9 Of The Best Walks In Dublin To Try This Weekend (Mountains, Hills + Cliff Walks)

Hills, Mountains, Lighthouses and More

Tibradden walk
Photo by Poogie (Shutterstock)

If you’re in search of walks in Dublin that you may not have tried/heard of, then you’re in the right place. 

In the guide below you’ll find a handful of lovely walks in Dublin that you can head off on solo or with friends.

I’ve tried to keep these to mountain and hill walks, where possible, but I’ve popped in some walks on level ground for those of you that struggle with uphill walking/climbing.

If you’re looking for other bits and pieces to do in and around the capital, nip into our guide to the best things to do in Dublin.

The best walks in Dublin

  • The Ticknock Fairycastle Loop
  • The Killiney Hill Walk
  • The Hellfire Club Walk
  • The Howth Cliff Walk
  • The Carrickgollogan Forest Walk
  • The Tibradden mountain trail
  • The Great South Wall
  • The Malahide to Portmarnock coastal walk
  • The North Bull Island walk

Dublin walks: Mountains, cliffs and coastal rambles

So, you’ll find nine different walks below. Each walk contains info on where they are, where to park and a rough outline of the route itself.

Most of the walks below, like the Howth Cliff Walk and the Killiney Hill Walk, are pretty straightforward and need very little planning.

However, walks like the Carrickgollogan Forest Walk need a little bit of planning to ensure that you take the right route. Right – I’ll stop yammering on – dive on into the best Dublin walks below!

1. Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop: The Best Dublin Mountains Walk

Ticknock hill walk
Photo by J.Hogan (Shutterstock)

The ramble up at Ticknock is easily one of the best walks in Dublin and it’s one that many people living in Dublin tend to miss!

I’ve been doing several walks in the Dublin Mountains over the past couple of years and, in my opinion, Ticknock is the best.

Whenever I take a spin out to Sandyford, which is rare these days, I chisel out some time to head off on the Fairy Castle loop on Ticknock Hill.

This is a lovely looped walk that takes buckets of the seemingly never-ending views of Dublin that envelope you when you reach the top.

The need-to-knows

We’ve written out an easy-to-follow guide to the Ticknock Walk that has info on where to park, routes to take etc, but here’s some quick info:

  • Walking time: Roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Tip: Dress for the weather. If you plan on going off the path, it’ll be muddy after rainfall
  • More info: See our detailed guide  to the walk

2. The Killiney Hill Walk

Killiney Hill walk dublin
Photo by Globe Guide Media Inc (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, take the DART to Dalkey and then walk up to the summit of the hill from there.

The need-to-knows

We’ve written out an easy-to-follow guide to the Killiney Hill Walk that has info on where to park, routes to take etc, but here’s some quick info:

  • Walking time: Between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on where you start the walk
  • Tip: Bring a picnic and chill on the grass at the summit while soaking up the view
  • More info: See our detailed guide  to the walk

3. The Hellfire Club Walk: One of the most relaxed walks in the Dublin Mountains

hellfire club walk
Photo by Poogie (Shutterstock)

The Hellfire Club Walk (officially known as ‘the Montpellier Loop Trail’) is a lovely Dublin walk that will treat you to a spectacular panoramic view out over Dublin City.

This is a reasonably handy walk, depending on fitness levels, that takes you up Montpelier Hill to the ruins of a supposedly haunted lodge.

The need-to-knows

We’ve written out an easy-to-follow guide to the Hellfire Club Walk that has info on where to park, routes to take etc, but here’s some quick info:

  • Walking time: Roughly 1 hour + (depending on how much time you spend at the top)
  • Tip: Dress for the weather. Boots or runners with a sturdy grip are recommended.
  • More info: See our detailed guide to this Dublin walk

4. The Howth Cliff Walk: One of my favourite Dublin walks

cliffs in Howth
Photo by Cristian N Gaitan/shutterstock.com

You’ll regularly see me bang on about this being one of the best walks in Dublin. The Howth Cliff Walk is one that I’ve been doing with friends for around 15 years at this stage and it never gets old.

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 walk 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

We’ve written out an easy-to-follow guide to the Howth Cliff Walk that has info on where to park, routes to take etc, but here’s some quick info:

  • Walking time: I’ve done it in 120 minutes on a fine summers day. Allow for longer if you’re battling the wind in winter.
  • Tip: Wear layers! It gets very windy on this walk but you’ll also work up a sweat.
  • More info: See our detailed guide to this Dublin walk

5. Carrickgollogan Forest Walk: The most overlooked walk in Dublin

Carrickgollogan walk
Photo by Poogie (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.

The walks here are relatively short (more info below), but you’ll be treated to magnificent views of the Dublin and Wicklow countryside and the sea beyond.

According to the folks at Coillte, the main attractions here are, ‘the viewing rock at Carrickgollogan hill to the south of the property and the now disused lead mine chimney at the northern boundary.’

The scenery that you can soak up from the viewing rock 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

The walks here are nice and handy. Coillte have published a guide to the walks here that you should have no trouble following.

  • Walking time: The walks here are relatively easy. The Lead Mines Way will take around 40 minutes, while the Mountain Acces Route takes around 30.
  • Directions: Start your walk in the car park and follow the linear trail that takes you to the top of Carrickgollogan Hill.

6. Tibradden Mountain Trail: Another handy walk in the Dublin Mountains

Tibradden walk
Photo by Poogie (Shutterstock)

The Tibradden Mountain Trail is one 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

Similar to Carrickgollogan, the walks here are nice and handy. Coillte have published a guide to the walks here that you should have no trouble following.

  • Walking time: The Tibradden Mountain Trail takes you on a 2.4km 2 hour (depending on pace) stroll through the forest and then on a hike up the mountain to the cairn at the summit.
  • Directions: Start your walk in the car park at the Zipline centre and follow the red trail/red waymarkers that’ll take you to the top of Tibradden Mountain.

7. The Great South Wall walk: One of the most popular (and windiest) walks Dublin has to offer 

poolbeg lighthouse walk
Photo by Robert Linsdell via Wikicommons

Yes, this is the walk in Dublin that takes you out to the fat red lighthouse. This is a mighty coastal walk that’ll blow off the clingiest of cobwebs.

The walk takes you 4km out into Dublin Bay along the Great South Wall until you reach Poolbeg Lighthouse at the very end.

Expect stunning views of Dublin Bay, Howth Head, Dun Laoghaire Harbour and the Dublin and Wicklow mountains.

The need-to-knows

We’ve written out an easy-to-follow guide to the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk that has info on where to park, routes to take etc, but here’s some quick info:

  • Walking time: I’ve done it in 60 minutes during the summer but allow 80 to be safe
  • Tip: Be prepared for a whole load of wind. You’re in the middle of Dublin Bay, after all. Dress appropriately.
  • More info: See our detailed guide to this Dublin walk

8. The Malahide to Portmarnock Coastal Walk: One of the best walks near Dublin City

malahide to portmarnock coastal walk
Photo via Google Maps

I live in Swords (about a 20-minute spin from Malahide), and I’ve done this walk 20 or 30 times over the years.

This is one of the many Dublin walks that’s perfect for those of you looking for a moderate ramble with friends on level ground that offers great ocean views throughout.

The need-to-knows

We’ve written out an easy-to-follow guide to the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk that has info on where to park, routes to take etc, but here’s some quick info:

  • Where to start the walk: Park the car along the coast road in Malahide. Avoid the beach car park as it’s infamous for break-ins.
  • Walk time: I’ve done it in 30 minutes solo on one occasion and it took an over an hour on another with a group.

9. The North Bull Island Walk: One of my favourite walks in North Dublin

Bull island walk
Photo by Dawid K Photography (Shutterstock)

I seem to have a lot of ‘favourite walks in Dublin’… The beauty of this one is that you can perfectly pair it with a pre or post-walk feed in Clontarf.

You’ll have views out towards Poolbeg, the Great South Wall and the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains at the beginning, while the middle of the walk will take in the coast road at Sutton and beyond to Howth Hill.

The need-to-knows

  • Where to start the walk: Park the car along the path (not too far in as you don’t want to make it impassable for wheelchairs and buggies) a good distance up from the bridge.
  • Time it’ll take: This is another relatively handy one. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on pace.
  • Walk time: I’ve done it in 30 minutes solo on one occasion and it took an over an hour on another with a group.

Directions

  • After parking the car, head straight until you reach the Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Statue. 
  • From here, make your way along Dollymount Strand. You’ll want to take a left about halfway up the beach and make your way out towards St. Anne’s Park. 
  • When you reach the coast road, continue back towards the bridge you drove over before you began the stroll and you’ll be back to the starting point. 

Walks near Dublin

cuilcagh mountain
Photo left: Irish Road Trip. Right: Joseph Molloy (shutterstock)

If you’re looking for walks near Dublin (between 30 minutes and 2 hours drive away), you have plenty of options to choose from.

In our guide to the best walks near Dublin, you’ll find 17 brilliant rambles that you can head off on, like the Stairway to Heaven walk (Cuilcagh) pictured above.

What Dublin walks have we missed?

Have you tried any of the above walks in Dublin recently? Are there any others that we should add in?

If you know of any deadly Dublin walks, let me know in the comments below and I’ll get it added sharpish. Cheers!

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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