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18 Of The Best Walks In Dublin To Try This Weekend (Mountains, Cliffs + Forest Walks)

18 Of The Best Walks In Dublin To Try This Weekend (Mountains, Cliffs + Forest Walks)

If you’re in search of the best walks in Dublin, you’ve landed in the right place.

Although there are heaps of Dublin walks to tackle, it’s easy to find yourself doing the same ones over and over again.

The purpose of this guide is to help you discover walks you’ve never tried before, while offering detailed trail guides for you to follow, with info on parking, difficulty etc.

In the guide below, you’ll find everything from cliffs and mountains to hills and forest walks in Dublin to try this weekend. Dive on in!

The best walks in Dublin (our favourites)

our favourite dublin walks

Photo by Photo by Roman_Overko (Shutterstock)

The first section of this guide is packed with what we think are the best walks in Dublin. These are trails that we’ve trodden along time and time again, and never get sick of.

Below, you’ll find popular Dublin walks, like Ticknock and Poolbeg. Later in the guide, you’ll find some walks you’ve hopefully never come across before, like Bohernabreena.

1. Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop

the ticknock walk

Photo left: J.Hogan. Right: Jemma See (Shutterstock)

The Ticknock walk is easily one of the best walks in Dublin, however, this also means that it gets insanely busy at the weekends, and parking can be a disaster (so arrive early!).

There are several different trails to tackle around Ticknock, but it’s hard to beat the peach that is the Fairy Castle Loop. This is a walk with a lot of inclines, so prepare to be huffing and puffing for a while.

However, the views from the top make it worth it, with glorious views of Dublin City on offer and plenty of places to perch yourself for a bit.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: Roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Numerous car parks (see this guide)

See our guide to the Ticknock Walk

2. The Howth Cliff Walk

cliffs in Howth

Photo by Cristian N Gaitan/shutterstock.com

The Howth Cliff Walk, like Ticknock, is one of the more popular things to do in Dublin so, if you’re planning to do it at the weekend, try and get here early.

There are a couple of different ways of tackling this walk: you can start it from the DART station for a longer stroll or you can kick it off from the car park at Howth Summit.

Those that head off on this one will be treated to incredible coastal views throughout. If you’re looking to escape Dublin without actually leaving Dublin, Howth is a solid option.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 1.5 to 3 hours (depending on route)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Numerous car parks (see this guide)

See our guide to the Howth Cliff Walk

3. The Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk

poolbeg lighthouse walk

Photo left: Peter Krocka. Right: ShotByMaguire (Shutterstock)

Yes, the Poolbeg Lighthouse walk is the one that takes you out to the fat red lighthouse! This is a mighty coastal walk that’ll blow off the clingiest of cobwebs.

There’s a long (2 hours – starting from Sandymount) and a short (40/50 minutes – starting near Pigeon House Road) walk here, depending on how energetic you’re feeling.

Expect stunning views of Dublin Bay, Howth Head, Dun Laoghaire Harbour and the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. Just make sure to dress appropriately – it gets very windy here.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 40 minutes to 2 hours (depending on route)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: There’s parking at the start (info here)

See our guide to the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk

4. The Killiney Hill Walk

killiney park

Photo by Adam.Bialek (Shutterstock)

If you’re in search of some handy Dublin walks that’ll treat you to some mighty views without taxing your legs too much, give the Killiney Hill Walk a lash.

There are two different routes to the top that you can take: if you’re after a short walk, drive up as far as the car park on Killiney Hill.

If you fancy a longer ramble, start from the bottom of the hill (there’s an entrance just past the Vico Baths, before you reach Killiney Beach) then walk up to the summit of the hill from there.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 20 to 45 minutes (depending on route)
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Parking: Various (info here)

See our guide to the Killiney Hill Walk

5. Bohernabreena Reservoir

Bohernabreena Reservoir

Photos via Shutterstock

Bohernabreena Reservoir is arguably the most overlooked of the many Dublin walks, and it’s well worth doing if you’re looking for a change from the norm.

You’ll find Bohernabreena around 15km southwest of Dublin in the Glenasmole Valley. There are two reservoirs here which are surrounded by evergreen and deciduous trees.

Known as the Upper Reservoir Loop, this ramble starts and ends at either of the car parks (it’s a looped walk) and takes 60-90 minutes, covering around 8.5km.

If you’re looking for nice walks in Dublin that aren’t as packed as the likes of Ticknock, this is well worth considering (there’s even a newish car park).

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 60 to 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Various (info here)

See our guide to the Bohernabreena Walk

Forest walks in Dublin

Now that we have what we think are the best walks in Dublin out of the way, it’s time to see what other walks around Dublin are worth heading off on.

Below, you’ll find a clatter of forest walks in Dublin for those of you that fancy escaping the hustle and bustle for an hour or 3.

1. The Carrickgollogan Forest Walk

forest walks in dublin

Photos via Shutterstock

Our next ramble, the Carrickgollogan Forest Walk, in our Dublin walks guide takes us 2.5km south of Kilternan village on the Dublin/Wicklow border.

Although Carrickgollogan is home to some of the shorter Dublin Mountains walks, they pack a punch, and you’ll be treated to magnificent views of the Dublin and Wicklow countryside.

The scenery that you can soak up from the viewing rock is what makes this one of the best walks in Dublin. On a clear day, you’ll see everywhere from south Dublin to north Wicklow

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 30 to 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Various (info here)

See our guide to the Carrickgollogan Forest Walk

2. The Tibradden Wood Walk

Tibradden wood walk

Photos via Shutterstock

The Tibradden Mountain Trail is another that tends to get overlooked quite a bit. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of it until last year. Then we gave it a crack one Sunday morning and I’ve been back three times since.

Tibradden lies between the Cruagh and Kilmashogue mountains (about a 40-minute drive from Dublin City and a stone’s throw from Johnny Fox’s Pub).

At the highest point on Tibradden, you’ll find an open cairn and kist burial site. When you reach here, take a breather and admire the views that surround you.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 2 to 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Various (info here)

See our guide to the Tibradden Wood Walk

3. The Cruagh Woods Walk

Cruagh Woods walk

Photos via Shutterstock

The Cruagh Woods Walk is one of the more popular forest walks in Dublin, and it’s the perfect ramble for a fine Saturday morning.

You’ll find Cruagh Woods 16km south of Dublin, not far from Rockbrook Village, and around a 5-minute drive from both Tibradden Wood and the Hellfire Club.

At just 4km in length, this is one of the shorter Dublin walks in this guide, however, it’s a rewarding one, especially on those quiet days when you have the woods all to yourself.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Various (info here)

See our guide to the Cruagh Woods Walk

4. The Hellfire Club Walk

hellfire club walk

Photo by Poogie (Shutterstock)

The Hellfire Club Walk (officially known as ‘the Montpellier Loop Trail’) is one of the most popular hill walks in Dublin, and it treats those that conquer it to panoramic views of Dublin City.

Now, as was the case with some of the Dublin walks above, this place gets crazy at the weekend, and the car park gets packed, so arrive early if you can.

From the car park, it’s a nice, steep climb to the top through reasonably dense forest. When you reach the top, you’ll see the haunted club house and views as far as the eye can see.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Next to starting point

See our guide to the Hellfire Club Walk

Family-friendly Dublin walks

The next section of our guide to the best walks in Dublin focuses on family friendly rambles. These are walks that you could do with a buggy, and that follow a flat trail.

Below, you’ll find some of the best parks in Dublin, like St. Anne’s, to a lovely coastal walk in Dublin that’s often overlooked.

1. St Anne’s Park

nice walks in dublin

Photo by Giovanni Marineo (Shutterstock)

You’ll find St Anne’s Park finely plonked between Clontarf and Raheny, a stone’s throw from the coast and easily accessible via public transport from the city.

St. Anne’s is the second largest public park in Dublin (after the Phoenix Park) and it covers an impressive 240+ acres.

There’s an almost endless number of trails to tackle here, depending on which entrance you come through, along with plenty of unique features along the way.

If you’re looking for nice walks in Dublin that aren’t challenging and that are perfect for buggies, give this a crack.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 1 to 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Sometimes tricky (info here)

See our guide to St Anne’s Park

2. Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

I’d argue that Ardgillan Castle, like nearby Newbridge House, are two of the most overlooked walks Dublin has to offer.

You’ll find Ardgillian between Balbriggan and Skerries, just off the M1 Motorway. The grounds here are huge, well maintained and there’s beautiful sea views.

There’s also plenty of places to grab coffee on the way along with castle tours, if you’re looking for things to do.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy (although there’s some inclines)
  • Parking: Decent bit of space

See our guide to Ardgillan Castle

3. Malahide Castle

malahide castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Malahide Castle and Gardens is home to some of the best walks in Dublin for families, thanks to their well-maintained trails, great parking facilities and array of amenities.

You can park in the first car park and enjoy a forest walk, before reaching the castle, or you can head to the second car park for a shorter stroll (this is near the playground, if you’re visiting with kids).

There’s also toilets on-site, a cafe, a fairy trail and castle tours, too. The trails are flat and should be reasonably doable for most fitness levels.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Lots of it

See our guide to Malahide Castle

4. Fernhill Park

Fernhill gardens dublin

Photos via MyHome.ie

Fernhill House and Gardens is the newest public park in Dublin and it’s home to some very handy walking trails, a playground and beautiful gardens.

Set on a large estate that dates back to 1723, Fernhill House boasts finely kept gardens, a stream, mature rhododendrons and ancient oaks.

Now, although a visit to Fernhill will last no longer than an hour, if you’re looking for short, family friendly Dublin walks, you can’t go wrong here. There’s also a playground on site for the kids.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 25 to 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: On site

See our guide to Fernhill Park

5. The Phoenix Park

phoenix park walks

Photos via Shutterstock

When you see guides to the best walks in Dublin online, you’ll rarely see the mighty Phoenix Park left out, and for good reason.

Europe’s largest city park is home to endless trails, with a little bit of something to suit every kind of walker (you can even combine your walk with a visit to Dublin Zoo!).

Whenever I head here, I tend to park at the Papal Cross, and just head off on a loop through the fields. However, you can always follow the paths, if you’ve a buggy.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Various (info here)

See our guide to the Phoenix Park

Beach walks around Dublin

The next section in our guide to the best walks in Dublin takes a look at the various beach walks around Dublin, for those of you that fancy sucking down some fresh sea air.

Below, you’ll find strolls on many of the best beaches in Dublin, with a couple of ‘gems’ thrown in, like the brilliant Burrow Beach in Sutton.

1. Burrow Beach

walks around dublin

Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re looking for nice walks in Dublin that won’t be as mobbed as many of the other beaches near the city, get yourself to Burrow Beach in Sutton.

Boasting great views of Ireland’s Eye and decked in soft golden sand, the 1.2 km Burrow Beach is a fine spot for a leisurely stroll (walk takes around 45 minutes).

Overlooked by some very fancy houses, the beach here is one of Dublin’s finest, and, even though parking can be tricky, it’s well worth a visit.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Can be a hassle (info here)

See our guide to Burrow Beach

2. North Bull Island

north bull island

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ll find North Bull Island in Clontarf, not far from St Anne’s Park. This one, like the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk, is best done with several layers of clothes, as it gets insanely windy.

If you’re driving, park on the Bull Wall and grab a coffee from Happy Out before heading down onto Dollymount Strand (you’ll get some great views of Dublin Bay en route).

You can do a loop walk here that takes you out to the coast road and then back along to the Bull Wall. This is one of the more popular Dublin walks as you can pair it with a post-walk feed in one of the restaurants in Clontarf.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 1 to 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Bull Wall

See our guide to North Bull Island

3. Portmarnock Beach

portmarnock beach

Photos via Shutterstock

Also known as the Velvet Strand (thanks to its silky smooth sand), Portmarnock Beach is a solid option for those of you looking for beach walks around Dublin.

The beach here is around 5 km in length and, as you stroll, you’ll be treated to glorious views of Ireland’s Eye and Howth.

Now, if you want to do one of the more popular coastal walks in Dublin, you can walk from Portmarnock Beach to Malahide Beach and either walk back or grab a bus.

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Car park near beach

See our guide to Portmarnock Beach

4. Killiney Beach

Killiney Beach dublin

Photos via Shutterstock

The last of our beach walks around Dublin takes us to the south of Dublin, to the brilliant (albeit stoney!) Killiney Beach.

Kick-start your visit with a coffee from Fred and Nancy’s (on the beach) and then head off on your merry way. The beach here stretches around 2.5km, but I’ve heard people say you can walk to Bray from here…

As you stroll, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the Wicklow Mountains. The only issue here can be parking (here’s info on where to get some).

The need-to-knows

  • Walking time: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Car park near beach

See our guide to Killiney Beach

Walks near Dublin

Now that we have the best walks in Dublin out of the way, it’s time to see what walks near Dublin are worth tackling.

Below, you’ll find a clatter of rambles a short spin from the capital, with a mix of forest walks and tough hikes on offer (see our guide to hikes near Dublin for more).

1. Wicklow

wicklow mountains national park guide

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ll find some of the most popular walks in Dublin in nearby Wicklow (roughly a 1 hour drive from the city). There’s an endless number of walks in Wicklow, with something to suit every fitness level.

And, although it’s the various Glendalough walks that tend to get a lot of the attention, there’s plenty more trails to tackle in Wicklow. Here are our favourites:

2. Meath

Loughcrew cairns

Photo By Adam.Bialek (Shutterstock)

There’s plenty of other mighty walks near Dublin in County Meath. Personally, I think it’s hard to beat Loughcrew Cairns and Balrath Woods, but there’s loads of trails out this way.

The likes of Mullaghmeen Forest and the Girley Bog are two popular spots for a ramble, as is the mighty Hill of Tara.

3. Louth

slieve foy

Photo By Sarah McAdam (Shutterstock)

Louth is another great option if you’ve exhausted the various Dublin walks. The Carlingford to Omeath Greenway and Slieve Foy (Carlingford) are two that draw the crowds.

However, Rathescar Lakeside Walk, the Clogherhead Cliff Walk, Townley Hall Woods and the Annaloughan Loop Walk are great options, too.

The best walks in Dublin: Where have we missed?

I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant Dublin walks from the guide above.

If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!

FAQs about Dublin walks

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are the handiest Dublin Mountains walks?’ to ‘What are scenic walks that make good Dublin date ideas?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the best walks in Dublin to try this weekend?

In our opinion, the best Dublin walks are the Fairy Castle Loop, the Great South Wall Walk, the Killiney Hill Walk and the Howth Cliff Walk.

What are some nice walks in Dublin that are family friendly?

The Phoenix Park, Fernhill Park, Malahide Castle and Ardgillan Castle are all home to handy, family-friendly Dublin walks.

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Helen O'Connor

Sunday 16th of May 2021

Fabulous information and so detailed. Thank you so much

Mary. Mokdad

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Donabate to Portrane Loop Walk

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