On the 17th of April 2017, Ellie Berry and Carl Lange handed back their apartment keys and stepped out their Dublin front door for the final time. Walking across the city they came to Spencer Dock, where the Royal Canal meets the River Liffey. Turning west, they began the Royal Canal Way, a trail that follows the well-worn banks of Ireland’s longest Canal from inner-city Dublin to the banks of the River Shannon. This was the start of their Tough Soles project – to walk every National Waymarked Trail in Ireland.
The National Waymarked Trails of Ireland are a collection of long-distance walking trails, with trails ranging from less than 50km, to over 200km. Over the following three years Ellie and Carl walked over 4,000km along the 42 trails that were on this list, taking in famous routes such as the Wicklow Way, and lesser-known hidden gems like the Slieve Bloom Way. What started as a crazy idea turned into a passion project to share these amazing trails with more people through videos, social media, and blog posts. Their hope is that through sharing their experiences and adventures in Ireland’s hills and heritage, they can inspire more Irish people to explore the amazing places that Ireland has to offer.
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