Here are some suggestions for 8 fun Nature Walks in Dublin South that the whole family will enjoy, from the shore line to the mountains. And check out our suggestions for fun walks in Dublin Northside too.
#1. Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Dublin’s largest park is a great place for family walks. Home to over 500 wild Deer which can be seen throughout the park. Up to 200 new fawn are born each year and this is a great time of year to spot them. 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,fern and trees throughout the park and many trails and walkways. The Phoenix Park is also home to Dublin Zoo.
#2. Sandymount Promenade, Dublin 4
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. A great walk for collecting shells and stones. 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, Kestrel, Kingfisher and Oystercatcher. Irishtown Nature Park is situated towards the end of the strand which offers spectacular view of Dublin Bay.
#3. The Hell Fire Club, Dublin Mountains
The Hell Fire Club is located in the Dublin Mountains,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. There are many legends associated with this place showing the Hellfire house as an object of occult activities and brief appearances of the Devil.
#4. Marley Park, Dublin 16
One of the best parks in Dublin South for a nature walk. There are designated trails throughout the park, through the wooded areas and around the many leafy ponds.
Keep an eye out for the squirrels that reside here. There is also a lovely craft and coffee shop worth a visit after a walk.
#5. Killiney Hill, Co Dublin
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, ideal for picnics.
Car parking available.
#6. Grand Canal, Dublin 2,4,6,8
The walkways of Dublin’s Grand Canal are great for a nature 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!
#7. Ticknock and Three Rock Mountain Co Dublin
These walks in Dublin Mountains are very easily accessed from Rathfarnham, Ticknock and Three Rock Mountain are a great destination for family walks, although finding the car park can be tricky if not familiar with the area. Head for Marlay Park via Rathfarnham. Passing the main entrance to the Park on your right, turn right at St. Enda’s GAA Club and, following the road around the edge of the Park, turn left at the Taylor’s Grange junction onto the R113. Take the second turn on the right and this will bring you to the entrance to Ticknock forest.
The Forest offers up to 10 km of mountain and forest walks with some spectacular views of Dublin City, Dublin Bay, Bray Head and Wicklow Mountains. The forest has an extensive network of forest trails with pleasant walks through the plantations of Sitka spruce, Japanese larch, Scots pine, Monterey pine and lodgepole pine.
The three large rock formations at Three Rock Mountain are the result of weathering. The picturesque views over the Wicklow mountains and the coast are spectacular. In the area, there is also a Two Rock Mountain with romantic ruins of the Fairy Castle. The main forest roads are easily accessible for children. There are some lovely picnic sites throughout the area.
#8. Airfield, Dublin 14
Airfield is a fantastic place to get close to nature without having to travel for miles. Located in Dundrum, Airfield is very easily accessable. Enjoy the changing seasons as you walk around the old estate, taking in the wonderful selection of farm animals andornamental walled garden, home to many magnificent plants and fauna.
There is a great coffee shop and restaurant on the grounds with a very tasty menu and very child friendly. Please note there is an entrance fee to Airfield.
Other family nature trails we like just outside the Dublin border are Glendalough, Powerscourt and the Blessington Lakes. All of which are are a short drive into Wicklow from Dublin South.
Do you have a favourite nature walk in Dublin that the kids enjoy? Tell us about it in the comments below.