Skip to Content

A Guide To The Ticknock Walk: The Trail, Map + Car Park Info

A Guide To The Ticknock Walk: The Trail, Map + Car Park Info

There are two main versions of the Ticknock walk – the Fairy Castle Loop and the long trail from Kilmashogue.

  • The Fairy Castle Loop: 5.8km trail that takes 1.5 – 2.5 hours
  • The walk from Kilmashogue: 13km trail that takes 2.5 – 3.5 hours

And, while parking at both can be a nightmare at the weekends, the views from Three Rock and Fairy Castle make up for it. Find maps for both walks below.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Ticknock walk

Dublin Mountains

Photos via Shutterstock


The Ticknock walk is fairly straight-forward, once you have a good sense of 1, the car park situation and 2, the trail. Here’s some handy info to get you up-to-speed:

1. Location

You’ll find Ticknock Hill in the Dublin Mountains. It’s around 3 km south-west of Sandyford. 

2. Parking

The main Ticknock car park (here on maps) can be an absolute disaster at the weekend. If you’re parking here, arrive early. An alternative entrance is the Kilmashogue Forest Car Park (here on maps).

3. Opening hours

The Ticknock car park opens 06:00 – 22:00

are 06:00 to 22:00 during the summer months and 07:00 to 17:00 from the start of November. Again, I can’t find anywhere to confirm this online, so keep that in mind.


4. Two trails

There are two versions of the Ticknock hike and they vary greatly in terms of start point and length:

  • The Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop: 5.8km moderate trail that takes 1.5 – 2.5 hours
  • Trail from Kilmashogue: 13km trail that takes 2.5 – 3.5 hours

5. Getting here by bus

There’s a bus stop outside the Blue Light Pub (number 3500) and you can get the number 47 and the 44 from Dublin City. The easiest way to check times is to enter your location on the Transport for Ireland Journey Planner and then stop number 3500.

Trail option 1: The Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop


The first Ticknock walk is the one from the main car park. Now, if you’ve never been here before, the car park has a lower section and then a higher section.

Personally, I try and avoid the upper section of the Ticknock car park as it gets wedged at times and it can be tricky to get out of.

The trail

You can start this walk up through Ticknock Forest from the main car park (here it is on Google Maps).

This is a well-signposted trail, just make sure to follow the GREEN arrows.

Follow the arrows up to Three Rock Mountain and then continue on to the Two Rock Mountain.

At the summit of Two Rock, you’ll find the Fairy Castle – a Neolithic passage tomb measuring 27 metres in diameter by 3 metres in height.

You’ll take a right after this and continue down towards the rifle range and then back to the car park.


Handy info

This version of the Ticknock hike is moderate enough and it should prove to be reasonably handy for those with a half-decent level of fitness.

If you stick to the trail and don’t venture off into Ticknock Forest, you’ll be able to walk along a well-kept tarmac path for the most part.

Trail option 2: The Ticknock Forest walk from Kilmashogue


Personally, I’d only do this version of the Ticknock Forest Walk if I couldn’t get parking in the main car park as the first leg of the trail is a long slog!

However, I know of several people that prefer the trail through Kilmashogue Forest as it tends to be less trodden.

The trail

Start in this car park (you can’t miss the beginning of the walk). It’s a steep aul slog for a good chunk of this trail, but there’s plenty of places to stop and soak up the views.

There’s only one section of this trail that can cause confusion, and that’s when you come to a fork in the road – take the path to the right (it’s the one going up) and keep strolling.

Soon after the trail will join up with the Fairy Castle Loop.


Handy info

This Ticknock walk, similar to the Howth Cliff Path walk, is reasonably strenuous at the beginning, as there’s a good bit of incline walking. However, if you have moderate fitness levels you’ll be fine.

We did this walk last weekend and it took us roughly 2.5 hours in total (that includes time spent sat up at Three Rock admiring the view out towards the Wicklow Mountains).

More Dublin walks

best dublin walks

Click to enlarge

There’s an almost endless number of walks in Dublin to tackle after you’ve conquered the Ticknock walk.

Below, you’ll find 3 of our favourites, from hill walks with mighty views to forest walks where, if you start early, you’ll dodge the crowds.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Karl Quinn

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Great recommendation and info Keith, another great morning out, thanks to your guidance!

Keith O'Hara

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Cheers Karl! Hope the form is mighty!!

Dermot Dodd

Friday 22nd of May 2020

Had my first walk its a trully Beaitifull spot lovely views of dublin city etc

But Signage is absolutly deperate with lots of misleading dead ends and treks if gone of the main trek or trying to find the car park or starting point on returning

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.