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20th Dec 2016

Here Are 8 Underrated Cycle Routes Around Dublin


For those whose evenings are spent in a spinning class, the prospect of a nice breeze and cross-country pedal can seem much further than the gym’s four walls.

But summer is here and it’s a time to mobilise, an opportunity to feel the wind in your hair as you traverse the city and take in the sea breeze and sunshine.

While toiling up hills has its place, there’s no better way to experience Dublin than coasting along its winding roads and tracks.

The following routes – easily deviated from and intentionally devoid of both Marlay and Phoenix Park – are the perfect way to re-ingratiate yourself with our sprawling metropolis.

1. Sutton via Fairview


Whether you’re out of practise or seeking a leisurely route, this stretch offers straight roads, no hills and an abundance of scenery.

The cycle path runs alongside the sea, facing the Poolbeg Chimneys, while the Dart stops at both Sutton and Fairview (Clontarf Road) in case you or your bike are feeling worse for wear.

2. Georgian Dublin via Dublin Bikes


There’s nothing like catching a little wind in your hair while gliding down Leeson Street on a good set of wheels. For those who don’t have a two-wheeler, however, Dublin Bikes offer an easy, affordable solution. Docking stations are located across the city with a large number of these concentrated near or around Dublin’s Georgian Quarters.

Grab a bike on Parnell Street and pedal towards Charlemont House and The Garden of Remembrance. You can go further north towards Mountjoy Square or loop around to Stephen’s Green and toward Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Place.

Grab a sandwich when you’ve explored as far as Baggott Street, then make your way towards Dame Street where you can drop your bike off and take lunch in Dublin Castle.

3. Pigeon House via Blackrock


A coastal line that runs almost straight between Blackrock and Sandymount, this gentle stretch takes no time with a sea breeze behind your back. Simply head via Booterstown to Serpentine Avenue and up towards the Aviva and Ringsend.

If you want to take the scenic route towards Ranelagh and the city centre, then cycle down Ailesbury Road and marvel at its stately homes.

4. Howth Head via Malahide


Head north towards Malahide Castle and along the Coast Road to Dublin’s seaside town, Howth, where a short climb uphill offers unparalleled views of Dublin Bay. If your legs have yet to tire, then continue going north towards Skerries Beach.

5. Strawberry Beds


Adjacent to the Liffey and running along the western edge of the Phoenix Park, Strawberry Fields straddles both Lucan and Chapelizod, giving cyclists an opportunity to glide through the park and towards the city centre.

6. The Dodder via Bushy Park

Image-6-Dodder Milltown

Cycle along Beaver Row towards Clonskeagh where the Dodder runs through the park between Clonskeagh Road and Milltown (opposite Riverview). Follow the designated cycle lane until you hit the traffic crossing, and then continue towards the Dropping Well and Bushy Park, Terenure.

7. Grand Canal Way


While the canal is synonymous with lazy days and pints in The Barge, this flat stretch delineates Ballsbridge, Rathmines and Crumlin, even running as far as Lucan and Kildare. If it’s a lazy cycle you’re after with plenty of coffee and cake pit stops, then this track is ideal.

8. Three Rock Cycle Loop

Image-8-Three-Rock 1

A classic route for Dublin cyclists (deceptively steep at first, admittedly), Three Rock ascends into a somewhat traffic-free road in the Dublin Mountains, with panoramic views across the city.

And finally…

If you intend to head out on the open road, free of maps and armed only with a breeze, then stick to routes you know with designated cycle paths where possible.

Alternatively, Dublin City Bike Tours provide guided tours of the city that give cyclists a distinct feel of our sedimentary history, spanning Christ Church to Google, Google via The Custom House.