Approximate length: 4 kilometres
Part of Dublin Port, the Great South Wall is one of Europe’s longest sea walls. Built in the 18th century, it stretches four kilometres 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.
Approximate length: 6.2 kilometres
County Wicklow is known for its walking trails, and this is one 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 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.
Approximate length: 42 kilometres
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 has quickly become a favourite with walkers of all levels of ability. The track includes many beautiful and historic sites – its highest point is known as Fairy Castle, the summit of Two Rock Mountain where you will find a ruined passage tomb. The Scalp, a 12,000-year-old glacial valley on the Barnaslingan hill, is also part of this walk.
Approximate length: 6.32 kilometres
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.
Approximate length: 6 kilometres
The north-side equivalent of the Bray to Greystones trail, the cliff path loop from Howth to Sutton brings you around the entire Howth Head peninsula. Beginning on Blascadden 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.