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Photograph courtesy of Country Walkers
Northern Ireland, Finally

Even if Ireland’s north coast weren’t the setting for Country Walkers’ new trek, the trip would still be one of a kind. Few walks pack as much history, geological drama, and fine whiskey into a single weeklong route. Hikers spend their first three nights based at Bushmills Inn in County Antrim, once a layover for horse-drawn coaches en route to Bushmills Distillery (licensed by King James I in 1608). Sample a dram from the bar’s private reserve, or hold out for a tasting with the distillery manager. From the inn you can hike the Giant’s Causeway, a collection of polygonal stone “pillars” created by a volcanic eruption that dips down into the sea. Midway through the journey, you’ll trade hiking boots for kayaks and paddle the Strangford Lough Canoe Trail, dotted with islets. But the best part comes last: the Mourne Mountains. The 140,820-acre region has been proposed as Northern Ireland’s first national park, and upon seeing its heather-and-orchid-specked granite peaks, you’ll understand why. You’ll also be among the few visitors to see it at all—no other outfitter leads trips here.

Outfitter: Country Walkers;
Price: $3,798 ($$$$)
Length: 7 days
Departs: July–September

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