Insider Tips

Dublin Mountain Walks

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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Just eight miles from Dublin's urban centre, the Dublin Mountains are the city's natural playground. Encompassing 43km of mountain trails, country paths and rural roads the Dublin Mountains Way has been noted as one of the 1,001 most scenic walks in the world.

The views over the city and bay are unbeatable. But don’t just take our word for it, grab your walking shoes and test out some of these signposted walks for yourself. Discover Dublin mountain walks to suit every level...



Duration 1.5 - 2hrs
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Download the Shankill trail map [pdf, 543kb]
 

If you fancy a shorter and not-so-challenging walk, but still want to appreciate all the beauty and wonderful views of the city and the sea, take to the Dublin Mountains Way and start your trek in Shankill village. This trail brings you through the forests at Rathmichael Wood and Carrickgollgan Wood before leading you out to the Lead Mines. See the old Lead Mines Tower and take a trip down the orange marked path to enjoy the peace of Barnaslingan Woods before arriving at the stunning 'Scalp' viewing point.  

While this trail may not be very long, it is certainly not short on wildlife. Keep an eye out for badgers, rabbits and birds and spot magnificent examples of trees including Noble Fir, Scot Pine, Birch and Larch. This trail also has its fair share of historical and interesting sites, with a megalithic Dolmen a standout feature.  


 


Duration 2 - 2.5hrs
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Download the Ticknock and Three Rock trail map [pdf, 352kb]
 

If you fancy something a little more challenging take to the trail at Ticknock Forest. Start at Carthy’s Green just off the Ballyedmonduff Road in Ballinteer, and take a hike through a stunning forest of Japanese Larch, Sitka Spruce, Scots, Monterey and Lodgepole Pine as well as other wonderful fauna and wildlife.  

Take in the spectacular views as you climb up Three Rock Mountain and take a look at the triple rock formations that give the mountain its name. These formations were once suspected to be man-made, but are actually a result of natural weathering. Continue on up to the Two Rock moorland where you will find the romantic Fairy Castle ruins. This cairn is the highest point of the Dublin Mountains at 537m and offers breath-taking views of the city below.  

Having searched for fairies at the castle, get back on the trail and head north-west towards Tibradden Mountain in search of yet another cairn before walking another 30 minutes to catch the 61 bus that will bring you back to Burgh Quay in Dublin’s city centre. Alternatively, take a guided tour with Trails and Tales, who offer a shuttle service from the Luas at Stillorgan or Red Cow to the mountains. This walking trail offers other activities such as mountain biking and bouldering for those with even more energy to expend! 

Visit one of Dublin's amazing food markets to pick up some picnic fare
 and dine al fresco or stop off in the famous Lamb Doyle’s Pub for a bite to eat and a drink.


 


Duration 2.5 - 3hrs
Difficulty: Difficult
Download the Hellfire trail map [pdf, 543kb]
 

Experienced hill walkers will love taking on the challenge of the Hellfire Club section of the Dublin Mountains Way. It may be more difficult than the other walks in some parts but the rewards outweigh the effort required. Not only do you get to enjoy the superb flora, fauna, wildlife and pleasing vistas that the Dublin Mountains have in abundance, you have the added bonus of visiting one of Dublin’s most famous and notorious landmarks – The Hellfire Club.
 

Steeped in myth and legends, The Hellfire Club is not for the faint hearted. Built in approximately 1725 as a “hunting lodge” for rich young men from Dublin, the club was allegedly used for satanic rituals and the scene of murders and sacrifices to the Devil. The air of terror and mystery around the ruins makes it a fantastic place to visit, particularly at night — if you are brave enough! Learn more about the legends surrounding the Hellfire club.

The seemingly haunted building is perched on Mountpellier Hill, very close to the city. To really get the most out of this walk, take in the Dublin Mountain Way from where the previous walk left off in the Tibradden Mountains, and head towards Mountpellier Hill through the Piperstown Pass, finishing at Massy’s Estate across the road from the Hellfire Club carpark, just off the Old Military Road. And with nature trails and orienteering also available in this part of the Dublin Mountains Way, you're sure to find something for everyone to enjoy.  

So bring those boots made for walking and add the Dublin Mountains Way to your city break itinerary. Add in a day trip to the coast and explore Dublin Bay, discover the city's cultural and shopping districts and spend a little time in our world-renowned pubs and restaurants. It's so easy to get around Dublin, making the perfect city for a break that has it all!