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Diamond Hill Connemara: A Hike That’ll Treat You To One Of The Best Views In The West

Diamond Hill Connemara: A Hike That’ll Treat You To One Of The Best Views In The West

If you’re wondering what to do in Galway that’ll take you away from the crowds and deliver a proper knock-you-on-your-arse experience, then you need to get Diamond Hill on your to-conquer list.

If you’ve never heard of it, you’ll find the magnificent Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park in Letterfrack in County Galway

It’s a handy hour and 25-minute drive from Galway City to the starting point of the walk and if you climb it on a clear day you can soak up views that’ll knock the air from your lungs.

It’s also a stone’s throw from a heap of other things to do in Connemara, so you can plan a whole day of activities around the hike.

Let’s dive in.

Some quick need to knows

  • You’ll find Diamond Hill in Connemara in County Galway
  • There’s a short walk (takes 1 to 1.5 hours to complete
  • And a long walk (takes 2.5 to 3 hours)
  • The walk kicks off from the visitor centre at Connemara National Park
  • The views from the top are out of this world

About Diamond Hill Connemara

Connemara walks

Photo by Gareth McCormack

Every time I get back from a trip to Connemara, my Dad asks me if I climbed Diamond Hill. He knows I haven’t, but he still asks.

‘How many times have I told you to do that walk?! The best way to see Connemara is from above. You won’t get a view like it anywhere else.’

And, to be fair, he’s right. As you ramble up Diamond Hill on a clear day, you’ll be treated to beautiful views of:

  • The islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin, and Inishshark
  • Tully Mountain
  • The Twelve Bens
  • Kylemore Lough
  • Mweelrea (the highest mountain in Connaught)

Preparing for the Diamond Hill Walk

Diamond Hill Walk

Photo by Gareth McCormack

Although this is one of the more casual walks in the Connemara region, you still need to be prepared.

Weather conditions can change rapidly, so having the likes or rain gear, warm clothing, and sun cream on hand is important. Footwear with good grip is essential.

Diamond Hill weather: Personally, I use yr.no when I’m planning out a walk or climb. If you use a different service, let me know which it is in the comments below.

Diamond Hill Galway: Choosing a walk

view from the hill

Photo by Gareth McCormack

So, there are two main walks that you can attempt on Diamond Hill. The first is the Lower Diamond Hill Walk; this is the shorter route (info below) and takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.

The second is the Upper Diamond Hill Trail; this is a continuation of the Lower trail and can take up to 3 hours to complete.

The route here is fully signposted from the moment you leave the visitor centre in the National Park.

Gravel footpaths and wooden boardwalks make the journey over the bog and to the top an enjoyable one.

1. The Lower Diamond Hill walk

Lower diamond hill walk

Photo by Gareth McCormack

The lower trail measures around 3 km and has modest climbs along the route.

I know several people that have done this over the past year and they all found it relatively handy.

While you won’t get scenery as spectacular as the one seen in the photo above, you’ll still be able to enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding Connemara countryside, coastline, and islands.

Things to know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time to climb: 1 – 1.5 hours
  • Starting point: Connemara National Park Visitor Centre

2. The Upper Diamond Hill trail

Diamond Hill Galway

Photo by Gareth McCormack

The Upper Trail is a continuation of the Lower Trail Hill. It takes you up to the summit of Diamond Hill via a narrow fin of quartzite that stretches for around half a kilometre.

For those that fancy giving this a shot, the entire circuit of the Lower and Upper trails measures around 7km and should take between 2.5 – 3 hours.

At the 445m-high summit, you’ll be treated to panoramic views across all of Connemara.

Things to know

  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Time to climb: 2.5 – 3 hours
  • Starting point: Connemara National Park Visitor Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Since including Diamond Hill in our 5 days in Ireland guide, I’ve had a load of questions about it.

Below, I’ve taken the most commonly asked ones and popped in an answer. If you’ve a question about the walk that you need an answer to, comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

How high is Diamond Hill Connemara?

The summit of the mountain is 445-m high.

How long does it take to walk Diamond Hill?

If you attack the lower trail, expect to be up and down in under an hour and a half. If you do the entire route to the summit, expect it to take around 3 hours.

Is the walk difficult?

The Lower Trail isn’t overly difficult. Where it starts to get tough is when you begin to make your ascent to the summit on the Upper Trail.

While you won’t need to be a seasoned hillwalker to complete the entire route, reasonable fitness levels are needed.

Are dogs allowed in Connemara National Park?

According to the park’s official website, ‘Dogs that are under control are welcome in the National Park, but owners must at all times be conscious of their responsibility to other visitors and wildlife.’

Have a hike in Ireland that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Raquel

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hey! Thank you so much for this post! Going there on on the first week of April, was thinking of doing this hike to catch the sunset from the top.. Do you think that's a good idea? I saw a comment of yours saying it took you much longer to go back down, so now I am a bit worried as I do not want to do the way back in the dark.. How long did it take you to go down? Thank you in advance! xx

Keith O'Hara

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hey Raquel. I can't remember exactly how long it took, as it's been a while. I'd estimate around 45 minutes, but I could be wrong. It definitely wouldn't be a good spot to get stuck in the dark, though, so it might be worth aiming to get up around sunrise instead.

Safe climbing!

Ian

Saturday 15th of January 2022

Are u allowed to jog it.....looks super ...views ti die for . Thanks

Keith O'Hara

Monday 17th of January 2022

Hi Ian - I know when we did it a couple of summers back there were two people running it. I'd say, if that's your plan, try and do it early, when it's quiet.

genevieve WILKINSON

Monday 27th of December 2021

Hi thinking of going to Connemara in January and doing the Diamond Hill. Do you recommend any accomodation nearby?

Terence Hudson

Monday 20th of September 2021

Is the Diamond Hill walk in Connemara a loop walk or do you go up and down the same way ?

Keith O'Hara

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Hey Terence,

The short walk is a up-and-down-the-same-way job. The longer walk is a loop. So you follow the trail from the visitor centre/car park and you follow a path that winds up to the summit. You then continue over the summit and follow the trail back around to the car park.

Safe climbing!

Keith

Anne-Marie Annes

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Hi. For the lower walk, could I bring a buggy or is a baby carrier essential?

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Hey Anne-Marie. As far as I can remember from doing this walk last summer, you wouldn't be able to do it with a buggy. I could be wrong, but I remember the start of the walk being very gravelly underfoot. Again, I may be wrong! Enjoy the trip!

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