Glendalough and Lough Lene are the best places to explore during the summer

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Ireland’s heatwave may be on the return and we are all itching to make the best of the last stretch of summer weather.

Hiking or going for a walk with some friends is probably the best way to get out and enjoy the sun.

Of course before putting your walking shoes on you should really prepare yourself.

Make sure you’re hydrated before leaving, eat your carbs and protect your skin with as much sun cream as you can.

Once you’ve done that, you can head to one of these stunning locations ideal for hiking during the heatwave.

Wicklow

There are many beautiful spots in Wicklow that you can hike through and then take a dip in a lake or sea to cool down.

The first place in Wicklow is Glendalough. A steep climb up steps brings you onto the boardwalk which circles the cliff of the Spinc lake.

You can admire the wildlife surrounding the lake before finishing off with a dip in the lake before your journey home.

This walk is suitable for anybody that has a reasonable fitness level.

The second walk-in Wicklow is the Bray to Greystones walk. It brings you around the side of Bray Head over the railway line and the rocky coastline on a path that is a bit rough in places but that only adds to the experience. The path is maintained but once you reach the end you can always jump on the DART and hitch a ride back to your starting point.

Because you are on the coastline there is easy access to the sea, so you can stop along the way and go for a mid-walk swim.

Clare

Clare is known for its stunning beaches but the Pollock holes are natural sea pools that are ideal for swimming in.

The Kilkee Cliff walk begins at the Pollock Holes car park at the west end of Kilkee town. A path is laid out along the coastline and has easy access for all walkers.

Once you complete the loop you can go for a snorkel in the Pollock holes.

Kerry

Kerry has an endless number of lakes and beaches but Ireland’s tallest mountain has a freshwater lake you can cool down in after climbing a mountain.

Carrentoothil is Ireland’s tallest mountain and is definitely worth the hike. Caragh Lake is 8km of clear, freshwater, enclosed by stunning mountain views.

The lake developed in a deep valley between the mountains and hills of the area.

Westmeath

Lough Lene is a freshwater lake in Westmeath. The lake is popular for water sports, swimming and even the occasional surfing session.

With plenty of grassy areas surrounding the lake, it is perfect for a picnic or a family day out.

Lough lene is also filled with history as it is said that it was once home to kings and Vikings. Turgesius Island, which is named after a Viking from the 9th century overlooks the lake and is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.

Mayo

Murrisk and the Croaghpatrick Mountain is a 7.1 kilometre out and back trail located near Croagh Patrick.

The trail offers a number of activity options and there are plenty of lakes sprinkled throughout the hike.

This trail’s paths can be rough and do require appropriate footwear.

Even though the climb can be tough you can always stop to take a break and have a dip in one of the lakes.