Why not put a little pep in your step today and tackle a walk?
Here are some stellar walks in and around Dublin that you have to try at least once in your life. Make a list and start ticking 'em off.
26. IMMA (Royal Hospital Kilmainham)
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 Royal Hospital Kilmainham which is set around an amazing square, free to enter the Irish Museum of Modern Art is a must-see.
25. Bray Head walk
*SPOILER* It IS in Wicklow (just over the Dub 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. The strenuous 9.8-kilometre 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. Prepare to get your hands dirty before 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. This hike can be busy, but it’s easy to see why.
24. Ardgillan Castle walk
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 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!
23. The Great South Wall Walk
More details here.
22. Howth Head Walk
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.
21. The Botanic Gardens
One of the wonders of the Northside. More info here.
20. Ticknock Walk
On the foothills of the Dublin Mountains 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 - Dublin's newest public park, featuring a unique collection of plants and a heritage garden.
19. Along Grand Canal
As majestic now as it ever was. Info here, not that you even need it.
18. Phoenix Park Walk
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 over 3 miles 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.
17. Hellfire Club Walk
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.
16. Bray to Greystones cliff walk
15. Carrickgollogan Forest Walk
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
Details for this beautiful walk here.
13. Rogerstown Estuary
A decent drive out of the city, but no better way to get back to nature and enjoy the countryside. Info here.
12. Great Sugar Loaf walk
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. This hike can be busy, but it’s easy to see why.
11. Cabinteely Park Walk
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 6 performers and 7 audience members. The piece encourages its audience to accept the flaws in human nature and move forward without being phased by them. All in a day's walk.
This small seaside village in between Skerries and Rush is pure class. Info here.
9. North Bull Island
The Bull is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so this is primarily a nature walk. This is an amazing place for birdwatching and a must-see for nature lovers. Walking route here.
8. Donabate Portrane Cliff Walk
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
All the deets here.
5. Bushy Park
Sweeping grounds and it's dog-friendly! Sorted. Details here.
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.
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. 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, Skerries
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. This walk can get busy, but it’s easy to see why.
So what are you waiting on? Get out there and tackle one of these walks.