Crowded City to the heart of the Emerald Isle

We all need the chance to escape the crowded aspects of life. To forget about our to-do-lists, chores and pressures at work. To live in the moment, explore and feel alive. Moments to do this are vital in our demanding, fast paced, modern lives. Whilst juggling multiple projects and roles, it’s so important to take a break from the norm, to remind yourself of who you are and do the things that ignite the fire inside you!

In partnership with Berghaus and Tourism Ireland, Sophie Radcliffe was joined by fellow adventurer Laura Kennington, who took a simple weekend break to the heart of the Emerald Isle – Ireland – to see what kind of magic they could create in a few days away! Two very excited girls boarded the plane from London to Dublin; our bags packed with Berghaus kit and minds buzzing with the possibility of adventure on our tour of Ireland’s Ancient East.

Sophie tells us more about breaking out of the 9-5 routine at the end of the week below.

The Power of Yes

Ireland left me with a deep appreciation for saying yes to new experiences and all the wonder and joy that can come flooding into your life when you do. It’s no secret that experiences can enrich your soul so I hope this blog inspires you to plan your own magical adventure to the Emerald Isle.

I’m proud to partner with Berghaus, a British outdoor apparel brand on a mission to champion how we can impact our physical and mental health through the power of adventure and getting active in outside. To combat the crisis of anxiety and depression we’re living in, we need to find ways to help others and ourselves. I firmly believe exploring and being active in the great outdoors can provide a powerful, natural antidote to the stress of modern culture and the lack of engagement and fulfillment we often feel in our daily lives.

Live Your Adventure

Adventure is on our doorstep and my favourite adventures are always the ones I have in the UK. I haven’t done much exploring in Ireland, so when the opportunity came up to work with Berghaus and Tourism Ireland on this exciting collaboration, my answer was 100% YES! Wait, it gets better! You can win a trip to Ireland! Follow in our footsteps to create an adventure of your own! Full details below.

Adventure Weekend : Saturday

Crowded City to Emerald Isle, Tourism Ireland, Ireland, Desktop to Mountain top, Sophie Radcliffe, two girls outdoors, outdoors, berghaus

We stayed in Kilkenny, a vibrant town with access to great hikes, castles and delicious food. Kilkenny has a variety of restaurants and fun bars for evening entertainment – we felt it was the perfect mix between accessibility to nature and city life.

Waking up Saturday morning and throwing open the curtains to a beautiful blue-sky day gave me a real sense of excitement. Over breakfast Laura and I discussed plans and decided to go for a 5 mile hike that promised to have beautiful views, explore a castle or two, eat dinner and maybe enjoy a pint of Guiness to close the day.

The Walks

It wouldn’t be a road trip without some rocking tunes and great chats as we drove to the stunning Glen of Aerhlow. Finding the start to the trail was straightforward as there’s a big white statue of Christ overlooking the valley to mark it. We chose the Green Trail – Rock an Thorbh Loop – and followed the footpath on a gentle climb through the woods. Stopping to pick blackberries on the way and enjoy the glorious Autumn sunshine filtering through the trees. The views were sensational, what a divine day!

Taking time to walk at an enjoyable pace, breathe, enjoy the views and each other’s company was so lovely! We loved this trail because it’s well marked, fairly easy going, safe and diverse. From woodland to wide-open vistas, it proved to be the perfect way to kick start our weekend.

On the way home we found castle ruins to explore – there are some amazing gems to happen upon when you open your eyes and mind to the possibility of adventure. We drove back to Kilkenny at golden hour watching the sun go down and feeling lucky to be alive, living these amazing moments and sharing them with each other.

Adventure Weekend: Sunday

Crowded City to Emerald Isle, Tourism Ireland, Ireland, Desktop to Mountain top, Sophie Radcliffe, two girls outdoors, outdoors, berghaus

Sunday had a similar vibe; hiking, eating and enjoying Ireland! After a hearty breakfast, we drove to Tinahely and set off to do Mangan’s Loop. Another well-marked, accessible trail with gentle terrain. You’ll work up a sweat and feel like you’ve had a great walk. This was the perfect option for our girl’s weekend and although we missed the sunshine from the day before, we admired how the overcast skies brought the Autumn colours to life.

After the hike we gorged on a feast at Tinahely Farm Shop and Restaurant, before picking up treats from The Chocolate Garden on the way home.

Ignite the Fire Inside You

Over dinner we reflected on how perfect a day this was. We spent a solid chunk of the day outside hiking in the hills, followed by healthy and hearty meals – all shared with a good friend. As we drifted off to sleep, our hearts and minds were full of memories and we felt that fire inside ignited. The fire that reminds us what it’s like to FEEL ALIVE!

If you are planning a weekend away, Ireland is only a short flight away and offers so much!

We loved how simple it was to access great hikes.  Worried about the amount of experience you have but want to try something like this with friends? These hikes are ideal for you. There’s great motivation to know there’s a hot tub and pint of Guinness or glass of wine waiting for you at the end of the day! Feel free to leave a message below with any questions.

Crowded City to Emerald Isle, Tourism Ireland, Ireland, Desktop to Mountain top, Sophie Radcliffe, two girls outdoors, outdoors, berghaus

Tips to help you plan your trip to Ireland’s Ancient East:

How to get there & where to stay: We flew from London Gatwick to Dublin and hired a car for the weekend.

Kilkenny Hotel was an ideal base for the weekend. We loved the breakfast spread with a wide choice of options, friendly staff, big comfy beds. Perfect after a day adventuring, with the option to relax in the pool or spa!

What to do:
– Hike in the Glen of Aherlow. We did the Rock an Thorbh Loop (6km)
– Hike Mangan’s Loop from Tinahely (9km)
– Explore the Rock of Cashel, Cahir castle or Loughmoe Castle
– Visit the Chocolate Garden.

Where to eat in Kilkenny:
– Zuni Restaurant & bar
– Harper’s Restaurant
– Ristorante Rinuccini
– Kilkenny Hotel Restaurant.

Pubs and bars:
– Matt the Millers
– The Field
– Kytelers Inn
– Syd Harkin’s.

What kit to wear:

Click the image to shop the look.

Get everything else you need here.

Click here to win a dream trip to Ireland.

You can find out more about Sophie Radcliffe here