Located at the opening of the River Liffey on the country’s east coast, Dublin is the capital of Ireland and it is rich in history and beautiful architecture. Two of the most historic buildings here are the 13th-century Dublin Castle and the majestic St Patrick’s Cathedral, which dates back to 1911. If you want to learn more about the country, there’s only one place to go, which is the National Museum of Ireland. The museum houses collections and exhibits that focus on the heritage and culture of the Irish. The city also boasts many outdoor adventures and natural attractions, like walking and hiking trails. To find out more about these activities, check out our list of the best walks in Dublin, Ireland, as your guide.
1. The Great South Wall Walk
Located near the city center, the Great South Wall Walk stretches along Dublin Bay and ends at the Poolbeg Lighthouse. The wall is an 18th-century historic structure, which you’ll find out more about when you read its story on the information board. It is an easy walk on flat granite and has scenic views everywhere, whether you look at the sky, the people, the sailing cargo, views of Howth, and Wicklow’s Sugarloaf. Another great spot here is the small beach at the start of the walk, where you can have picnics with your family. Just a heads up, there’s no toilet here but there’s a free car park.
The Great South Wall Walk
Address: S Wall, Poolbeg, Dublin, Ireland
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
2. The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk
One of the things you should do in Dublin is the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk. It is a scenic walk that starts from the Bray Promenade and ends at Greystones Harbor and it will take you approximately 2 hours or 7 km (4.4 mi) to finish. The walk goes along the coastline, where you can see scenic views of the East Coast.
The cliff is rich in history, as well as in wildlife and different varieties of wildflowers. Also, the waters surrounding the cliff boast marine life, including dolphins, sharks, and porpoises, on a good day. Just a warning, the trail has a varying surface, so make sure you are careful.
A 1-3 day strenuous walk that covers a distance of 40 km (24.9 mi), the Dublin Mountains Way is a popular walking trail in Ireland that features 8 stages and different loops that you can choose from, depending on if you’re a beginner or an experienced walker. The stages include Shankill to the Scalp, the Scalp (Barnaslingan) to Cruagh, the Scalp (Barnaslingan) to Glencullen, and so on.
The trail begins at Shankill and ends in Tallaght. You’ll be walking along mountain trails, on the side of roads, through fields, forests, countryside, and more. Along the way, you’ll encounter many scenic views, wildlife, and flora.
Wicklow Mountains National Park, Glendalough Tour from Dublin
Duration: 8 hours
A fascinating fishing village north of Dublin, the Howth Peninsula is a popular day trip destination and one of the most famous attractions here is the Howth Loop Trail. The trail has a distance of 12 km (7.46 mi), starting from the North DART line up to the top of the Howth Head. Along the way, you’ll discover stunning views of Dublin Bay, the Irish Sea coastline, and the Wicklow Mountains.
The peninsula features numerous dining options that serve mouthwatering seafood dishes. Don’t forget to try one or two seafood restaurants in town to find out what the locals and tourists are raving about.
Howth Peninsula Hiking Tour
Duration: 4 hours
5. Malahide to Portmarnock Coastal Walk
Located in north County Dublin, Malahide is a small village buzzing with coastal and inland walking trails that are well-suited for leisurely walks to more serious ones. One of its most famous routes is the Malahide to Portmarnock Coastal Walk, which has a distance of approximately 4 km (2.5 mi). It features an elevated seaside trail that skirts parkland on one side and the beach on the other. If you’re not tired, you can extend your walk to include the Robswall Hike or continue walking up to the Portmarnock Beach stretch.
6. Bushy Park Native Tree Trail
One of the oldest parks in Dublin, which once belonged to the Shaw family until 1951, Bushy Park is now owned by the Dublin Corporation. The park features woodland trails, decorative ponds, and the lovely Dodder Walk. It also has amenities for football, tennis, and children. One of the highlights of the park is its Bushy Park Native Tree Trail. The trail will introduce you to some of Ireland’s native trees. To navigate it and find the 15 native tree signposts, you’ll need the Native Tree Trail Booklet.
Address: 6 Bushy Park House, Terenure, Dublin, Ireland
Website: Bushy Park
Opening hours: 10am - 5:30pm (daily)
7. Carrickgollogan Forest Trail
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Located at a 19th-century lead mine that closed in 1920, the Carrickgollogan Forest Trail is a 40-minute drive from the city center of Dublin, making it an excellent day trip destination. The old mine is surrounded by a forest trail that overlooks scenic views of south Dublin and north Wicklow. The walk will last about an hour or 2 km (1.2 mi) if you follow the Lead Mine’s Way and another 0.05 km (0.31 mi) to the Mountain Access route.
One of the highlights of this trail is the Viewing Rock, which is located at the Carrickgollogan summit and will give you sweeping views of the surroundings. Additionally, you’ll find the mysterious Lead Furnace Chimney here.
Carrickgollogan Forest Trail
Address: Phrompstown, Murphy’s Lane, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Website: Carrickgollogan Forest Trail
Opening hours: 9am–8pm (daily)
8. Killiney Hill Park
Another popular walking spot in Dublin, Killiney Hill Park is a small recreational park that overlooks the villages of Dalkey and Killiney. It has become so popular because of its 360-degree spectacular views, where you can see the lovely capital of Ireland in the northwest, the majestic Wicklow Mountains and Bray Head to the south, and, during a good day, the mountains of Wales, as well as the Irish Sea to the east and southeast. It is a family-friendly activity, so let the whole family join you, as you walk the Killiney Hill Park Trail.
Killiney Hill Park
Address: 18 Mount Auburn, Scalpwilliam, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, A96 W5C1, Ireland
Website: Killiney Hill Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Come and have a scenic walk in Dublin
A break from your typical city life, Dublin does not only offer history and art, but also nature adventures that will surely make you feel you’re alive. For ideas on where to go, read our compilation of the best walks in Dublin, Ireland, as your guide to exploring the many walking trails the city has in store for you.
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