Ireland is well known for it’s stunning coastlines and incredible views, and Dublin’s hiking hotspots are no different. With many of the top attractions in Dublin either closed or operating at limited capacity, so what better time to go and explore the great outdoors. Here, we look at the top spots to visit for a hike or a coastal walk while in Dublin and the surrounding areas. All of the locations mentioned are easily accessible by car, and if you are visiting Ireland, renting a car is a great way to get around all of these beautiful areas. Dooley Car Rental offer great rates for Car Rental in Ireland, and you can book online ahead of your visit.
- Howth Cliff Walk
This beautiful coastal cliff walk is nicely hidden away in the northside of Dublin. The 12km long walk is challenging yet rewarding, and the full loop would take about 3 hours to complete. There are plenty of small remote beaches to stop and have a swim along the way and lots of rocks to climb to get the endorphins going. One thing to be wary about when on the walk is the narrow, rocky and uneven cliffs that can be dangerous if not careful. Once you wear appropriate footwear and take your time you will be fine! Once you do the full loop, take some time to relax in the beautiful village in Howth. There are any number of spots to grab an ice cream, coffee or maybe a fish and chips.
Crisp blue sea at Howth Cliff
Sunset along the walkway
- Portmarnock to Malahide Coastal Walk
Just a 10 minute drive from Howth, the Portmarnock to Malahide coastal walk offers more magnificent views of Dublin’s east coast. You begin on Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand and begin a 4km walk into Malahide village. Along the way you will be able to see Howth Pier across the way, and as you move further along, you will have stunning views of Ireland’s eye and Lambay Island.
The Martello Tower, located along Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand
There are a number of spots for a swim along the way including Portmarnock beach, low rock, and if you dare to take the plunge off high rock into the chilly Irish sea. If you plan on getting into the sea at Malahide beach, be cautious of the strong currents in the water there. When you get to Malahide Village, take some time to relax with a coffee on the newly pedestrianised New Street. Or if you still have energy, take a walk into Malahide Castle and take in it’s beautiful gardens.
An overhead view of the Portmarnock to Malahide Walk (left) and Malahide Village’s pedestrianised New Street (Right)
- The Dublin Mountains
With 40km of trails, the Dublin Mountains is yet another challenging hike. The walkway stretches all the way across Shankhill into Tallaght. The whole walkway is clearly marked to keep you on the right track all the way. The walk offers the best views overlooking Dublin City, the forests of the Wicklow Mountains and brings you to what is believed to be one of the most haunted spots in Dublin, the Hellfire Club. The Wicklow way walk runs alongside the Dublin Mountain walk, but is well marked so you don’t get them mixed up. If you walk all the way to Tallaght, there is a Luas (Tram) stop that runs all the way back into Dublin City Centre.
Views of Dublin City from the Dublin Mountains
The walkway along the Dublin Mountains
- Bray Cliff Walk
Yet another beautiful coastal walk, this time further south just outside of Dublin in Wicklow. The Bray to Greystones cliff walk is a 7km long stretch along Bray head, which you can climb up for even more amazing views. Along the way you will see marine wildlife and stunning ocean views, and the walk should take around 2 hours to complete, all depending on the pace you walk. If you just want to do a one way walk from Bray to Greystones, you can take the Dart (Train) from Greystones back to Bray.
The beautiful Bray to Greystones walkway
The magnificent views from Bray Head
- The Spinc at Glendalough
This would be for the more ambitious, experienced hikers. Glendalough is located once again outside of Dublin in Wicklow. It is about an hour’s drive from Dublin, but is easily accessible by car. We recommend taking a look at Dooley Car Rental for car rental Dublin.
A full loop of the Spinc is 9km and takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete. It is suggested that you begin your walk at the Glendalough Medieval Monastic site, where parking is free of charge. This walk is highly recommended if you are looking for a good workout and amazing views. There are glacial valleys and ice carved cliffs along the way. The wooden boardwalks make the uneven and rocky parts of the walk easier to navigate your way through.
Stunning Views from the Spinc walkway in Glendalough
If you decide to take on any of the above walks or hikes, you will be guaranteed to see beautiful views and sparking oceans along the Irish Coast or at the Glendalough Lake. There’s no better place to explore the great outdoors than Ireland.