Not sure what gift to choose for the recreational walker in your life? Let us offer some helpful suggestions.
Flicking through the pages of a good walking guide book is probably the most satisfying way to find inspiration for future walks. Whether it's a regional or all-Ireland guide book, the routes described within will have been carefully selected, researched, walked, written up, photographed and illustrated by leading experts. Before buying, ask the person what their upcoming walking ambitions are. Then browse their bookshelf if you get a chance to see what guide books they already have. You can find a list of all the most recommended Irish walking guide books here. While you're at it, you might as well get them a local map too (see below).
A map can be one of the most vital pieces of equipment you carry on a walk. Thankfully, there is a good selection of Irish walking maps to choose from. High-quality maps published by a variety of trusted public and private map makers cover the whole of Ireland in great detail. For walkers we recommend a range of medium-scale paper map products printed at 1:25,000, 1:30,000 and 1:50,000. For your convenience, we have marked the areas covered by these recommended maps all together in a handy interactive overview map (click here to view). Before buying, ask the person what their upcoming walking ambitions are. Then browse their map collection if you get a chance to see if they already have maps for that area. While you're at it, you might as well get them a local guide book too (see above).
Clothing & equipment
Clothing and equipment for recreational walking can be quite technical and the person you are buying for could be very fussy about their gear. It can, therefore, be very easy to make a wrong choice when choosing clothing and equipment as gifts. Avoid extravagance unless you've been given some very clear and specific hints. Otherwise, keep things simple. A quality pair of walking socks is always a safe bet. Alternatively, a gift voucher could be a good choice. Many retailers have these available to purchase in-store and online.
If you are choosing a gift for a walker whose expertise has some room for improvement, you may wish to consider booking a guided walks package or a skills training course. Chat to them beforehand to find out if there is a specific area they would like to visit and what outdoor skills they currently have. We list walking guide and skills training services on our Community pages.
Recreational walkers love to explore new places. Treat yours to a walking break in that part of Ireland they've always been talking about. If they haven't mentioned anywhere in particular, ask them what their upcoming walking ambitions are, and if there's a specific place they would like to walk. Get the ball rolling by booking some accommodation in the area. Some accommodation providers offer vouchers so you don't have to commit to a specific date. Give them something special to look forward to.
Our free calendar
As a special gift from us to the Irish walking community, we have created our own Monthly Themes walking calendar. Each month has a different walk-related theme for the whole community to get involved in. This free-to-download calendar features our own specially-designed graphics and is available in three layouts. The grid and 1-column layouts are perfect for individual users to mark upcoming events, while the 5-column layout is an excellent group organiser for home or office where each person gets their own column. Alternatively, the 5-column layout is a great solution for busy individuals who may need to assign columns to different parts of their day (e.g. morning, afternoon, evening, etc). Please consider donating to a charity of your choice any money saved from choosing our calendar.