15 Unforgettable Hikes Near Dublin: From Hilltops to Coastal Trails

hikes near dublin
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Dublin’s a blast, isn’t it? Packed with history, awesome shopping spots, and don’t even get me started on the number of pubs. But guess what? There’s a whole other side to this fun city that’s waiting to be discovered – and it’s got everything to do with lacing up those hiking boots and hitting the trails!

No trip is complete for me without a bit of hiking action. And Ireland is a hiker’s dream! There are a ton of great spots to hike around Dublin, both easy and hard. I’ve done you a favor and put together this handy list with many options for your hiking adventures. Whether you’re up for a quick morning stroll or looking to take on a whole day’s trek, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve done my best to include public transportation options for each trail where I can. But honestly, if you want to make the most of these, it might be worth considering renting a car. If that’s your jam, remember to check out my article packed with tips for driving in Ireland (it’s easier than it seems, I promise!).

While we’re on the topic, I’ve also put together a little something on what you should pack for your hike. So, are you ready to trade pub crawls for some nature trails? Let’s get started with some of the best hikes near Dublin.

Whether you’re a beginner or a superpowered hiker, Dublin has something that suits every taste. Here are just 15 of the finest Dublin hiking trails available near the Irish capital city, most of which can be accessed by bus or train from the city center. If you have a few days in Dublin, you can pick your favorite or try them all.

Make sure to check out some of the best pubs in Dublin after to celebrate your walk.

1. St. Stephen’s Green

st stephens green

Distance from Dublin: 0 miles

Total Mileage: 22 acres

Elevation Gain: 0 feet

Type of Hike: Easy

If you only have one day in Dublin, you’ll want to stop at St. Stephen’s Green during your visit when hiking Dublin. I personally like to go to the park early in the morning while the town is still quiet and the locals are just getting started on their day. Although it’s small, it’s one of the best walks in Dublin due to how scenic it is.

It’s fun to walk around or stop on one of the benches and observe the ducks or other people walking around. The area is right next to Grafton Street and a stop on the Luas, so it’s a convenient place to begin your day. There are also plenty of Dublin B&Bs in the area to stay at.

Save up to 50% off attractions with the Go City Pass! It’s a great way to save money if you plan on visiting multiple sights in Dublin.

2. Bog Of Frogs Loop

Bog Of Frogs Loop
Image via Flickr: Chris Rycroft

Distance from Dublin: 10 miles/16 km

Total Mileage: 10.5 miles/17 km

Elevation Gain: 1,719 feet

Type of Hike: Hard

You’re going to need a good set of walking boots for this delightful, if oddly-named, hike close to Dublin along the cliffs at one of the best hikes near Dublin. It’s a wonderful birder walk (one of four on the Howth trails) and has a distinctly seaside feel, and is particularly nice to walk when visiting Ireland in spring.

Bog of Frogs is within an hour of Dublin Center by public transport if you’re in Dublin without a car. Take the train for a relaxing ride to and from Howth. 

You’ll meander up past the old Baily Lighthouse on your way from the Howth train station, which is a good starting point for the hike anyway. On your walk, keep an eye out for seals, which can be seen from time to time along the shore.

Ready to relax after your day out? Check into one of these Dublin hotels with balconies.

3. Ticknock Loop

Ticknock Loop
Image via Flickr: Rob Hurson

Distance from Dublin: 4-9 miles/6-14 km

Total Mileage: 2.1 miles/3.3 km

Elevation Gain: 436 feet

Type of Hike: Easy

Are you up for mountain hiking in Dublin? The surrounding Dublin Mountains offer Ticknock, which is one of the most beautiful hikes near Dublin. You can choose from a number of forest walks ranging from 6km to 7km and the longer combined options that will challenge your stamina. 

You can reach Ticknock by bus from Dublin in about 25 minutes. Many visitors like to start (and end) at Lamb Doyle’s Pub. They also report stunning views of the city of Dublin and its bay, so you’ll love one of the best Dublin hikes.

Make sure to book your car rental in advance! I love using Discover Cars when I travel.

4. Slievethoul Lugg Walk

Distance from Dublin: 15.5 miles/25 km

Total Mileage: 2.5 – 5.5 miles/4 – 8.8 km

Elevation Gain: 882 feet

Type of Hike: Easy to moderate

Slievethoul, apart from sounding like a land from Lord of the Rings, lies west of the Dublin Mountains. This area is quite rich in archaeological interest and a fun one when you’re looking for hikes in Dublin. You can reach the area in a couple of hours by public transport. 

There are a couple of trail options here for Dublin hiking- the Lugg Walk is an easy looped route that can be completed in about two hours. It’s in a figure-eight shape, so you’re never too far from where you began.

The Saggart Hill Loop is shorter and easier on the knees and ideal during winter in Dublin since it’s a short hike. You can, however, opt to branch off to the summit from this trail.

Both will take you on a leisurely stroll through gorgeous Irish woodland, and if you’re interested in archeological history, you’ll find some of the information and monuments you pass along the way to be especially fascinating, making it one of the more interesting hikes around Dublin.

5. Howth Cliffwalk

Howth Cliff Walk

Distance from Dublin: 9.5 miles/15.2 km

Total Mileage: 3.5 – 4.5 miles/5.6 – 7.2 km

Type of Hike: Easy to moderate

This is considered one of the best hikes around Dublin due to how beautiful it is. Hikers can choose from two loops to enjoy around this beautiful fishing village, which also makes for a fun Dublin day trip.

The loops are about the same length in general around the Howth Cliff Walk, and both take in many of the charms of the area. It takes about an hour to reach Red Rock Beach from Dublin City Centre. 

Start at the Howth DART station and meander along the coastline cliff. Look over the harbor to receive a true sense of the old Irish lifestyle. Most importantly, time your walk to witness the amazing scene when the sun goes down. This hike is great to do if you visit Ireland during winter as well.

6. Great South Wall Walk

Boardwalk Lighthouse

Distance from Dublin: 5.5 miles/8.8 km

Total Mileage: 3 miles/5 km

Type of Hike: Easy to moderately hard

Hiking near Dublin often involves moving around the beautiful but large Dublin Bay. If you’re driving, park the car near Sandymount Strand, and you’ll be at the start of a wide pier-like walk that takes you all the way to the lighthouse. You’ll end up right in the middle of Dublin Bay, and the views here are well worth the 30-minute hike to get there. 

Hikers are almost surrounded by the sea while hiking this route, as the arm of the walk reaches out into the ocean. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the Eastlink Bridge raised for an incoming boat. This is definitely one of the most romantic walks in Dublin, especially if you make it to Poolberg Lighthouse.

7. Spinc and Glenealo Valley

Upper Glendalough
Image via Flickr: Rob Hurson

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles/48 km

Total Mileage: 6 miles/7 km

Type of Hike: Hard

The Spinc involves a somewhat tough climb, at least as far as surrounding Dublin trails go. There’s a combo of the boardwalk, rocky rough trail, and some danger warning to stay on the trail – some cliff walking is required. You’ll also climb up alongside a waterfall (wet ground is inevitable).

Take the challenge on one of the more challenging hikes near Dublin, though, and you’ll be rewarded not only with a great workout but with a spectacular view of the Glendalough Valley at the end. Be sure to use proper hiking footwear, and bring a backpack with some rain gear and snacks, just in case. 

Only 14 buses run weekly to Glendalough from Booterstown on Woodbine Road. Check ahead for schedules, which can alter from time to time. It’s easiest to drive here to do one of the best hikes in Dublin (and makes for a scenic Irish drive).

8. Bray Head to Greystones Cliff Walk

Bray Head
Image via Flickr: Andrew Bowden

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles/48 km

Total Mileage: 4 miles/7 km

Elevation Gain: 394 feet

Type of Hike: Moderate

When people talk about Bray, they’ll likely mention the Greystones. It’s one of the most popular hiking trails in Dublin, and for a good reason. The Bray Head Cliff Walk offers plenty of options, all with superb views of the Irish coastline.

If you find yourself too tired for the walk back, you can hop on the DART to take you back to town. However, you may find yourself aimlessly wandering in awe if you come at a beautiful time of year, such as fall time in Ireland.

Be advised that in times of heavy rain, parts of the hike may be inadvisable. You may also want to prepare yourself for a challenging climb near the end of the trail. Check out the tourism website for the most current conditions before you go.

The ride there takes about 90 minutes by bus from Dublin. You’ll be a fair few miles out of Dublin here, so why not consider staying in Bray overnight? It’s awash with quaint accommodation offerings like The Martello.

You can also look at the best neighborhoods in Dublin to stay at so you’ll have a place for when you get back.

9. Dublin Mountains Way

Dublin Mountains Way
Image via Flickr: John Walsh

Distance from Dublin: 8 miles/12.8 km

Total Mileage: 26 miles/41.8 km

Elevation Gain: 4,786 feet

Type of Hike: Easy to hard

The Dublin Mountains Partnership embarked upon an ambitious project to establish this long-distance hiking trail. The trail runs from Shankill to Tallaght and is essentially designed for multi-day walks, although it can be done in one day by skilled hikers. 

No one’s really watching you, though, so you can do it in stages, of which there are eight officially. Since the walk is long, be sure to check the weather reports before you set off. 

By bus, it takes an hour to get from the city center to the start point for this Dublin trail.

Read these fun facts about Dublin before you go to pass the time on the trail!

10. Malahide to Portmarnock Coastal Walk

Coastal Walk
Image via Flickr: Saskia Bosch van Rosenthal

Distance from Dublin: 12 miles/19.3 km

Total Mileage: 2.5 miles/4 km

Type of Hike: Easy to moderately hard

Ready to enjoy a short but sweet seaside stroll near Dublin? How about adding a little extra zest with a saunter along Portmarnock Beach or combining it with the Robswall Hike up the hillside?

We’re starting with a 4-kilometer high-altitude coastal walk from Malahide to Portmarnock. You’ll love being between a beautiful parkland on one side and a stunning beach down a rocky descent on the other. The path is as welcoming as it gets, perfect for buggies, leisurely strollers, joggers, or family squads.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can either join the Robswall Hike for an additional thrill or get your feet sandy by traversing the beach trail that can be accessed from several points along the walk.

When you get to Portmarnock, be ready to be amazed. A vast 2.5-kilometer stretch of perfect Portmarnock Beach opens out in front of you.

In addition, getting to Malahide is a breeze. Hop on a bus or train, and you’re there in 60 to 90 minutes. The trails are wide, the terrain is easy-going, and you’ll likely bump into fellow joggers and cross-country runners enjoying the trail. There’s something invigorating about starting your day with the fresh sea air in your lungs, I promise you that.

11. Sugarloaf Loop Trail

Sugarloaf
Image via Flickr: Rob Hurson

Distance from Dublin: 37 miles/59.5 km

Total Mileage: 4 miles/7 km

Elevation Gain: 900 feet

Type of Hike: Easy to moderate

Yes, there’s more than one Sugarloaf Mountain, and it’s easily one of the best hikes near Dublin. The most famous one, arguably, is found in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. But Ireland has its own Sugarloaf, and it is unmissable once you’re in the Wicklow Mountains area, and you’ll want to check out one of the more legendary hikes near Dublin. 

The unique shape of the mountain lends itself to curious visitors and walkers keen to elevate for a better view of the lands. The walk is short but interesting. For the shorter walk, park on the Red lane, and follow the path. The terrain here is loose and mountainous, so good hiking boots are recommended. 

The longer version of the walk takes 2-3 hours to climb the mountain, so give yourself plenty of daytime light to get up and down again. Wicklow is a little way out of Dublin – about 90 minutes by train or bus – so you might consider overnighting at the excellent Wicklow Way Lodge

12. Trim Castle River Walk

Trim Castle
Image via Flickr: William Murphy

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles/48 km

Total Mileage: 2 miles/3.2 km

Type of Hike: Easy

The Trim Castle River Walk is essential for those who take an interest in ancient lore and ruins. Using the Trim Castle as a starting point, the trail uses informational panels to give hikers a look into what 13th-Century village life in Ireland was like. 

Among the Trim town highlights for history buffs are a few classic Irish landmarks. Look in at the old leper hospital, Echo Gate, and the eerie Tomb of the Jealous Man and Woman (Sir Lucas Dillon and his wife, Lady Jane Bathe). 

As one might expect from Ireland, there’s a somewhat convoluted legend surrounding pins and warts, curses, and magic around this tomb. Choose to heed the old legend or not! 

Newtown is the old village and the endpoint for the walk. All in all, it’s a beautiful stroll through what medieval Ireland might have been like. 

13. Lugnaquilla Mountain Trail

Lugnaquilla
Image via Flickr: National Party

Distance from Dublin: 50 miles/80.4 km

Total Mileage: 8 miles/12.9 km

Elevation gain: 2,600 feet

Type of Hike: Hard

Lugnaquilla is one of the highest mountains in Ireland and certainly around Dublin. It offers several points at which to access the trail to the top. Whichever you choose, though, it’s worth noting that it is a mountain, which will require some preparedness on your part to account for all possibilities.

Primary among those possibilities is severe weather. Lug has a reputation for getting hikers lost in bad weather. So a satnav in your backpack may also be useful. Take plenty of water, and deploy your best hiking apparel, especially a good rain jacket (one of the essentials to put on your Irish packing list). 

The Glen of Imaal Route is considered “The Tourist Route” and is the easiest way to the top. However, the Glenmalure Loop is considered the prettiest, even though – or perhaps because – it is longer. Hikers find the summit section of the hike particularly challenging.

Since this hike near Dublin is a bit far away, you might consider staying at a country house hotel in Ireland for the evening.

14. Djouce Mountain Loop via White Hill

Djouce Mountain Trail
Image via Flickr: Jimmy Harris

Distance from Dublin: 18 miles/29 km

Total Mileage: 8 miles/12.9 km

Elevation gain: 1,929 feet

Type of Hike: Moderate

If you’re looking to break into mountain hiking around Wicklow, your best bet is Djouce. That said, at 6 miles, it’s not quite a stroll in the park. It’s a good challenge for a newbie and will be a good test of your hiking gear. 

There’s a short climb involved, but it’s fairly steep, so it’ll test a little of strength and stamina, too. Nonetheless, it’s a great 3-hour trip that’s very rewarding. If you’re a beginner, the best advice is to follow the convenient boardwalk to the summit. 

More experienced walkers can choose to extend and divert their routes with several possibilities, given Wicklow’s broad network of hill and mountain routes. It takes a little over an hour to get from Dublin City Centre to the hike starting by bus. You’ll love stopping here if you’re on a road trip around Ireland.

15. Boyne Valley Camino

Boyne Valley
Image via Flickr: Boyne Valley

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles/48 km

Total Mileage: 15.5 miles/25 km

Elevation gain: 1,381 feet

Type of Hike: Easy to moderate

If you want to feel a part of something bigger than a day hike, try The Boyne Valley Camino, a self-guided looped walk from Drogheda. It’s a moderate 15 miles but actually forms part of the Celtic Camino, a fascinating project that invites traveling hikers to complete their pilgrimage to the Santiago de Compostela in Spain!

Starting just two hours from Dublin by bus, you can follow the Boyne River through the Townley Hall Woods and into Tullyallen. Then it’s on to the Boyne Canal, returning along the Boyneside trail. Invest in a Camino Passport and collect stamps along the way for a novel memento. The stamps are designed by local artists, making them extra unique. 

Those seeking to finish their religious pilgrimage to the Santiago de Compostela can use their completion of this hike as their starting point to follow up. You can continue the Camino Trail in Spain and receive the Compostela by walking this additional 46 miles leg of the hike. This is an Irish bucket list item for many that complete it.

Whether you’re looking for easy walks in Dublin or harder hikes near Dublin, there’s something for everyone on this list!

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