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The Hellfire Club Walk: Parking, History + Trail Guide

The Hellfire Club Walk: Parking, History + Trail Guide

The Hellfire Club Walk (AKA ‘the Montpellier Loop’) is a 4.2km trail that takes 1-1.5 hours to complete.

For anyone with a moderate level of fitness, this is one of the more doable Dublin walks and it treats you to a magnificent view out over Dublin.

The trail also takes you to the ruins of a supposedly haunted lodge and you can explore its upper and lower floors, but more on that, and a map, below. Cheers!

Some quick need-to-knows about the Hellfire Club walk

Hellfire Club

Photos via Shutterstock


Although a visit to Montpelier Hill is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

You’ll find Montpelier Hill in the Dublin Mountains . It’s a 10-minute drive from both Rathfarnam and Firhouse and a 15-minute drive from Sandyford.

2. Parking

The Hellfire Club car park can be found here on Google Maps. Now, a warning: if you visit on a Saturday or Sunday morning, this place can be mobbed, so try and arrive early. The car park is open 7am – 9pm (Apr to Sept) and 8am – 5pm (Oct to Mar).

3. Walk length

The Montpelier loop is a 4.2 km moderate walk that’ll take around 1 to 1.5 hours and that follows a blue way-marker. On the 6 or so occasions that I’ve done this walk, it took 1 hour and 15 minutes at a leisurely pace.


4. Difficulty

The Hellfire Club Walk should be very doable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. Do note that there’s a fair aul incline towards the beginning of the trail.

5. Getting there by bus (warning)

I’m going to start by saying I really wouldn’t recommend getting here by public transport, as there’s no path on the road leading to the Hellfire Club trailhead and cars drive very fast. You could get the number 15 bus from Dublin City to Ballycullen Road (Stop 6282 – see route) and grab a taxi to and from the car park.

An overview of the Hellfire Club Walk


So, you’ll kick-start your ramble in the Hellfire Club car park.

There’s a little coffee van selling hot drinks (during the summer) and ice cream.

You’ll easily be able to spot where the trail begins, so head off on your merry way and follow the trail that winds around Montpelier Hill.

What to look out for

After around 10-15 minutes you’ll cop a steep gravel path up to your right.

This is the quick way to the top of the hill.

If you’re stuck for time, you can head up this way (be careful after rainfall) and you’ll reach the top in under 10 minutes.

However, as I’ve shown in the map above, if you want to do the full trail, go straight at the crossroads.


Getting into the belly of the walk

Keep on walking and the trail will eventually start to bend around to the right.

After a while, you’ll get a gorgeous view out over the Glenasmole Valley.

Keep on going and you’ll see the ruins of the Hellfire Club up ahead.


Views galore

When you reach the ruins on the Hellfire Club Walk, you’ll be treated to an unbeatable view out over Dublin City.

If you fancy, you can also go inside the Hellfire Club itself for a nosey around (there’s two floors – mind your step).

When you’re ready, continue along the trail and it’ll take you to a steep and very uneven decline that you can follow back to the car park.


The story behind the Hellfire Club in Dublin

the hellfire club from afar

Photo via Shutterstock

One of the attractions of the Hellfire Club Walk is the legend tied to Montpelier Hill.

At the top of the hill lies the ruins of a very old hunting lodge.

The lodge was erected by R.H. Connolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Parliament, as a hunting lodge, around 1725.

The Irish Hellfire Club

There’s many a legend associated with the Hellfire Club in Dublin (a couple of which are similar to the story of the haunted Loftus Hall in Wexford).

After Connolly passed, the lodge fell into disarray.

According to legend, it soon became the meeting place for a group known as ‘the Irish Hellfire Club’.

The club was formed in 1735 by a lad named Richard Parsons, a known dabbler in dark magic.


The story goes

There was a lot of secrecy surrounding the club members and this led to speculation that they were Devil-worshipers.

This probably wasn’t helped by the fact that the clubs president used to wear horns, wings, and hooves.

The most widely known Hellfire Club story is the one where the Devil himself appeared. A stranger joined the club one evening to play a game of cards.

At some point during the game, one of the players dropped a card on the floor. As he bent down to pick it up, he noticed that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of feet.


The fire

There are many stories surrounding how the building ended up in its current state, with many accepting that it was ravaged by fire at some point.

One story explains that the lodge was set alight when the owner refused to renew the lease.

Another tale says that it was destroyed during a fight when one member poured brandy on another and set him alight.

More great Dublin walks

best dublin walks

One of the beauties of the Hellfire Club Walk is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Dublin.

Below, you’ll find a handful of other very popular walks a stone’s throw from Montpelier Hill.


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Laura Kelly

Friday 3rd of May 2024

Hi I’ve a ten month old baby is it suitable to bring her in a buggy I have an out an about one that I use for running all the time or am I better bringing a carrier to put her on my back and just push the buggy? Any help would be greatly appreciated I’m thinking of going next Sunday

Thank you laura

Keith O'Hara

Friday 3rd of May 2024

Hey Laura - I'd say you'd be better off with a carrier. There's a section (the downhill part after the 'summit') that's steep and very uneven.


Sunday 1st of November 2020

Me And My Mum Went On A Paranormal Ghost Tour Up At The Hellfire Club In Dublin At Night A Couple Of Years Ago, Was A Steep Hill To Climb And Was Also Creepy In The Dark But Was Definitely Worth It!

Really Enjoyed Learning The History Of The Place.


Wednesday 25th of September 2019

i was up there some years ago. it is a steep climb, but well worth the view. have to say as night fell it was creepy, and lends to the legend.

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