Ireland is proudly known for its unique relationship with nature and access to the flora and fauna that the island has to offer. Whether you find yourself in one of the major cities, a rural town or village, or along the breathtaking Irish coastline, you’re likely never too far from a green space to explore.
In light of this heritage, several Irish universities have created stunning nature walks and trails rich in biodiversity which are open to students and members of the public alike. These spaces are enjoyed by thousands of people every year who are looking to destress, get their exercise in with a warm cup of coffee, or even just feel more at one with nature.
In this article we are going to explore three of Ireland’s campus walks, what they offer the public, and why they might be the walking experience you never knew was right under your nose!
University College Cork
University College Cork, known as UCC, has one of the most breathtaking campus landscapes in Ireland and around the world. UCC’s main quad is an iconic representation of Irish third-level education, and it doesn’t hurt that it looks eerily similar to something you’d find at Hogwarts.
UCC’s campus walk is steeped in history. From the historical Aula Maxima with its ogham stone collection to the Honan Chapel where graduates of the university can get married to this day to the university gardens which are bursting with flowers and freshly cut grass. You can also take in the refurbished Crawford Observatory and the Boole library, named after George Boole, UCC's first Professor of Maths and founder of Boolean Logic.
National University of Ireland, Galway
If you find yourself out west in Ireland, then a trip to the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) is simply a must. Founded in 1847, NUIG campus is a rich blend of preserved historical buildings and more modern additions.
NUIG’s campus walk takes in the famous quad, the concourse completed in the 1970s, and the Alice Perry Engineering Building. Discover the famous past alumni from Michael O Shaughnessy to Martin Sheen.
NUIG also boasts a magnificent Biodiversity Walking Trail with a “mosaic of very important green and blue habitats”. This trail is also available to the general public as well as students and staff of the university. The trail takes in the River Corrib and the number of habitats that surround it such as parklands, woodlands, a herb garden, meadows, and reed beds. The birdlife on the campus ranges from Ireland’s smallest bird, the goldcrest, to the largest, the mute swan. It is also home to the world’s fastest animal, the peregrine falcon.
Trinity College Dublin
No list of essential Irish campus walks would be complete without mentioning the world-renowned Trinity College campus in Dublin. TCD has a staggering 47-acre campus, yes that’s right, 47 acres of land in the heart of Dublin City Centre which you can explore at your leisure or pay for a guided campus tour.
Trinity’s sensational campus walk takes in pleasant greens, a stunning library, and the iconic Long Room. Founded in the 16th century, Trinity is steeped in history, and you won’t have to explore the campus for very long before coming across Ireland’s famed Book of Kells.
Ireland is home to many more universities and educational grounds with unique and wonderful campus walks. So, next time you find yourself bored of the same old walking trail or jogging route, try a campus walk on for size!
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