A good walk can be just the ticket to clear your head and de-fuzz your mind a little, when life starts to get too much. Or even when your body needs a little TLC after you drank your weight in Guinness and then ate your weight in Zaytoon the night before.
Autumn walks allow your body the right amount of shock-factor to wake itself up, teamed with a huge sense of achievement on completion for actually getting yourself out of bed and into the wild.
We Dubliners are lucky in the way that a good walk is never far, and not to mention that the views are sensational enough to make you consider giving it all up to become a full-time nomad.
Here are 11 of the best autumn walks you can do in and around Dublin, for those of you keen to shake off the cobwebs.
1. Howth Head
Immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses, this clifftop walk speaks volumes, and beautiful volumes at that.
The Howth Head peninsula boasts insane views of Lambay and Ireland’s Eye. And, if you’re feeling particularly fragile, you can follow the cliff path which spans a mere 3km, enough to clear your head and also with the added bonus of not making you want to die.
Keep an eye out for The Baily Lighthouse – the last of Ireland’s lighthouses to become automated.
2. Sandymount Green
Sandymount Green – a picture-perfect epicentre of Sandymount village that feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the city, while actually being within easy reach of city slickers.
3. The Great South Wall Walk
The great thing about walking from The Great South Wall to Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk is that it’s quite close to the city centre, so there’s no need to fill up the car in order to get a sniff of fresh air.
The best way to access the start of the walk is to head towards for the roundabout on the southside beside the Eastlink Bridge in Ringsend.
4. Ticknock Hill
Some of the best views of the city, as well as the home to some super-interesting human heritage, if that sort of stuff tickles your fancy.
The route itself is just under 6km which usually takes about two hours, with a full car park for those of you travelling far for those unbelievable views.
5. Carrickgollogan Forest Walk
Cartographers call it Carrickgollogan; locals call it Kathy Gallagher.
Either way, the Lead Mines Way is a few minutes off the M50 and a cracking day out. Situated just off the Wicklow Mountains, it has views to die for that will leave you, and your Instagram feed, feeling satisfied.
The loop is about 2.5km without detours so even your lazy mates can join in.
6. The Dodder Walk
This is for the super easy-going/hungover of you who shriek at the thought of walking for hours on end. The banks of The Dodder boast views of some of the most tranquil and beautiful parts of the city’s south side.
It’s about a 3.5km walk from Bushy Park (which has a market on Saturdays) to The Dropping Well, with no need for proper walking shoes or maps or any of that carry on. Just beautiful walking for beautiful walking’s sake.
7. The Hell Fire Club
This route is for the adventurers and thrill-seekers of you. The Hellfire Club sits atop Montpelier Hill some 390 metres above Dublin city, and it has plenty of creepy history surrounding it.
Cracking views and an interesting background, you’d be mad to miss out on this one.
8. Historic walk around Dalkey
Dalkey is known as being beautiful from top to bottom, and is fully accessible every 10-15 minutes via The DART, so you really have no excuse not to go.
The walk starts from the DART station goes through the village, onto Coliemore Road, Vico Road and then finishes up around Killiney Hill Park, and takes about 3 hours in total. Ideal stuff.
9. The Grand Canal Walk
The beauty of The Grand Canal is that it runs the length of the south side of the city centre, so you can join in the stroll at any stage by just hopping on the Luas.
Starting at Harold’s Cross Bridge and walking all the way down to Grand Canal Dock takes a mere 40 minutes if you’ve got a brisk walking pace. Just enough to keep the hangover guilt at bay, while not putting yourself into a coma.
10. Tibradden Walk
Tibradden Mountain Trail is a nice mix of being totally doable when feeling fragile, AND the ability to leave smug as you like after having actually done something with your Sunday. Winning.
Also, The Merry Ploughboy at the end boasts some of the best chicken wings in all the land. Sure you’d be mad not to go.
11. Bray to Greystones cliff walk
One of the highlights of walking in all of Ireland. This route takes you from Bray to Greystones along the breathtaking coastal path.
The path is well maintained and you can return by DART to the starting point. Greystones also has plenty to reward the hungry walker after stretching their legs, such as The Happy Pear, among others.