Family Review: A Visit to Cruagh Wood, Dublin


May 26, 2022

family review of a visit to Cruagh Woods

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Are you looking for free family days out in Dublin with an opportunity to re-connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors with the kids? A trip to Cruagh Wood in South Dublin County offers you just that.

You won’t want to miss this family review from Kelly and her family with practical tips and helpful details on how to get the most from your visit to Cruagh Wood.

Cruagh Wood, South Dublin County

Cruagh Wood in South Dublin County offers a number of waymarked trails to explore, including a 5km Slí na Sláinte loop trail that brings you through peaceful woodland and surrounds you with nature. The trail is fully accessible and offers the whole family a chance to explore and enjoy nature. It is the perfect place to see Dublin unfold before your eyes as at it highest point it is approx 522m above sea level.

Our Family’s Visit to Cruagh Wood

Cruagh Wood waymarked trail

We asked Mum Kelly to visit Cruagh Wood with her family and share her thoughts after her visit.

Kelly visited with her hubby and 3 kids aged 6, 9 and 11. She had not heard of Cruagh Wood before we asked for volunteers to take a trip and review it for us.


Cruagh Wood is free to visit and you don’t need to book in advance. It is open year round.

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Transport and Parking

Kelly and her family drove and said “there is ample parking for about 50 cars.”

The car park is open at 7am to 9pm  April to September and 8am to 5pm October to March.

Cruagh Wood can also be accessed from the Hellfire Club or Massy’s Estate.

What to Expect

Back to nature in Cruagh Woods

Kelly told us “this is the place to go to reconnect with nature. It is a stunning, peaceful woodland trail. The loop is 5km and with 3 kids and a couple of stops to rest and admire the views it took up approx 90 minutes to complete the loop. Slight gradient on way up but very manageable for little legs. Definitely a good buggy would get around with no issue (a stroller would be a bit bumpy). All down hill for final 2km”.

“There’s plenty to see in the woodland and areas to explore and hide. Lots of natural water falling too which adds to the beauty of the area. There is some regeneration starting and a large area of woodland is in process of being cleared and native trees being planted. There is information posted on boards explaining and it will be great to see the new trees grow. You can walk through this area if you want a shorter walk”.

“All in all its a lovely hours stroll reconnecting with nature. No toilets, no coffee shop, no playground so its so nice to see the children just naturally exploring. They all gave it a big thumbs up and slept in the next morning after all the fresh air. As a mum I highly recommend it!”


From the Essentials to Utensils to bring to avoiding Creepy Crawlies to Games, our free picnic checklist has you covered!

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Picnic Checklist

Food Options

There was nowhere to buy food or drinks so I would recommend packing some snacks or a picnic. There are picnic benches near the car park that can be used. Nearby pit stops for food include The Merry Ploughboy near Rathfarnham Village, The Timbertrove Café and Johnnie Fox’s Pub and Restaurant.

Nearby Places of Interest

“If you are feeling more adventurous there are access routes to the mountain walks from the path. The children loved the steps up and although we didn’t take that path we did explore it and will return (with the older 2 adventurers)”

If you wanted to make a day of it, there are plenty more walks nearby, like The Hellfire Club and Massey’s Estate. You are also close to Pine Forest and Tibradden, which is home to ZipIt Forest Adventure. Cruagh Wood is also part of the Wicklow Way and The Dublin Mountain Way.

Highlights of Our Visit

The best bits of the visit were getting back to nature and the views of the city from the top are priceless.

Anything That Could Be Better?

It’s a naturally beautiful place and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Our Final Verdict

As a Mum, I would definitely recommend a visit to Cruagh Wood. The kids were tired out after all the fresh air and even slept in the next morning!

I’d give Cruagh Wood a well deserved 5 out of 5

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Published On: May 26th, 2022 / Categories: Ireland / Last Updated: June 9th, 2022 / Tags: , , , , /

About the Author: Michelle

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Michelle is a Mum to 2 girls and co-founded Mykidstime.

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