I still remember as a child being taken for the first time to a waterfall and marvelling at the long cascade of noisy water. We have some amazing waterfalls in Ireland and you can combine a visit to them with a family walk and picnic.
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Many of the waterfalls on our list have picnic places nearby so you can combine a walk, a WOW moment and a picnic in the fresh air.
Wonderful Waterfalls in Ireland
Assarancagh Waterfall, Donegal
Situated just outside Ardara on the way to Killybegs in County Donegal is Assarancagh Waterfall, near the side of the road before you come to Maghera Beach and Caves. The approach road is well surfaced but quite narrow.
The Beach and Caves located just beyond the waterfall are worth a visit, they are usually deserted and the dunes are made from fine white sand.
Aasleagh Falls, Mayo
Located 1km north of the Galway/Mayo border, you’ll find Aasleagh Falls, a picturesque waterfall located on the River Erriff just before the river meets Killary Harbour.
There is a pathway for the short walk to the waterfall. Salmon fishing is very popular at this location, so keep your eyes out for fishermen!
Clamp Hole Waterfall, Laois
The Clamp Hole Waterfall is a three-tiered waterfall at Glenbarrow, where you’ll find a choice of long and short looped trails and the first trail is buggy-friendly as far as the area known as Flat Rock.
The Glenbarrow Waterfall Loop is a 4km loop with mix of forestry paths, woodland trails and tracks. This loop is one of three which start and finish at the Glenbarrow trailhead at Clonaslee – key features include a section of riverbank along the River Barrow, a spectacular 3-tiered waterfall, and natural woodland that in Spring is ablaze with bluebells.
There are shallow pools where children can paddle, and above the three waterfalls, a pool deep enough for adults to dip in. Just be careful on slippy rocks and don’t bathe if the river is in spate. There are picnic tables along the way.
Glencar Waterfall, Leitrim
Glencar Waterfall is situated near Glencar Lake, 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton in County Leitrim. It is particularly impressive after rain and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk with facilities on site including children’s playground, picnic areas, café facilities, tourism information and ample parking.
The waterfall served as an inspiration to the William Butler Yeats and features in his poem The Stolen Child:
‘Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star’
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Glenevin Waterfall, Co. Donegal
Glenevin Valley near Clonmany in Donegal offers a straightforward walk with picnic areas along the way to see Glenevin Waterfall, which cascades down 30 feet.
The basin below the waterfall is called Pohl–an-eas, translates into English as the ‘ferment pool’. There are footbridges and stepping stone to enjoy crossing the stream on the way.
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Gleninchaquin Falls, Co. Kerry
Gleninchaquin Falls are located in Gleninchaquin, a family owned park and farm near Kenmare in County Kerry. Enjoy a day out in the valley, exploring streams with log bridges, mountain paths with carved steps, lakes and the spectacular 140 metre high waterfall.
Parking facilities are provided close to the waterfall and picnic areas. The park has six lovely short walks and nature trails, most are suitable for both children and adults.
There are refreshments and home baking served at the tearoom on the farm too. There is an entry fee for the Park, a family ticket is €15.
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Glenoe Waterfall, Co. Antrim
Glenoe Waterfall is a 30 foot high beautiful waterfall in County Antrim, managed by the National Trust. It’s a short walk from the charming village of Glenoe, with paths and steps winding around the small glen with one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Ireland.
There are picnic tables in the glen to enjoy a picnic during your visit. Entrances to two car parks are on Waterfall Road, B99, 5 miles south of Larne off the A2 Causeway Coastal Route.
Kilfane Waterfall & Glen, Co. Kilkenny
Kilfane Waterfall is located near Kilkenny. It’s part of an Irish Heritage restored garden untouched for 200 years, the glen is now a picturesque paradise with its waterfall tumbling down to a rushing stream and woodland paths leading to a thatched cottage orné.
Tiny bridges sit among ancient trees, wild foxgloves and ferns. There are picnic spots along the trail, and the cottage does serve refreshments on selected days.
The Glen is open daily from 11am to 6pm from July 1st to August 31st. There is an admission fee to the garden of to keep the garden maintained with reduced entry for families, students and OAPs. NB dogs are not allowed as there is wildlife in the Glen.
Powerscourt Waterfall, Wicklow
Powerscourt Waterfall is Ireland’s highest waterfall at 121m, set in beautiful parklands at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, where you can find trees up to 200 years old. Look out for the Giant Redwoods, which are native to Northern California where they may grow up to 80m high and live for 4,000 years so they are still youngsters!
The Waterfall is an ideal location for summer picnics and barbecues. There is also a playground for younger children, toilets and ample car parking.
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Torc Waterfall, Co. Kerry
At 18m high the Torc Waterfall is located in Killarney National Park and is a 5-minute walk from the carpark to the foot of the fall through scenic woodland. You can also climb 100 steps up the side of the waterfall.
You can do the Torc Waterfall loop from Muckross House: leave the Estate along the Lake Loop, and take a right turn to climb steadily through the trees. Coss the Owengarriff River, just above the main falls and a series of steps will take you back down through the woodlands on the eastern side of the river to the viewpoint of the Torc Waterfall cascade. The trail continues before rejoining the Lake Loop and returning to Muckross House.
It can get busy during summer months as the Park and Waterfall are on the Ring of Kerry, so visit early in the day or later to avoid the crowds.
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Tullydermot Falls, Cavan
The dramatic Tullydermot Falls are situated approximately 6km south-west of Swanlinbar in the direction of the Bellavally Gap. To get there go to Swanlinbar and at the Church, or at The Stables pub in the centre of the town turn up towards the mountain approximately three miles and the parking lot is on the left hand side. The falls are easily accessible by foot or wheelchair or buggy with a trail going from an information station at the parking lot.
Approximately two miles up the river from the road there is another purely majestic waterfall which is perhaps more impressive than Tullydermot Falls. This is the ideal spot for a picnic, a spot of angling, or for the more adventurous perhaps a swim in the purest darkest water in Ireland. The Tullydermot viewpoint overlooks Slieve Rushen and the lowlands of north Cavan. There is also a good view of the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain.
Glenariff Waterfall, Antrim
From Glenariff Forest Park follow the way marked trail (Waterfall Walk) down the steps, along the boardwalks through Glenariff Nature Reserve. Walk through the river gorge and you will come to the spectacular waterfalls.
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