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27th Mar 2024

25 Beaut Walks In And Around Dublin to check out this weekend


Why not put a little pep in your step today and tackle a walk?

Haven’t got any plans for the day? Feeling restless? Then you need to take a walk, my friend.

Easter is a weird kind of bank holiday – the very lucky ones of us get a four day weekend, but Easter Sunday often sees plenty of places shut up shop. This might leave you without anything to do over the break, and while the constant cover of cloud and rain (it’s really felt like we live in Forks, Washington lately) might make it tempting to transform into a couch potato, we’ve got a few reasons to make leaving the couch worthwhile – 25 to be exact.

We’ve assembled a few of the very best below for your delectation and delight, including seaside walks, hilly options, and even city strolls (should you not want to stray too far).

Here are some stellar walks in and around Dublin (we have admittedly chosen a few Wicklow locations as well) that you have to try at least once in your life. Add them to your list, and start ticking ’em off.

25. IMMA

Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8

A trip to Kilmainham wouldn’t be complete without a walk around the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham which takes in the amazing walled garden. Eagle-eyed visitors will spot some fun examples of modern art on the grounds, the full collection which is housed in the RHK, set around an amazing square. Popping into IMMA for a bit of indoor walking is also a top recc, even better as it’s free to enter (and could be a good escape from the rain, which let’s be real, there’s a high chance you’ll have to face).

24. Bray Head walk

Bray, Wicklow

Yes, we are cheating, and please don’t think we’re pulling a Brit when trying to take ownership of someone Irish with this one, but we had to include it given the proximity to the Dublin border.

Dublin may have many options for scenic strolls, but not far beyond the action you can find plenty of options for getting some fresh air and celebrating the joys of a stroll in Wicklow. This strenuous 9.8km loop trail starts from the steps at the end of the promenade. Though she be on the quicker end of the trail scale, she is fierce as you scramble through steeper and more rocky areas.

23. Ardgillan Castle walk

Balbriggan, North Dublin

A hugely popular spot for Dubliners, the Ardgillan Castle walk is a decent-length loop that’s ideal for a quiet walk or run near Skerries. The loop is 4.8km in total and generally considered to be on the easier side, with sheltered areas of forestry and open meadows with sea views. The gentle, scenic stroll features many points of interest along the way, from playgrounds and the historic castle, to informational signage and a cafe to deservedly whet your whistle. All in a day’s walk!

22. The Great South Wall Walk

Dublin bay

The beauty of walking The Great South Wall is that it’s quite close to the city centre, so there’s no need to drive for half an hour in order to get a bit of fresh air.

You could literally not be any more smack-bang in the middle of Dublin Bay if you tried – the path along the South Wall is pretty wide, like a promenade. It’s a 4km walk, and takes between 30-40 minutes depending how brisk a pace you decide to walk.

When you reach the lighthouse at the end of the pier you’ll have stunning views no matter which way you look. If you’re facing towards the southside you’ll be able to take in view of Dun Laoghaire, and Killiney head as well as the mountains in the background on a clear day.

You also may witness some ships and trawlers coming into the port, and the Eastlink bridge rising for them which is quite impressive to watch.

21. Howth Cliff Walk

Howth, North Dublin

Howth’s cliff walk is arguably one of Dublin’s most beautiful trails, boasting incredible views of the rugged coastline and neighbouring headlands. A hugely popular spot for Dubliners and tourists alike, the variety of trails is ideal for a quiet walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city regardless of fitness level. The gentle, scenic stroll features many points of interest along the way, from secret beaches to flora and fauna. The walk can get fairly busy on weekends, but it’s easy to see why.

20. The Botanic Gardens

Glasnevin, Dublin 9

We’re always giving out about all the Dublin spots that are so expensive, but another free gem, not quite hidden, but maybe not talked about enough, are the Botanic Gardens. One of the most gorgeous spots to see cherry blossoms, and other gorgeous flora, this D9 location is well worth a visit to stretch the legs, and take in some natural beauty.

Home to over 15,000 plant species from habitats worldwide, the Botanic Gardens provides an oasis of green in the middle of Dublin and is the dream location for a leisurely stroll. Founded in 1795, the Gardens will have you feeling like you’re in a promenading scene from Bridgerton with their curvilinear glasshouses, meticulously pruned rose bushes and tasteful water features. A particularly beautiful spot for a date, but also great for a solo ramble.

19. Ticknock Walk

South Dublin

On the foothills of the Dublin Mountains is Ticknock, with breathtaking views of the city, Dublin Bay, and Bray Head from the top. With up to 10km of forest and mountain trails of varying difficulty, there is also a tarmac road leading all the way to the top that is easily accessible for children and people with lower levels of fitness.

The viewing point at the top of the road is a must, as is the journey further up to the cairn on the romantic Fairy Castle route if you’re feeling up to it. Both offer the most fantastic vistas of Dublin below. Finally, make a day of it with a short car journey to the nearby Fernhill Park & Gardens.

18. Along Grand Canal

As majestic now as it ever was. Traditionally used as a method of transportation, the canal itself is a lot more leisure based nowadays with barges of private parties easing their way down the waters during the summer months. It’s also a great spot for exercise enthusiasts with walkers, joggers and cyclists getting great use of the flat, straight track.

The beauty of the canal is that it runs the length of the south side of the city centre, transecting lots of gorgeous areas of Dublin just waiting to be discovered. Starting at Harold’s Cross Bridge and walking all the way down to Grand Canal Dock takes a solid 40 minutes if you’ve got a brisk walking pace.

This walk with suggested diversions may end up taking a bit longer but it’s a nice leisurely way to spend a few hours some weekend.

17. Phoenix Park Walk

Dublin 8

The Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed public parks in any capital city in Europe. A hugely popular spot for Dubliners and visitors alike, the walk is a decent-length loop that’s ideal for a quiet walk or run near the city. The trail is just 5kms in total and is generally considered to be on the easier side, with sheltered areas of forestry and open meadows, and of course the beloved deer (for the love of god do not feed them). The gentle, scenic stroll features many points of interest along the way, from the zoo and flower gardens to the Papal Cross and tea rooms to deservedly whet your whistle.

16. Hellfire Club Walk

Montpelier Hill

A hugely popular spot for Dubliners, it’s a short-enough walk through the forest that takes you up to the ruins of the Hell Fire Clubhouse itself with great views of the city from the top of Montpelier Hill. Erected by R.H. Connolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Parliament around 1725, used as a meeting place by a group of “wild young gentlemen”, who lent the lodge its name the “Hellfire Club”. According to lore, the devil masquerading as a stranger joined the group for a card game late one night. After a card was dropped to the floor a cloven hoof was spotted where the stranger’s leg should be, noticing this the devil escaped through the chimney leaving a great big crack on the stack.

15. Carrickgollogan Forest Walk

Shankill, Dublin 18

It’s always a good time to grab your runners, shed your coats and head out on one of several lovely trails in the capital. Also known as the Scalp walk, this dog-friendly route is known for its expansive views and fruitful surroundings with berries and wildflowers sprinkled along the way. The viewing rock at the south of Carrickgollogan hill is the main attraction, from which you can take in incredible views from the mountains to the sea. The disused chimney at the northern boundary is another point of interest from when mining and smelting took place at the Ballycorus lead mine in the early 19th Century. With two short trails of varying difficulty, there’s something for everyone along the Carrickgollogan walk.

14. The Dodder walk

If you need something a little more stimulating to gaze upon during your walk, the Dodder is a personal favourite. There are various ways to access it, and you can dip in and out, depending on how much time you have, or how well the weather is holding up. It also has several sights to be seen, like the Roman Triumphal Arch, or the random rhino statue that sits in the river near the Dropping Well.

13. Rogerstown Estuary

North Dublin

A decent drive out of the city, but there’s no better way to get back to nature and enjoy the countryside, and if your long weekend is stretching out before you with little to no plans, Rogerstown Estuary is a great place to get out to.

Rogerstown Estuary has several walking and hiking routes of various difficulties to endure, ranging from easy to intermediate.

12. Great Sugar Loaf walk

Glencap Commons Upper, Wicklow

Dublin may be an ever more bustling city, but not far beyond the action you can find plenty of options for getting some fresh air and celebrating the joys of a stroll in the great outdoors. Not to be confused with Sugar Loaf Hill (we’ve been burned before), the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain dominates the skyline as you drive south from Dublin into Wicklow.

The strenuous 7km route starts in a car park on Red Lane under a concrete arch, where you can stock up on refreshments from a man with a van. Though she is on the quicker end of the trail scale, she is fierce as you approach the top. Prepare to get your hands dirty in the final stretch to the summit where the incredible panoramic views make it all worthwhile. Watch your head for whizzing drones as photographers travel from near and far to catch footage of the stunning surroundings from above.

11. Cabinteely Park Walk

Cabinteely, Dublin 18

Whether you’re a Dublin veteran or a first-time visitor, there’s no better way to explore all that the city has to offer than by foot. A hugely popular spot for Dubliners, the Cabinteely Park walk is a short-enough loop that’s ideal for a quiet walk or run. The loop is 2.6km in total and is generally considered to be on the easier side, taking around 45 minutes to complete.

The gentle, scenic stroll features many points of interest along the way, from playgrounds and dog parks to historic buildings and a cafe to deservedly whet your whistle. Admire “Theatre”, an incredible collection of granite sculptures by Agnes Conway consisting of six performers and seven audience members. The piece encourages its audience to accept the flaws in human nature and move forward without being phased by them.

10. Loughshinny

North Fingal

This small seaside village in between Skerries and Rush is pure class, approximately a 45 minurte journey from Dublin city centre. This coastal walk has three routes, each a distance of 3.5km. One route kicks off from Thomastown, going around the village itself, the second takes the walker to Rush, and the third takes in Drumanagh.

9. North Bull Island

The Bull is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so this is primarily a nature walk. An amazing walking trail for birdwatching and a must-see for nature lovers, apart of the national nature reserve. Kite surfers can take the sandy beach, while there are plenty of spots to lay down a tartan blanket for a picnic, either on the grassy dunes, or the grass.

8. Donabate Portrane Cliff Walk

Boredom-induced stomps around the local park are finally a thing of yesteryear, so dust off your boots and celebrate the joys of a stroll in the great outdoors. This moderate 8km looped cliff walk boasts scenic views along the coast and out to Lambay Island, with stunning monuments and sprawling fields of daisies that adorn the way to Tower Bay. Start your walk at the Shoreline Hotel and follow the cliff path to the Martello Tower which dates back to 1805.

If you have time, extend your visit and head down to Donabate Beach to catch the sunset. Feel the powdery soft sand between your toes and watch as the sky lights up in pastel hues of pink and orange.

7. Killiney Hill Walk

A hugely popular spot for Dubliners, it’s a short-enough walk through the forest that takes you up to the “Witches Hat” and a step pyramid with panoramic views of the south Dublin. The loop is 2.9km in total and is generally considered to be on the easier side, taking just under an hour to complete. The obelisk came to be known as the Witches Hat thanks to its cone-like shape, built by the poor as part of a “famine relief project” commissioned by rich landlords during some of Ireland’s darkest times. As for the step pyramid, legend has it that a walk around each level will grant a wish when you reach the very top. We’ll take it where we can get it.

6. Tibradden Walk

Between Cruagh Wood and Kilmashogue Mountains, directions here

Tibradden Walk is a 35 minute drive from Dublin city centre, sitting in the south-side of the county between Cruagh Wood and Kilmashogue Mountains, with a linear walking trail which is moderate in difficulty. The mountain trail is approximately 2.4kms, a gentle stroll likely to take about two hours. Dare devils can also branch out (get it, branch) and embark (that one was genuinely an accident I swear) on the ziplining at Zipit Adventures based in the wood also. Even bigger adrenaline seekers can choose to BMX their way through the wood also.

5. Bushy Park


Bushy Park dates back to the 1700s, home to several walking routes, as well as 11 tennis courts, if you’re sporty inclined.

Plus if you’re a sucker for a market (sure aren’t we all) Bushy Park has one of the best outdoor food markets in Dublin, particularly gorgeous on a rare sunny Saturday, operating from 10.00 until 16.00. The toasties from Golden Brown are particularly worth it, huge and cheesy but not so much that you’ll be spilling filling everywhere.

4. The War Memorial Park

Just a short stroll away from Kilmainham is a great park, set along the banks of the Liffey visitors can watch rowers practising their moves alongside ducks and swans going about their business. Keen walkers or cyclists can walk all the way to Chapelizod, on this lovely path along the river. The Park also has some beautiful sunken rose gardens designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It also contains an important commemoration in the granite bookrooms, a manuscript containing a continuous illustration by Harry Clarke, that contains the name of every single Irish soldier (49,400 in total) who died in the First World War.

3. Herbert Park


One of Dublin’s more overlooked parks, Herbert Park is slightly hidden off the Ballsbridge main road. There are plenty of pathways to take around the Park, benches to sit down and watch the world go by on and during the Spring there are plenty of cherry trees to admire.

You will also find a Sunday Farmers’ Market on-site, operating between 10.00 and 16.00.

2. Sandymount Beach

A bracing spot for a walk, which will give you an up-close view of the pigeon houses and the space-age-looking generator beside it is that on Sandymount beach. The tide can come quite far in, so keep aware of the timings otherwise you could get some soggy socks! Loop around the coast road and end up in Sandymount for a coffee or a spot of lunch.

1. Red Island Coastal walk


If there’s something Dublin has in abundance, it’s the shoreline. Not far beyond the city, you can find plenty of options for getting some fresh air and celebrating the joys of a stroll in the great outdoors. Jump on the DART in the city centre, and just 30 minutes later you’ll be in the fishing village of Skerries. Pop along to Storm in a Teacup for some ice cream to accompany your journey, or hold out to reward yourself with sumptuous seafood in Skerries.

So what are you waiting on? Get out there and tackle one of these walks.

Header images via Flickr


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