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5 of the Best Hikes in Dublin to Escape the City

Even if your only in Dublin for the weekend, it’s nice to explore the other wild side of the city - its trails! For all its wonders, Dublin city can get a bit overwhelming at times. What’s great about Dublin is that it’s surrounded by so many hikes to get away into nature and forget about life stresses and the traffic.

 

 

Fairy Castle Loop, Ticknock Forest

  • Route type: Looped
  • Starting point: Ticknock Forest Car Park
  • Difficulty: Easy-moderate
  • Distance: 6km
  • Elevation: 444m
  • Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Parking: Yes
  • Fee: No
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Pit Stop: Trails Café in Ticknock Forest Car Park.

This is one of my favourite hikes in Dublin. It’s a quick 25-minute drive from the city centre. The hike is marked in some parts, but you really need to keep an eye out for the signs especially 200 metres after the cairn. Make sure you turn right off the track as a lot of people go wrong here.

There’s lots of parking at this forest, however, if you’re planning a trip at the weekend be sure to head early to get a spot. The hike offers great views over Dublin Bay. The trail is a combination of forest roads, gravel path, rocky trail, and narrow dirt paths. This is a great one for sunrise!

 

Sli na Slainte, Cruagh Woods

  • Route type: Looped
  • Starting point: Cruagh Woods Carpark
  • Distance: 4km
  • Elevation: 134m
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Parking: Yes
  • Fee: No
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Pit Stop: The Gap Kitchen for food or coffee

This is a lovely forest road-loop close to Dublin city, and provides hikers with a perfect family-friendly escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital. The Sli na Slainte Loop is a gradual and well-marked climb along the Cruagh fire roads with lots of waymarked trails. If you want to add any extra length or elevation to this loop, there are plenty of options throughout the woods.

 

Bog of Frogs Loop Trail, Howth Cliff walk

  • Route type: Loop
  • Starting point: East pier (outside King Sitric) or there is a car park further up on the Balscadden road before the barrier
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 12km
  • Elevation: 240m
  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • Parking: Yes
  • Fee: Yes, roadside parking (depends on the day)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Pit Stop: Tuck or Margadh food for food or snacks.

Howth cliff walk is always voted one of the best coastal trails in Ireland and we’re so lucky to have it so close to the city. There are a few options for the start point, some people like starting from the train station and walking the loop anti clockwise, I prefer starting at the east pier and walking up to the cliff head first walking along the coast and back through Howth town where you can then stop in a cafe on route back to the car. 

The trail is marked, but in sections you’ll really have to keep an eye out for the signs. 

Along the cliff walk you’ll pass many beaches, rock pools and stunning carved steps into the cliff wall. Bring the togs on a hot day! The route provides amazing views of Bailey lighthouse, Dublin Bay, Lambast Island, and Ireland Eye! Also, look out for the old Irish goats  along the cliff that help manage gorse and other shrubs along the walk, they’re majestic to see. 

  

Tribbraden Mountain Trial

  • Route type: Out and back
  • Starting point: Tribbradden Wood Car Park
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2.4km
  • Elevation: 145m
  • Time: 1 hours
  • Parking: Yes
  • Fee: No
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Pit Stop: The Gap Kitchen

This is a lovely short hike that offers great views of Dublin City. The trail is marked with red markers and is easy to follow bringing you to Tribbradden Cairn and then following back down the way you came up. 

You can also make this trail longer by adding on some of the trails from Cruagh Forest nearby. A lovely spot to watch sunset over Dublin. 

 

Hell Fire Club Forest Trail

  • Route type: Looped
  • Starting point: Hell Fire Club Car Park
  • Difficulty: Easy - moderate
  • Distance: 5.5km
  • Elevation: 220m
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Parking: Yes
  • Fee: No
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Pit Stop: Timbertrove Café 

The Hell Fire Club is a very popular and well-known trail for Dubliners. There’s a lot of history and folklore about it being haunted which draws people in. The trails up Montpellier Hill (where the Hell Fire club is) are marked. For this loop, you’re following the green arrows. 

There’s a shorter trail marked with the blue arrows for a direct route up and back if you’re stuck for time. The trail offers beautiful views over Dublin City and the ruins of the Hell Fire Club. I would recommend going midweek as the car park isn’t large and it can get very busy. 

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