The best hikes in Dublin is probably the last blog post I thought would ever feature here! Whilst you all know I love to travel and explore, I am pretty unfit so I don’t go out of my way to to overexert myself. Climbing Vesuvius in Italy was probably the closest i’ve gotten to a hike before. But alas, lockdown has not only allowed me to explore my beautiful home country but with further restrictions limiting me within my county, I’ve also discovered some fab walks and the best hikes in Dublin.
I’m lucky that Dublin isn’t just a bustling city but also has the escape of the beautiful Dublin Mountains to explore with its stunning views which span across Wicklow too. They’re technically hills though rather than mountains so don’t worry there are no strenuous climbs, your general walking gear will do! We did invest in waterproof boots and jackets for the winter months because there’s nothing worse than wet runners.
Many of the hikes in Dublin here are in the Dublin mountains but not all, some are closer to home, but I can personally recommend them all, and there’s definitely something for everyone. They’re all dog friendly too of course, and Rocco and Bear are big fans.
Photos and videos are all saved in my Hikes highlights on Instagram also.
We’ve actually been going to Ticknock since before lockdown was a thing, it has been one of our go to places to bring the dogs and there are plenty of trails to explore here. The main loop is about 4km but it is partially paved which I personally wouldn’t be a fan of – I prefer a more of a natural terrain or going through woods, especially with the dogs. They have mountain bike only trails here so do be careful as you are venturing around. Endless trails and plenty of views, you could spend hours here and every time we go we find new routes and paths.
Carrickgollogan (and Barnaslingan)
There are a few loops to go on here (including Barnaslingan), but you also have the option to climb up the summit with stunning 360 views of Dublin, and a visit to the leadmines. The two loops are around 5km so definitely an easy trail if you skip the elevation gain on the summit, but I do recommend giving it a go so you can check out the views for sure – there are some video shots on my instagram.
Cruagh Forest to Tibradden Mountain
This was an accidental find. We were heading to the Hell Fire Club but traffic was mayhem and then they closed the car park, so we continued driving until we spotted a sign for here. Probably one of my favourite trails and again similar to Ticknock there are many routes and trails so you can make it as long or as short, or as easy as you would like. There’s boardwalk here that takes you up the mountains which is optional, and there’s a fab place to have a BBQ / picnic too. Easily do a nice 10km plus alot more here.
Hell Fire Club (and Montpelier Hill)
Probably one of the more popular trails, a lovely 5km loop with a visit to Montpelier Hill, again you can go off track and add more steps to your hike, and more intensity too. We ventured down a trail and to say I struggled to get back because it was so steep is an understatement! So do be mindful when you do start to venture onto the side paths. It only added an extra km but certainly lost an extra few hundred cals! (I’m so unfit though!)
Two Rock Mountain (via Tibradden Trails)
This is another one of my favourites, however personally I generally prefer a looped trail which this isn’t, because in my head the further I go the closer I am to the end too! This one is predominantly up hill, but not intense. Again stunning views like everywhere in the Dublin Mountains! Lots of boardwalks and then some rough terrain and stone hopping, plus dirt roads. It’s around a 10km there and back trail, again expandable if you wish, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This will be the first trail I will head to once lockdown lifts a bit for sure.
Of all the years I have lived in Dublin I have never visited once of the most iconic places, shame on me! But as soon as restrictions got tighter and I could only move within 5km this was the perfect place to go. We walked from Grand Canal Dock so added an extra 2.5km there and back to our trek, but the Poolbeg loop itself is around 11km. To say we were a little raging we didn’t drive the car to Sandymount was an understatement, but that was mostly because it got dark quite quick and it isn’t greatly lit along the trail. This trail is obviously quite different than the Dublin Mountains where we would normally have the dogs off their leashes, but there are a few beach spots along this trail so we were able to let them loose a few times which they loved. The pier itself is much longer than I thought, people were jumping into the (baltic!) see, and there was a guy selling hot drinks from a van too. A nice walk if you’re nearby!
St Annes Park
We’ve been going here since we first got Rocco (4 years ago!) because it also has a dog park but it is a gorgeous place to go for a walk. It has a mix of wooded areas, fields and streams and of course the park area with the pond too. We always go off the beaten track where there are no people as we like to let the dogs explore. My favourite park in Dublin for sure!