TOP 10 amazing places for wild rock climbing in Ireland

From dramatic cliffs to epic ancient landscapes, these are the most amazing places for rock climbing in Ireland.

With awe-inspiring scenery that might steal your heart, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of places for wild rock climbing in Ireland.

Climbing is a top sport here. And with an endless array of mountain peaks, coastal cliffs, peaks and vistas, it’s no wonder why.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts come from far and wide to enjoy the Emerald Isle.

10. Dalkey Quarry, Co. Dublin – for the ascent into town

Dalkey Quarry is perfect for a city climb.
Credit: Instagram / @combokate

Located close to central Dublin, Dalkey Quarry is the perfect place to enjoy a city climb.

Composed primarily of granite rock, this urban quarry offers climbers mostly single-pitch routes between 32 feet (10 meters) and 115 feet (35 meters) in length.

Address: Scalpwilliam, Dublin, Ireland

9. Doolin, Co. Clare – for culture and cliffs

Doolin is one of the best wild climbing sites in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @blytheandshanedrymer

While Doolin is most often associated with its culture and the nearby Cliffs of Moher, you might also want to know that it offers some great backdrops for wild climbing in Ireland.

Not far from the village, in an area called locally Lackglass, you will find plenty of bouldering opportunities with limestone cliffs up to 4.5 meters high.

Address: Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

8. Morne Mountains, County Down – for the highest mountains in Northern Ireland

The Morne Mountains are the highest mountains in the NI.
Credit: Instagram / @namaste_mountaineering

Often called the The main climbing destination in Northern Ireland, the Morne Mountains offer endless possibilities for those looking to explore new routes, with over 1000 (and 26 cliffs) to explore.

With options for every level of climber, this is a great place to hone your skills. The show’s star is called FM – a relatively easy 541-foot (165-meter) multi-pitch route.

Address: Newry BT34 5XL

7. Aran Islands, County Galway – the diamond to discover

The Aran Islands are one of the best places for wild rock climbing in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @themichaelaanne

The Aran Islands may be known for their history and heritage, but their climbing possibilities should not be overlooked.

Much of the rock mass remains to be climbed, making it a diamond to be discovered. However, Inishmore has tons of established rock climbing sites that are worth a visit.

Address: Árainn Oghil, Co. Galway, Ireland

6. Glendalough, County Wicklow – for the best block

Glendalough in County Wicklow has the best bouldering.
Credit: Instagram / @ dreim.on

If the block is your cup of tea, Glendalough in County Wicklow is the place for you.

Not far from the hustle and bustle of the bustling ruins of its ancient monastic city, Glendalough offers over 150 bouldering routes ranging from V0 to V13, making it the perfect playground for all bouldering skill levels.

Address: Derrybawn, Glendalough, County Wicklow, A98 HC80

5. The Gap of Dunloe, Co. Kerry – the underestimated climb

The Gap of Dunloe is one of the best places for wild rock climbing in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @mollie_ocarroll

The Gap of Dunloe is one of the best wild climbing grounds in Ireland.

Offering sturdy sandstone with good hold, there are countless routes to climb in this picturesque setting. And, with a variety of cliffs in varying shapes and sizes, The Gap of Dunloe makes an interesting alternative to your climbing schedule.

Address: Dunloe Upper, County Kerry, Ireland

4. Gola Island, County Donegal – for the night

Gola Island in County Donegal offers the perfect overnight stay.
Credit: Instagram / @ hikeandclimb.ie

For those who wish to make their climb a overnight experience, look no further than the uninhabited island of Gola. This isolated island offers fantastic opportunities for adventurers.

There are over 200 single-pitch routes through the granite terrain, most of which present themselves as dramatic cliffs and backdrops.

Address: Co. Donegal, Ireland

3. Ailladie, County Clare – the sea cliff hang

Ailladie is a must visit for wild rock climbing in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @peter_sham_

If Epic Cliffs are your jam, Ailladie in County Clare gets the Gold Star. This impressive limestone mass extends 2,624 feet (800 meters) wide and between 26 and 115 feet (8 to 35 meters) high.

Considered to be one of the most amazing places for rock climbing in Ireland, this is a must see for any rock climber.

Address: Ailladie, The Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland

2. Fair Head, Co. Antrim – the unmissable spot for climbers

Fair Head is a key location for climbers.
Credit: Instagram / @fairheadbouldering

With over 400 routes stretching along a three kilometer (1.8 mile) cliff, this challenging cliff is not for beginners.

Most routes should be approached with a rappelling approach, and routes tend to be long and arduous. Saying that, it’s damn spectacular!

Address: Ballycastle, BT54 6RD

1. Malin Head, Co. Donegal – for the northernmost point of Ireland

Malin Head is one of the best places for wild rock climbing in Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

No list of the most amazing places for wild rock climbing in Ireland would be complete without a big thank you to Malin Head.

Not only is this cinematic journey as impressive as they come (it was, in fact, a filming location for Star wars), but it offers a range of long single-pitch and multi-pitch routes, most of which are of lower quality.

Address: Cionn Mhálanna, Ardmalin, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Guides:

It’s important to remember that the great outdoors – although wild and wonderful – should be approached with caution. Don’t forget to climb with a local guide who knows the lay of the land.

We suggest John Healy from Simply Mountains – an experienced guide and full time instructor with an excellent knowledge of the Irish landscape.

Another top local guide is Bren Whelan of Donegal Climbing, as is Piaras of Kerry Climbing – an award winning climbing provider.