However, if you find yourself throughout the rest of Ireland, there’s no need to fret. Ireland narrowly missed out on a spot in the top ten, ranking at number 14.

Northern Ireland’s most popular hikes – something for everyone

Slieve Gullion is one of the most popular hikes in Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Naming Northern Ireland among the top global hiking destinations, revealed the most popular hikes in the country.

Coming out top is the magnificent Slieve Donard, which towers above the seaside town of Newcastle in County Down. As the highest mountain in the country, this hike is not for the faint-hearted.

Coming in second place is the unique Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge on the Causeway Coast. This daredevil trek won’t require as high a level of fitness as some other hikes. However, we can bet your heart will be pumping by the time you reach the other side.

Northern Ireland named top global hiking destination.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

Coming in third is the beautiful Slieve Gullion in County Armagh. With an elevation of 1880 ft (573 m), this hike reaches the highest point in the county.

So, do you want to explore the great outdoors? Then a trip to Northern Ireland should be on your bucket list! And, while you’re here, why not make your way around the rest of Ireland and discover the incredible mountain trails the island is known for?

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