The Best Walks in and Around Dublin

The Killiney Hill Walk is one of the most spectacular walks to take near Dublin
The Killiney Hill Walk is one of the most spectacular walks to take near Dublin | © Beata Molnar / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kate Phelan
30 September 2020

Dublin has walking trails to rival those of any rural Irish county: beautiful cliff path trails, mountainous hikes and relaxing nature walks are all easily accessible from the city centre. That’s why we’ve put together some of the best walks – from Killiney Hill to the Dublin Mountains Way – to try the next time you’re in the area.

The Great South Wall Walk

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View
The Great South Wall and Poolbeg Lighthouse, Ringsend, Dublin, Ireland
© David Soanes / Alamy Stock Photo
Part of Dublin Port, the Great South Wall is one of Europe’s longest sea walls. Built in the 18th century, it stretches 4km (2.5mi) out into Dublin Bay from a starting point at the inner suburb of Ringsend. While 360-degree views of all of coastal Dublin are reason enough to undertake this walk, many go just to see the emblematic Poolbeg Lighthouse, a quintessential Dublin landmark located almost smack in the centre of the bay.

The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Map View
County Wicklow is known for its walking trails, and this is one of the best. Both Bray – located on the Dublin-Wicklow border – and Greystones are easily accessible from the city centre by train, and the two seaside towns are connected by a path overlooking stunning vistas of the Irish sea. The Bray to Greystones cliff walk was originally built during the construction of the DART rail track for transporting equipment. Today, it is one of south Dublin’s biggest attractions. After winding around the Bray Head hill and headland, this rewarding walk culminates at Greystones Harbour.

The Dublin Mountains Way

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View

In 2015, the Dublin Mountains Way was included in Australian travel writer Barry Stone’s book 1001 Walks You Must Experience Before You Die. This scenic trail connecting the suburbs of Shankill and Tallaght through the Dublin Mountains opened in 2010, and it has quickly become a favourite with walkers of all ability levels. The Scalp, a 12,000-year-old glacial valley on the Barnaslingan hill, is one of the many features along this scenic walk.

Howth to Sutton Cliff Path Loop

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View
Cliffs and Martello tower in Howth, Dublin, Ireland
© Lisandro Trarbach / Alamy Stock Photo
The north-side equivalent of the Bray to Greystones trail, this cliff path loop from Howth to Sutton brings you around the entire Howth Head peninsula. Beginning on Balscadden Road – where Irish poet William Butler Yeats spent time living as a child – you will ascend to the starting point of the path, which begins quite narrowly. Not for those with a fear of heights, the trail stays close to the cliff edge for the entire duration, with breathtaking views out over Dublin Bay.

The Bohernabreena Reservoirs Trail

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View

The two man-made reservoirs in the picturesque Glenasmole Valley near Tallaght date back to the 1880s, when they were built to supply water to the Dublin suburb of Rathmines. This figure-eight walking trail circles both reservoirs, bounded by spectacular Scots pine, Douglas fir and larch trees. Walking here, you will see plenty of wild birds, such as kingfishers, dippers and herons.

River Liffey city stretch

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View

Taking you along Ireland’s most famous river, the Liffey, this city walk takes you through the heart of the city. If you begin at the Heuston Station and walk along the riverfront, you’ll be greeted by a collection of wonderful views across the city. The short walk is roughly 5km (3mi), and if you’re looking for somewhere to stop for a spot of lunch, plenty of picturesque pubs and cafes line the route.

Killiney Hill

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Map View
The small obelisk on Killiney Hill, overlooking Killiney Bay, Dublin, Ireland
© Michael David Murphy / Alamy Stock Photo
Just outside the city, the Killiney Hill walk offers guests a tremendous view of the surrounding area. Depending on whether you choose the short option or the longer option, it can take 20 to 45 minutes to reach the top of the hill, which is marked by a large obelisk, built in the 18th century. From the summit, you can take in panoramic views of Dublin or, to the other side, the Wicklow Mountains. When coming back down the hill, be sure to stop off at the Druid’s Chair Pub for a post-hike pint.

Ticknock Fairy Castle Loop

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Map View

This moderate loop walk features the summit of both the Three Rock mountain and the Two Rock mountain and has several interesting stops along the way. Getting its name from a former tomb, now known as the Fairy Castle, the walk takes guests along to the highest point in the Dublin mountains. From its summit, you can catch sights of the city, Dublin Bay, the Sugarloaf and Mournes Mountains. Found just south of the city, the hike is a great way to take advantage of a sunny clear day.

Additional reporting by Nicholas Grantham

These recommendations were updated on September 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.