In search of the best coastal walks in Dublin? Our guide cuts through the noise to highlight top seaside trails that will enchant you with their natural beauty and ease of access.
From breezy cliff-top hikes to leisurely beach strolls, Dublin’s coasts offer a range of walks suitable for every level of explorer. Dive into this guide to find your perfect coastal adventure in Dublin – let’s get walking!
Key Takeaways on Coastal Walking in Dublin
- Dublin offers a range of scenic coastal walks, including the picturesque Howth Cliff Walk, the historic Great South Wall Walk to Poolbeg Lighthouse, and the tranquil walk along Killiney Beach, providing stunning views and a serene escape.
- The North Bull Island loop and the Clontarf to Sutton walk are perfect for nature enthusiasts, offering opportunities to observe diverse wildlife and picturesque shorelines, complete with relaxing and family-friendly activities.
- Dublin’s coastal walks are steeped in history and natural beauty, from the Velvet Strand’s aviation heritage to the regal path from Malahide Castle to Portmarnock, and the ancient allure of Dalkey Island and Killiney Hill vistas.
Discovering Dublin’s Coastal Charm: A Guide to Seaside Strolls
Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is not just about the bustling Dublin city centre, the famous Dublin Zoo, or the historical Collins Dublin. It’s the scenic walks that truly make Dublin city a gem. From the Dublin Mountains to the heart of South Dublin, the city offers lovely walk opportunities that will take you away from the city centre’s hustle and bustle. Some of the best walks in Dublin include:
- The Howth Cliff Walk
- The Phoenix Park
- The Grand Canal
- The Dublin Mountains Way
These walking trails allow you to explore the natural beauty of Dublin and enjoy some peace and tranquility away from the busy streets.
Picture yourself on an Irish road trip, delving into the finest Dublin walks, or meandering on Dun Laoghaire Pier – the choices for walks are plentiful!
Howth Head’s Majestic Trails
One of the most popular walks is the Howth Cliff Walk. Located in South Dublin, this fantastic trail offers breathtaking views of the rocky coastline and the Dublin Bay, making it a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Howth Cliff Walk is a must-visit.
Initiating your journey is straightforward. Kick off at the Howth Summit car park or the Howth DART Station, both within a stone’s throw from the city centre. Whichever starting point you choose, you’re in for a wonderful journey.
The walk is a delightful 6km loop, perfect for a day of exploration. You’ll be greeted with stunning views of Dublin Bay, the Irish Sea, and the Baily Lighthouse. Every step you take, every turn you make, there’s a picturesque scene waiting to be discovered.
For a truly unforgettable experience, consider exploring a few of the fantastic forest walks accessible from the Howth Dart station, such as:
- Black Linn Loop
- Cliff Path Loop
- Bog of Frogs Loop
- Tramline Loop
The Bog of Frogs Trail, a delightful 12km trail in Howth Head, is particularly worth checking out. Be prepared to be amazed by the incredible coastal views, the diverse wildlife, and the spectacular views of the surrounding area.
The Great South Wall Walk: A Path to History
Next on our list is the Great South Wall Walk, a historical journey that leads to the iconic Poolbeg Lighthouse. This walk offers panoramic views of:
- Dublin city and bay
- Dublin Bay
- Howth Head
- Dun Laoghaire Harbour
- The Dublin and Wicklow mountains
It’s an incredible coastal adventure that is not to be missed!
Reaching the starting point is an adventure in itself. Your journey commences at Sandymount village, easily reachable without a car. It takes 30 minutes to walk from there to Sandymount Strand, and another 30 minutes to reach the Poolbeg car park. You have great options for a lovely walk of approximately 2 hours or a short walk of 40/50 minutes on the Great South Wall Walk. The walk takes about 20 minutes to reach the lighthouse from the car park, making it a perfect destination for an evening stroll.
However, the experience goes beyond the walk. Donning wind-resistant gear can enhance your enjoyment, especially given the often windy conditions. After you finish your walk, be sure to visit the nearby playground and beautiful gardens. They’re the perfect spots to relax and reminisce about your wonderful coastal adventure.
The Serene Sands of Killiney Beach
Now, we’ll venture towards the tranquil shores of Killiney Beach. This beach is easily accessible by DART, making it a convenient destination for locals and tourists alike. It spans around 2.5km, offering a perfect backdrop for a serene walk along the sand. Plus, it’s also a great starting point for the Killiney Hill Walk, one of the best Dublin walks.
As you stroll along Killiney Beach, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of:
- the surrounding rocky coastline
- Dalkey Island
- Sorrento Terrace
- Bray Head
- the gorgeous Wicklow Mountains in the distance
These awe-inspiring views, coupled with the soothing sound of the waves, make Killiney Beach a truly relaxing destination.
Though parking at Killiney Beach can pose a challenge, proactively planning your transportation can ease this issue. And for those interested in grabbing a coffee before their walk, Fred and Nancy’s, conveniently located right on the beach, is a perfect spot. It’s a great place to start the day and plan a visit to the nearby Fairy Castle Loop.
Breathtaking Panoramas at North Bull Island
Situated in North Dublin, North Bull Island serves as a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts. This island, currently growing from its 5km length, offers breathtaking panoramas, diverse wildlife, and a unique coastal ecosystem. The dynamic and evolving landscape is a testament to the island’s rich ecological diversity.
The island offers a delightful 5km loop walk, providing visitors with a perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in its natural beauty. The walk will lead you to the coast road and then back along the scenic Bull Wall. It offers beautiful views along the way. It’s a truly enjoyable experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Visitors to North Bull Island can enjoy:
- Spotting seals lounging at low tide
- Seeing a diverse array of birds such as curlews, oystercatchers, egrets, and over-wintering brent geese
- Capturing stunning sunset photos in the evening
After your walk, you can savor a delicious meal in one of the local dining options in Clontarf, ensuring a fulfilling experience.
Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand: A Coastal Gem
Next, let’s discover the coastal gem of Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand. This beautiful stretch of golden sand offers stunning views of Ireland’s Eye and Howth Head. The Velvet Strand is a remarkable destination, spanning an extensive 8 km beach that offers visitors uninterrupted views of Ireland’s Eye and Howth Head.
The Velvet Strand offers more than just scenic views. It’s steeped in history, having served as the launching point for trans-Atlantic east-west flights between 1930 and 1933. There’s even a local sculpture called ‘Eccentric Orbit’ that pays tribute to the pioneering aviators involved in these groundbreaking flights.
The Velvet Strand is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna due to its lengthy sandy beach and dune systems. These contribute to the area’s rich ecological diversity, making it a must-visit for nature lovers.
Dun Laoghaire Pier Promenade
A leisurely saunter along the Dun Laoghaire Pier Promenade ranks among Dublin’s most pleasurable experiences. This bustling seaside town offers a perfect setting for an evening walk. It takes roughly half an hour to walk the full length of the pier, allowing visitors to fully relish the lively harbor and stunning sights of Dublin Bay.
You can reach Dun Laoghaire easily from Dublin’s City Centre with a 30-minute dart ride. The dart ride takes 30 minutes from Dublin’s City Centre to Dun Laoghaire. The recommended starting point for a stroll along the promenade is the DART Station. From there, you can embark on a journey that will take you along the bustling harbor, past the charming seaside town, and offer you stunning views of the beautiful Dublin Bay.
So, why not take a break from the city centre’s hustle and bustle, and journey to Dun Laoghaire? Enjoy the fresh sea air, the scenic walks, and the stunning views that this charming seaside town has to offer. It’s a journey you won’t forget!
Clontarf to Sutton: Scenic Suburban Shores
The Clontarf to Sutton coastal walk unveils picturesque suburban shores, creating an ideal setting for a relaxing waterside saunter. The walk is a perfect way to escape the city centre’s hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of North Dublin.
One of the highlights of this walk is St Anne’s Park. Here, visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities such as walking on numerous trails, playing tennis, and taking advantage of the accessible playground. It’s a perfect destination for families with buggies, making it a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
Another highlight of the walk is Burrow Beach. This fantastic destination offers soft golden sand and stunning views of Ireland’s Eye, creating a tranquil and scenic spot for walkers to enjoy.
The combination of St Anne’s Park and Burrow Beach makes the Clontarf to Sutton coastal walk a must-visit for nature lovers.
Malahide Castle to Portmarnock: A Royal Route
Set out on a regal journey from the historic Malahide Castle to the scenic Portmarnock Beach. The Malahide Castle, nestled in the seaside village of Malahide, is a place of rich historical ambiance. Here, you can explore the beautiful castle or rent a bike from the Irish Centre for Cycling to tour the stunning surrounding parkland.
The journey doesn’t end at the castle, though. From there, you can continue to the Portmarnock Beach, following a walk that offers stunning coastal views and lush parklands. The route from Portmarnock Beach to Malahide Beach is absolutely stunning, offering breathtaking coastal views and a charming pathway that connects to Malahide village. This popular coastal walk in Dublin is a must-try for any nature lover.
The combination of historical and natural attractions makes the Malahide Castle to Portmarnock route a must-visit. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature enthusiast, this royal route has something for you. So why wait? Embark on this royal route and create memories that will last a lifetime!
Dalkey Island and Killiney Hill Vistas
Finally, we’ll delve into the quaint coastal village of Dalkey. Here, you can take in the stunning vistas of Dalkey Island and Killiney Hill, making it perfect for a day of adventure and relaxation. The island welcomes visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and nature lovers can freely explore Killiney Hill Park at any time.
While you’re there, be sure to explore the fantastic 9.5km route on Killiney Hill that takes in the beautiful Killiney Hill Park and its surrounding areas. There is also a delightful scenic 1.7-mile loop trail near Dalkey, County Dublin, that’s worth checking out. These walks offer a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air while getting some exercise.
Dalkey Island and Killiney Hill offer more than scenic walks. They host over 200 native plant species, and Killiney Hill Park, a nature reserve, offers the possibility of encountering native red squirrels and other charming wildlife. These islands are filled with ancient and historic remains, highlighting their importance and adding to their charm.
In summary, Dublin’s coastal walks offer a unique blend of serene atmospheres, stunning views, and rich historical significance. From the historic Malahide Castle to the picturesque Portmarnock Beach, from the charming seaside town of Dun Laoghaire to the tranquil Killiney Beach, these walks offer a diverse range of experiences that cater to all tastes. So, why wait? Put on your walking shoes, step outside, and explore the astonishing beauty of Dublin’s coast. It’s a journey you won’t forget!
Frequently Asked Questions About Coastal Walking in Dublin
Where can I wander in Dublin?
You can wander in Dublin at St Stephen’s Green, The Iveagh Gardens, Phoenix Park, and several other beautiful spots including beaches and parks, offering a peaceful getaway from the city. Enjoy your wanderings in Dublin!
How long is Killiney Hill walk?
The Killiney Hill walk is a 2.9 kilometre loop that takes about one hour to complete, starting and ending in the Killiney Hill car park. It is a popular route for walking, running, and birdwatching.
Where is the best walking in Ireland?
The best walking in Ireland can be found at locations like Hill of Tara, Mullaghmeen Forest, Errigal, and many others, offering a variety of scenic trails and beautiful landscapes to explore. So, there’s no shortage of amazing walking trails to enjoy in Ireland.
What are some of the best coastal walks in Dublin?
You can enjoy beautiful coastal walks in Dublin, such as the Howth Cliff Walk, Great South Wall Walk, Killiney Beach, North Bull Island, and the Clontarf to Sutton walk. Each offers stunning views and a chance to experience the natural beauty of Dublin.
What can I expect to see on the Howth Cliff Walk?
You can expect to see breathtaking views of Dublin’s coastline, including the Dublin Bay, the Irish Sea, and the Baily Lighthouse. Enjoy the stunning natural beauty and scenic vistas on the Howth Cliff Walk!