15 Amazing Hikes Near Dublin You’ll Want to Explore

hikes near dublin
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Dublin is a fun city to explore for the history, shopping, and many pubs you can visit. However, it’s also a great place to get in some exercise, whether you’re looking for nice walks in Dublin or want to go further out for harder hikes near Dublin.

I love hiking wherever I travel, and Ireland is no exception. There are tons of places to go hiking near Dublin, so I put together this list to give you different options to choose from. Some of these are great for a quick morning trip while others might take up the entire day.

While I’ve noted public transportation options where possible, it’ll be easiest to go on these if you rent a car. Make sure to read my article on tips for driving around Ireland if you do this!

If you have time, I highly recommend checking out my tips on what to pack for your hike as well as some of the best hikes near Dublin.

What to Pack for Hiking Near Dublin

You’ll want to be prepared for your hike in Dublin, whether it’s short or long.

Here are a few items I recommend bringing with you:

15 Beautiful Walks and Hikes Near Dublin

Whether you’re a beginner or 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

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. 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.

2. Bog Of Frogs Loop

Distance from Dublin: 10 miles

Total Mileage: 7.5 miles

Type of Hike: Hard

You’re going to need a good set of walking boots for this delightful if oddly-named trek 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 from Dublin Center by public transport. 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.   

3. Ticknock Forest

Ireland Mountain

Distance from Dublin: 4-9 miles

Total Mileage: 6 miles

Type of Hike: Moderate

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, 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. 

4. Slievethoul Trail

Mountain Hike

Distance from Dublin: 15.5 miles

Total Mileage: 2.5 – 5.5 miles

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 take you through gorgeous Irish woodland for a relaxing stroll, and if you have an interest in archeological history, you’ll be especially intrigued by some of the information and monuments you’ll see along the way.  

5. Red Rock Beach (Howth Cliffwalk)

Boardwalk Lighthouse

Distance from Dublin: 9.5 miles

Total Mileage: 3.5 – 4.5 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to moderate

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, and both take in many of the charms of the area. It takes about an hour to reach Red Rock Beach from Dublin Center. 

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

Distance from Dublin: 5.5 miles

Total Mileage: 5 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to moderately hard

Hiking near Dublin often involves moving around the 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.

7. Spinc Glendalough/The Spinc Loop (Wicklow)

Cliffs Ocean

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles

Total Mileage: 6 miles

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 in 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.

8. Bray Cliff Walk

Countryside Lake

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles

Total Mileage: 4 miles

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. This coastal 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. 

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. 

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

Distance from Dublin: 8 miles

Total Mileage: 26 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to moderately 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.

10. Malahide to Portmarnock Coastal Walk

Mountain Hill Walk hikes near Dublin

Distance from Dublin: 12 miles

Total Mileage: 2.5 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to moderately hard

Enjoy this short but pleasant seaside hike near Dublin on a fine day, and if you’re feeling up to it, extend it with a stroll along the beach in Portmarnock. You can also join an additional Robson Hike along the hillside.

Get to Malahide by bus or train, in an hour to 90 minutes to go hiking in Dublin. Much of the pathways here are wide and easy-going. You may see lots of joggers and cross-country runners out on this trail, and with the fresh sea air in your lungs, it’s a refreshing and energy-boosting way to kick off your day. 

11. The Sugarloaf (Wicklow)

Distance from Dublin: 37 miles

Total Mileage: 1.5 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to Moderate

Yes, there’s more than one Sugarloaf Mountain. 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 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 mountainy, 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 (Meath)

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles

Total Mileage: 2 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to Moderate

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). 

Like 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 (Wicklow)

Distance from Dublin: 50 miles

Total Mileage: 6 – 10 miles

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. The Djouce Mountain Trail 

Distance from Dublin: 18 miles

Total Mileage: 5.5 miles

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 center to the hike start by bus.

15. The Boyne Valley Camino (Louth/Meath)

Distance from Dublin: 30 miles

Total Mileage: 15.5 miles

Type of Hike: Easy to moderately hard

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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