You’ve seen the boardwalk, you’ve felt the waves of wanderlust wash over you, and you’ve decided that, finally, this weekend you’re going to conquer Ireland’s great wall.

As someone that’s just done it, you’re in for a treat!

The journey from Dublin to Cuilcagh is handy-out – here’s the route along with some tips to help you get the most from your trip.

cuilcagh mountain view


Getting from Dublin to Cuilcagh

We hit the M1 and managed to get to Cuilcagh in a little over two and a half hours.

If you don’t stop to grab a coffee, you could probably do it in twenty or thirty minutes less.

The roads are in good nick for 90% of the journey, so it’s pretty smooth sailing, from start to finish.

Here’s the route to take.

Parking the car (take note!!)

When you arrive at the car park at the entrance to Cuilcagh, you’ll be asked to fork out £5, but they’ll take five euro if you haven’t any sterling.

It’s a 1km walk from this car park (the first of two) to where the trail starts, according to the bloke taking the moolah.

Tip: stop in the first car park and grab a coffee – there’s a funky little coffee wagon along with the only bathrooms you’ll come across.

Car Park at Cuilcagh

After hopping back into the car we continued towards the second car park, about a two minute drive up a narrow dusty road.

Here’s where you’ll encounter trouble if you arrive at Cuilcagh later in the morning; as there was no one manning this extremely snug car park on the day we were there, there was havoc with people trying to maneuver and park.

We ended up on a grassy mound, which was fine, but others were stuck for a while as cars tried to turn and navigate their way back out.

Is Cuilcagh as amazing as it looks?


Personally, before getting to Cuilcagh, the only photo I’d seen of the place was from the top, staring down the boardwalk – what people don’t show you is the insanely picturesque views you can soak up during the climb.

The view of the richly colored countryside in the distance was worth the trip alone.

cuilcagh mountain view

The view at Cuilcagh as you start the climb. Photo:

Is climbing Cuilcagh difficult?

Getting from top to bottom took us roughly two and a half hours.

During this time I did a fair bit of arsing around with cameras, so we had plenty of time to catch our breath whenever it was needed.

climbing cuilcagh in fermanagh

Starting the ascent

One thing that made the climb slightly challenging was the wind.

It was super blustery from start to finish, so we were constantly battling against it.

Bring some form of wind breaker and you’ll be laughing!

climbing cuilcagh mountain cavan

There’s loads of places to take a few minutes to admire the view that surrounds you

As you get closer to the top it does get quite steep, but there was no point where it got to Croagh Patrick climbing-on-your-hands-and-knees-steep.

It’s a very manageable climb to the top.

cuilcagh mountain view

cuilcagh mountain view

Even if you did happen to climb Cuilcagh on a wet day, there’s a tonne of grip on the boardwalk, so I can’t imagine it ever becoming slippy to walk on.

hiking cuilcagh mountain

The view as you get closer to the top is just out of this world

the top of cuilcagh mountain

When you reach the top, there’s loads of stones to perch yourself upon and gaze out

Is it possible to do it in a day?

Getting from Dublin to Cuilcagh in a day is easily done, and it’s a great way to spend an active Saturday.

view from cuilcagh mountain

The view from the top of Cuilcagh

We left at 8 a.m. and reached Cuilcagh at around 10:40 a.m.

The hike itself took two and a half hours in total, and after stopping off for a bite to eat, we were on the road and home by around half four or so.

The Dublin to Cuilcagh road trip is one I’d wholeheartedly recommend. Have you given it a try? Or do you plan on giving it a go sometime soon? Let me know in the comments below!

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