Tain Way

PLEASE NOTE that due to forestry operations taking place in Slieve Foye Woods, parts of this trail will be diverted. Please follow the diversion signage in place.

County Louth
6 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 40.3 km
Am 2 days
Format Loop
Ascent 1025 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Finish Point
Nearest Town to Start Carlingford
Grid Ref. J 188 117
Lat. and Long. 54.04072, -6.18631

The Cooley peninsula is a mountainous finger of land that extends 19 km from County Louth into the Irish Sea between Carlingford Lough and Dundalk Bay. It is a place steeped in legend, and the site of the epic saga known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley, which tells of a battle between Queen Meabh of Connacht and the champion Cú Chulainn over the Brown Bull of Cooley, an animal of great size and reputation. Apart from the sagas, plenty of evidence survives of the Cooley's rich historical past in its passage graves, portal tombs and the well-preserved medieval town of Carlingford, where John, the Magna Carta king, had a great castle built. Like all places off the beaten track, the Cooley has an aura of agelessness and has become a popular place to escape to, however briefly, and overnight accommodation options are plentiful. The Táin Way is a circular route that loops around Carlingford Mountain (590m) and its western outliers, touching the top of one at Clermont, which has a Bronze Age cairn. Terrain consists mainly of quiet roads, forestry tracks, and open mountain paths, and from the high points the views are spectacularly good, northwards across Carlingford Lough to the Mournes, and southwards down the east coast. Total aggregate ascent is about 1000m, including a few long ascents.

Trail Management

Carlingford Tourist Office, Carlingford Co. Louth Tel: +353 (0) 42 937 3033 Email: info@carlingford.ie Web: www.carlingford.ie


Car parking
At Start/Finish - on street in Carlingford or in car park on main road

21 kms or 52% of the Way follows local roads.
***No dogs allowed on farmland***

Map Guides

Map Guides

EastWest Mapping - Cooley 1:25,000 | Email: info@eastwestmapping.ie

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 36
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: Bus Monday to Saturday Check with Bus Eireann.

6 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

Eoghan from Louth

Ran the trail starting from Carlingford and went clockwise. Half of the trail is along the road which isn’t ideal but there is some great scenery, especially coming over Clermont and dropping into the valley.
There are some makers missing so bring a map or download the route. It took just over 4 hours.

Xavier from Meath

Did the walk in a day. Definitely not a good idea, last 5km were a killer. The walk overall is ok, some litter along the way and some of the walk along a main road but overall decent walk and fairly well marked although recommend being decent at using map/compass. Carlingford is a nice place to stop if doing it over 2 days.

Stephen from Down

Walked in March this year. We decided to walk from Ravensdale and park the cars in Lumpers Pub. This is a walkers bar and big carpark designed for hikers. They charge 3e for parking and small charge for using showers. The walk is well marked from the start and anti clockwise takes you over to Carlingford. Stayed the night in Carlingford at McKevitts Hotel and had great fun. Continued the trail next day and able to finish with a cold beer back at Lumpers. Good mixture of road and trail walking with the highlight cresting the hill looking out over Carlingford Lough and the Mournes. Looked at both options and having such good craic in Carlingford felt this was the best. I could see a big grass area at back of Lumpers so I reckon you could use that as the overnight camp if needed.

Dom from Dublin

Walked the trail on 9/10 July 14. Day 1 from Carlingford and we set off in very bright and pleasant weather. The views were beautiful all day particularly as we ascended from Omeath via Clermont Bridge to Clermont mast. A small amount of litter on the road about 1km from the mast but nothing that a quick visit from the county council couldn't sort out. The descent towards ravensdale from Clermont afforded wonderful views down the valley and across Dundalk Bay. Brightly painted stones marked the track all the way down. These stones mark out the route of the puc fada and they end at an ancient dolmen. Overnighting by a stream in a wooded area, under the stars, in Ravensdale, courtesy of a local landowner we awoke to an overcast drizzly day. The mountains ahead were cloaked in dark menacing clouds, causing us to reconsider our route back to Carlingford. However we decided to stick to the original route and head back up over the hills. The rain clouds thankfully moved on and we stayed dry and were rewarded with great views in all directions particularly eastwards over Carlingford and Greenore and over the lough to the mournes.

Overall a tough but rewarding 40km which I would recommend to anyone of moderate fitness.

Brian and nuala from _none

We did this walk on 13 June. There are far better walks out there,very disappointed. First few kms some nice views overlooking Carlingford but then you just end up walking on main roads wherre the traffic doesn't seem to notice you. Was very dangerous. Around the 17 km mark we were on forestry road. Everywhere we looked there was rubbish on the side of the road and to ruin the walk completely we then came across boy racers racing each other up and down the roads. Iif you wish to do this walk I would recommend doing the last 10 km of it otherwise not very enjoyable which was a pity.

David from Louth

Here is my video of the walk - warts and all: http://youtu.be/Etnhy9rPV14

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