In Dublin we are spoiled for choice for where to take the children for a walk. Here are 10 suggestions for places to head off with the family to go walking around Dublin in our pick of 10 great family walks in Dublin:
Walks in North Dublin
#1 Coastal Walk, Malahide
“A fabulous walk with wonderful views of Lambay Island and Howth.”
The coastal walk in Malahide is a favourite for many of North County Dublin residents. Even on a rainy day you are bound to meet at least a couple of keen walkers but when the weather is fine you will meet several people walking alone, in couples, in families, in groups, with buggies, bikes and scooters.
Malahide beach has a large car-park where you can start your walk and a safe path runs all along the coast road to Portmarnock.
You will pass the rocky coast from low rock to high rock and the scene then changes as the Portmarnock Velvet Strand replaces the rocky coast.
#2 Howth Head, Howth
“Another absolutely wonderful walk.”
Like Malahide, Howth is also a seaside village popular all year round. A good place to start is Balscadden Road which is around the corner from the East Pier.
The road rises steeply up the hill and continues along the cliff path. The cliff path leads eastwards passing Puck’s rocks. The path from Casana rock boasts the best bird-cliffs.
After the next bay there is a long walk and the outward route ends at the wall of the lighthouse on the little Baily. You will find several routes back to the carpark.
Howth is a viewing point where sites of Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains can be seen.
#3 Red Island, Skerries
“A really nice experience.”
Skerries is a fabulous place to spend some time and if you like a nice walk, then Red Island in one of the best. A good place to start is at the monument at the northern end of Skerries main street where a side road leads to the shore. Walk southwards along the beach. The island to the south is Shenick’s island and it is possible to walk out to it at low tide. On the northern side of the island the rocks will often show bands of colour which is very beautiful. The road back to town takes you past the busy harbour. Overall
#4 Loughshinny, Co. Dublin
“A really interesting walk.”
Traditionally a fishing and market garden area, Loughshinny nestles midway between the towns of Skerries and Rush in North County Dublin.
If you begin by walking along the beach it brings you to the cliff path. When you have pass the remains of a building turn left. Stone steps bring you to the embankment of the promontory fort which stretches for 400 metres.
Just beyond the Martello tower, rock pools, arches, and caves become visible.
#5 Clontarf, Dublin 3
“A lovely relaxing walk”
Start your walk at Clontarf Promenade, fabulous on a summer’s day, you will see everyone out and about. Walk down to the old bridge and pop onto Dollymount beach to tread the sands and collect shells if the tide is out. Fancy some bird watching, then stroll up to Bull Island, a delightful nature reserve just 2 minutes from the beach! You can finish you walk by going back down towards St Anne’s Park.
Walks in South Dublin
#6 Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
“We love visiting Phoenix Park to spot the deer”
Dublin’s largest park is a great place for family walks. Home to over 500 wild deer which can be seen throughout the park with up to 200 new fawn are born each year.
The herd is normally situated on the 200-acre flat meadow area known as the Fifteen Acres, and in the woodland of Oldtown Wood on its northern perimeter.
There are over 300 different types of plants, ferns and trees throughout the park and many trails and walkways.
The Phoenix Park is also home to Dublin Zoo.
#7 Sandymount Promenade, Dublin 4
“A great walk for collecting shells and stones.”
Stretching for approximately 1 kilometre along the Strand Road, the Promenade is a popular walking place and provides outstanding views over Sandymount Strand to Poolbeg, Irishtown Nature Park and Dun Laoghaire.
There are often crabs and jellyfish along the shore line and there are rock pools along the strand. Keep an eye out for some of the more unusual birds that grace the strand including the Grey Heron, kestral, Kingfisher and Oystercatcher.
Irishtown Nature Park is situated towards the end of the strand which offers spectacular view of Dublin Bay.
#8 The Hell Fire Club, Dublin Mountains
The car park and the main entrance to the forest is situated about 6.5km south of Rathfarnham on R115 to Glencullen. The area offers a variety of short forest walks through the plantation of Sitka spruce, larch and beech.
The site is located on Montpelier Hill, overlooking Dublin city from the south west, at an altitude of 383m (1264 ft). There are about 4.5 km of forest roads and tracks.
The entrance from the car park leads to the main forest road, which goes around the top of the mountain. Making your way up the southern slopes of the hill you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Piperstown Gap. You can follow the right fork in the road through coniferous forest where heathers, grouse and furze grow in abundance.
The main forest roads are easily accessible for children. There are many smaller forest tracks and shortcuts crossing the forest. All these paths lead either to the main road or to the top of the mountain where a foreboding ruined hunting lodge stands with a breathtaking view over the Dublin Bay.
The origin of the name: there are many legends associated with this place showing the Hellfire house as an object of occult activities and brief appearances of the Devil.
#9 Grand Canal, Dublin 2,4,6,8.
“The walkways of Dublin’s Grand Canal are great for a ramble.”
Ducks and swans are often found not only in the Canal itself but along the walkways too! Many types of birds can also be seen along the canal from herons to kingfishers.
The leafy walkways have benches overlooking the canal throughout so bring drinks, sit down and enjoy the scenery when legs get tired!
#10 Killiney Hill, Co Dublin
“Ideal for picnics”
Killiney Hill is ideal for accessible nature walks and amazing scenery. This 200 acre Victorian Park high above sea level has breathtaking views from the summit across Killiney and Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains.
Walk through the woods and pathways with the coast always in view. Car parking available.
Article written with contributions from Deborah from South Dublin and Therese from North Dublin
Do you have a favourite place to take a family walk in Dublin? Let us know about it in the comments below