Dublin’s Best Mountain and Hill Walks
Not many capital cities offer such easy access to the countryside, but Dublin residents are often just minutes away from some incredibly beautiful hills and mountains
Here are some of our favourites, from the handy loop trails to places of historical interest to the most epic views.
Dalkey and Killiney Hill
Killiney attracts a disparate range of visitors, from walkers and their four-legged friends to rock-climbers (on the sheer granite walls that used to be part of a quarry) to swimmers and even paragliders, who you might spot over the Irish Sea.
It has been said that Killiney Hill can give you a view of Wales on a clear day. And, unlike many local legends, this is true. The 153-metre summit is something to behold, taking in swathes of South Dublin, the Irish Sea, Bray Head and yes, parts of the UK.
Killiney Hill is a relatively easy walk, with an incremental ascent.
Set off from charming Howth village up this light, engaging walk that loops around the scenic harbour. The sea air is salty and refreshing – and in winter months it upgrades to bracing! And the sea views are something to behold.
This is also the place to spot birds, from gulls to guillemots; from starlings to herons: like the queues of people at Howth chippers, they’re here for the fresh fish.
While it’s a less dramatic view than some of its West Coast cousins (like the Cliffs of Moher), Howth Cliff offers an endearing, distinctive hill walk.
Carrickgollogan sits on the Wicklow/Dublin border (passport not necessary!) and is a veritable smorgasbord of plants and animals. It hosts magnificent trees, from Scots pine to Japanese larch to beech and birch. Many creatures call it home, including rabbits, badgers and birds.en paragliders, who you might spot over the Irish Sea.
It has been said that Killiney Hill can give you a view of Wales on a clear day. And, unlike many local legends, this is true. The 153-metre summit is
As an added bonus, you can see the Ballycorus lead mines from here, including the imposing remains of its flue chimney.
The Hellfire Club / Montpelier Hill
A short drive from the suburbs of Rathfarnham, Monpelier Hill (commonly known as the Hellfire Club) is a fun, invigorating walk, and one steeped in history.
On the history side, this was once the site of a prehistoric passage grave. Then, in the 18th Century, the infamous Hellfire Club is said to the site of debauched and occult practices. There also stands the ruins of the Massey Estate, who used to use it as a hunting lodge before they fell on hard times.
If you’re not a history buff, you’ll appreciate the surrounds; Sitka spruce and birch woods fill the hills, and the air is fresh, with smells of needles and leaves.
Walks with Great Views
This sits on the Eastern slope of “the Scalp”, on the old Dublin to Enniskerry Road. Like a scalp on a head, it’s bare and surrounded by foliage, but the name has Irish origin. It gets its name from the Irish, “scailp”, meaning chasm or cleft.
It’s a scenic part of the world, with beach, fir and pine woods, rolling hills, limestone and some welcome flat areas – some of which are popular picnic spots.
If you’re lucky, you might spot one of the wild goats that roam the area. And on most days, you’ll see the humbling, handsome Sugarloaf Mountain.
Ticknock / Three Rock
This is one of the most popular walking spots in the capital. Ticknock is easy to get to (30-45 minutes from the city), but it feels gloriously remote.
Yes, there are beautiful views here too (we’re sensing a theme!), where you can see Dublin City as it stretches to the sea. Ticknock also boasts acres of enchanting forest trails. Difficulty levels vary from moderate to easy, with the main forest trail suited to adults and kids of any age.
The summit of Ticknock is the famous Three Rock, where RTÉ’s transmission tower lives.
Mountain Walking Checklist
If you’re setting off on a substantial trek, here are some things you should consider bringing…
- A packed lunch (if you’ll be gone for a few hours)
- Paper map (online signals aren’t everywhere!)
- Comfortable, quality shoes