Last updated on November 24, 2023
Spending a long weekend or a few days in Dublin and want to do a little walking in between?
You can be helped! Dublin has some beautiful city parks, even larger ones, with the sea to the east and the northern foothills of the beautiful Wicklow Mountains to the south.
Below I present a few possibilities, all of which you can easily reach from Dublin City by bus, train or the local train Dart.
By the way, we live in Ireland (second home) and run our motorbike rental business here in the summer months (www.easycruiser.tours). We also have nice guest rooms (www.the-view-accommodation.ie). We have travelled the island again and again over many years and therefore know it very well.
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#1 The Howth Peninsula and its Loop Walks
When you arrive in Dublin by ferry, you’ll see an elongated peninsula of land to your right before you even enter the harbour. The walk from the mainland is flat and level, but the small peninsula is basically a large green hill rising out of the sea. On the seaward side, high cliffs rise out of the sea.
You can walk the Howth Cliff Walk or Cliff Path Loop directly from the small harbour. It’s easy to moderate walking and runs along the coast above the cliffs and loops back to the starting point.
If that’s not enough for you, you can also walk the 12km Bog of Frogs Loop, which starts with the cliffs and then takes a much wider loop back over the hilltop. Bog, by the way, is a raised bog found on many mountains in Ireland. it is often overgrown with grasses and heather and very primal – a nice contrast to capital right next door!
There are other signposted circular walks locally, so you have a good choice.
#2 The Bray Head to Greystones Cliff Walk
Bray is a small town on the southern edge of Dublin. It is a beautiful centuries-old seaside resort with a very nice long waterfront, an aquarium, several restaurants and cafés and some other tourist amenities.
The location is really unique: from the waterfront you can see all the way to Dalkey and Dalkey Island in one direction. On the other side, a hill with a summit cross rises above the bay.
You can walk up to the summit cross, or take a circular walk around the hill, or walk the 7.5km cliff path to Greystones, some of the views of the sea are spectacularly beautiful! The path is good and easy to “moderate” walking.
Greystones, the destination of your stage, is the next seaside resort further south and also a popular destination. It has a beautiful long beach and right on the beach you’ll find the train station to take you back to Dublin.
#3 Phoenix Park in Dublin
West of the city centre, still within the city ring road, lies Phoenix Park. At an estimated 4km long and 3km wide, it’s really huge for an urban park! So you can easily do an (easy) 10km walk here – unbelievable? Try it out!
There are numerous paths through the park and some sights. For me, the most beautiful of all sights are the deer that roam free here!
From the city, you can get here very easily and quickly, and if you’re in the mood for greenery but don’t have the time or inclination to take the train out of the city, Phoenix Park is a great option for a not-so-small hike.
#4 The Dublin Mountains
Mountains? That sounds high and far away, doesn’t it? Not quite! The northern foothills of the Wicklow Mountains border the city and are within quick and easy reach of the city. The mountains within County Dublin are the Dublin Mountains.
By mountains, by the way, we mean low mountain ranges. The highest mountain of the Dublin Mountains is “Fairy Castle” with a height of 537m. Fairy Castle – isn’t that a wonderful name?
The Dublin Mountain Way, a signposted long-distance hiking trail of 42 km, also runs here. It starts in Shankill and goes via Fairy Castle and Glenasmole to Tallaght. If you only want to walk part of it, you can start in Marlay Park and walk past Stackstown Golf Club through Ticknock Forest towards Fairy Castle.
#5 The Sugar Loaf Walk
The Sugar Loaf is a very characteristic mountain south of Dublin, not so far from Bray. Actually, I should include it in the Wicklow walks, but because it is so close to the city, it also fits well in this article.
The mountain looks like a sugar loaf from a distance – hence the name – and offers breathtaking views of the sea, the Wicklow Mountains, Dublin and the hilly surrounding countryside in good weather.
From Kilmacanogue GAA sports ground you can do the Sugar Loaf Walk. It is about 7km long and leads over the mountain and back along the mountain. The path is uneven and steep in places, so sturdy shoes are recommended.
There is a second car park south of the mountain, at Red Lane on the L1031, which you can also use as a starting point.
There are certainly more possibilities for nice walks in the Dublin area.
But with these tips you are definitely well prepared for your holidays in Dublin.
Have fun in Dublin and enjoy hiking in and around Dublin!