If you’re a regular visitor to Walking And Hiking Ireland, you’ll know that we have published a few articles on the County Tops of Ireland. From the feedback we’ve received, it would appear that the sport of ‘bagging the County Tops’ has gained popularity over the last few years.
The great news for anyone who is considering or indeed in the process of hiking to the top of each county is that Kieron Gribbon has produced a superb guidebook which will no doubt become the Bible on this particular activity.
‘Ireland’s County High Points – A Walking Guide’ contains a detailed section on each county top which provides all the essential information that you need for each of your walks. Each section contains clear and concise route information along with distances, expected times and easy to read maps. The maps will be sufficient for most of the routes but you would be advised to supplement these with detailed OS maps for the more demanding hills such as Carrauntoohil in Kerry. The author has also included a number of pictures of each top.
As someone who has done some of the Tops myself and noticed the dearth of information whilst researching them, I really think this guide is an excellent idea. While some of the County Tops are covered in other guidebooks, there are many that are not. Indeed, several of the County Tops are little-known such as the intriguingly named Cupidstown Hill in Kildare and Corn Hill in Longford.
Some of the Tops offer great walks despite their lack of height. For example, the beautiful Mullaghmeen in Westmeath which at a modest 258 metres is the lowest of Ireland’s County Tops, offers a superb walk through Europe’s largest beech plantation. Others Tops contain a wealth of history such as Loughcrew, the highest point in County Meath and the site of impressive passage tombs dating back to 3300 B.C.
The higher tops, such as the Mighty Mweelrea, offer some of the most challenging walking in Ireland whilst others, such as Errigal, are among the most iconic mountains in the whole of the country.
The final section of the book provides a number of challenges in which you can combine several of the County Tops and the final neat touch is a ‘tick-list’ on which you can mark each Top as you complete it.
This really is a superb guide and a worthy addition to the bookshelf of Irish Mountain Books.
You can read more about the County Highpoints in this article which Kieron Gribbon kindly produced previously for Walking And Hiking Ireland.