Recently, we’ve been #blessed with fantastic, sunny weather in Dublin. Although Ireland isn’t known for having a warm, pleasant climate (because let’s be honest, IT DOESN’T), that doesn’t mean that it’s raining and miserable all of the time…only most of the time.
But really, although the cold and rain are not ideal and definitely gets old after a while, what I love about Dublin is how alive the city becomes on a beautiful, warm day. Especially on the weekends. Nothing is more miserable than being stuck inside at work on a gorgeous day, only for it to be raining all weekend. So if it’s a sunny Saturday or Sunday, you’re guaranteed to see the city buzzing. People flooded to the parks, the zoo, the canals, and of course the pubs with outside seating (it is Ireland, after all).
But you’ll also find that people will enjoy the sun, and get their exercise in, by enjoying one of Dublin’s many walking routes. There are some amazing landscapes just outside of Dublin’s city limits that provide great views on sunny days. But, there are also some amazing views to be seen right in the heart of the city itself!
From a light hike on a rugged coastal landscape, to a sunset walk along the canal, to a light morning stroll admiring 4-story Georgian houses….Dublin has amazing walks and walking paths to choose from that vary in every sense of the word…level of difficulty, length, type of views, etc. But one thing they have in common is that they are all PERFECT for a sunny, pleasant day!
Here are 5 walks for a sunny day in Dublin!
1. Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk
This coastal walk will provide you with some stunning views. Taking you from one village to the to the other, this walk is a g great way to spend a sunny day.
Both Bray and Greystones is assessable by the DART train, which makes it really easy to get to from Dublin city centre. Just hop on the train at any of the city centre stations, and it’ll be 6 EUR for a return ticket! Although you can choose whether to walk from Bray to Greystones or from Greystones to Bray, most people opt for the Bray to Greystones route. This is because Bray is a shorter train ride from Dublin, which means you can work your way even further down the coast and then catch the longer train home from Greystones. Also, Greystones has lots of great places to eat when you’re finished with your walk!
When arriving in Bray, exit the DART station and make your way toward the beach. With the pebbled sand and the soft waves, this is really worth walking anyway. The walking path starts at the other end of the seafront. From there, it’s pretty straightforward and there are lots of markers along the way. From the start of the path, you’ll follow the road up to a parking lot and from there, you’ll go around the head on the cliffs.
The views from the cliffs are stunning. Also, if you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a dolphin in the water!
When you finish in Greystones and in need of some food, check out The Happy Pear! All the food is fresh, organic, and DELISH! After eating as much as your heart desires, take the DART back to Dublin. It’s that simple! There really isn’t a better way to spend a sunny day, and the views on this walk won’t disappoint.
Time: 2.5 hours
2. The River Dodder Walk
This is an easy-going, don’t even need comfortable shoes, probably won’t even break a sweat kind of walk. This pleasant stroll takes you through the scenic banks of the River Dodder on Dublin’s southside starting at Bushy Park in Terenure and ending at the Dropping Well in Dartry.
To start the walk, you’ve got to get to Bushy Park. If you’re a public transport regular like myself, 15, 49, 65 and 65b all stop at Bushy Park. If you decide that you don’t want to turn around and return back to the starting point, you can get back into Dublin city centre from the Dropping Well by the Milltown LUAS stop on the Green Line or bus 142.
If you can, do this walk on a Saturday. Why? Because every Saturday from 11-4 there is a market in Bushy Park. And I love markets!!!!!! Grab some delicious food before heading out for your stroll.
Wander around Bushy Park as much as your heart desires. Then, find the pond and go through the gap in the wall behind it that leads out to the River Dodder. From there, you can stroll along the river at whatever pace suits you! You’ll pass lovely houses, bridges, birds, trees, a roman arch, and hopefully not too many people. It’s possible to see otter, kingfisher, bats, brown trout and cormorants along this river. And be on the lookout for a bronze rhino….
Even if it’s a sunny day, the Dodder path won’t be packed with people; it’s a lesser-known walk that tourist don’t frequent. But it’s a great way to spend a quiet afternoon!
Distance: 3.5km or 7km if you turn around and walk back
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: VERY Easy
3. The Grand Canal Walk
The paveway along the canal provides a great path for exercise enthusiasts on their daily jog, cyclists, dog walkers, and leisurely walkers.
Start at Harold’s Cross Bridge and work your way all the way down to the end, and you’ll pass many gorgeous areas of Dublin’s southside, as well as some of Dublin’s cutest houses. Walking at a brisk pace, this would take about 40 minutes. But, there are several little diversions that you can take to explore some more.
Along the water you’re bound to find swans, ducks, willow trees, and private barges strolling leisurely along. Starting at Harold’s Cross you’ll pass along into Portobello, then Ranelagh. After that you’ll hit Donnybrook, where there are several delicious options for lunch (Tolteca, Searson’s Pub, and Eathos, just to name a few).
Continue along as much as you want. If you go all the way to the end, you’ll end up in the Grand Canal Dock neighborhood, where you can catch an amazing view of the sunset in the futuristic square. If you take the fork in the canal to the right, you can continue your stroll onto the Sandymount Strand on the coast.
No matter if you go for a power walk or a lazy stroll down the Grand Canal, you’re bound to be filled with a sense of calmness and serenity by the flowing water and amazing scenery.
Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on pace
4. Dalkey and Killiney Hill
The great thing about the Dublin suburbs is that they’re often overlooked by tourists. Although the adjoining towns of Dalkey and Killiney are just outside the big city, they still maintain an authentic, local feel.
This walk is very easy to get to using Dublin’s DART train and it’s perfect for a clear, sunny day. Coming from Dublin city centre on the DART line for 30 minutes, just get off at Dalkey Station and feast your eyes on the precious seaside village speckled with giant mansions.
You’ll pass along Sorrento Road going southeast and end up in the tiny Sorrento Park. After that, continue onto Vico Road to begin the summit onto Dalkey Hill, and then the adjoining Killiney Hill, via Cat’s Ladder, steep steps that lead up to the summit.
The path slips hight and low but is still relatively easy throughout. Follow the partially wooded path up to Killiney Hill, and you’ll eventually make it to the obelisk on Killiney Hill. And THIS is the spot you’re going to want to spend some time admiring, as you get a full 360° view. You’ve got Dublin City in one direction, the Wicklow Mountains in the other, as well as the Dun Laoghaire harbour and Howth peninsula. The glorious views from up here won’t disappoint!
From there, you can descend onto Killiney Hill Road, and begin the 15-minute walk to the picturesque village of Killiney and it’s DART station on the beach. Before heading home, you can eat at Druid’s Chair pub right by the bottom of the hill!
Time: 2 hours
5. Howth Loop Walk
Although this is in a suburb outside of Dublin, this walk is becoming more and more popular with tourists because of it’s stunning views.
Heading north outside of Dublin on the DART train, a 30-minute train ride will bring you to Howth, a seaside village with a overflowing harbor and delicious seafood. Surrounding Howth are the Howth Cliffs, the setting of our last, yet certainly not least, walk on this list.
On a sunny day, you’re bound to see many people walking 1 of the 3 marked “loops” around Howth. But even so, you’ll still feel a sense of calmness and quietness despite the other walkers.
From the Howth DART station, turn left and continue towards the harbor. Walk along and pass the lighthouse before veering right to begin your ascent to the cliffs. You’ll even pass a little hidden beach and gorgeous houses on the coast before each of the 3 marked loops split off their separate ways. Each path is clearly marked with it’s own color, and there are signs frequently on the trail so you don’t get lost! But, I personally recommend doing the longest of the 3 walks, the Bog of Frogs Loop.
This particular walk goes along the cliffs to beyond Red Rock, passing the Baily Lighthouse, and then climbing to circle the Ben of Howth to return along the old tramline. The views of Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye as well as Dublin Bay are spectacular. The cliffs are great for birds and you might also see grey seals near the harbor! When you return back to the village, have some food at The Doghouse right next to the DART station. Their wood-fired pizzas and cozy atmosphere won’t disappoint!
Distance: 10 km
Time: 3 hours
So that’s it! 5 amazing walks in and around Dublin! There are, of course, many more routes, paths, walks, and sights to see in Dublin’s Fair City, but the 5 I’ve chosen are diverse and highlight different kinds of scenery Dublin has to offer. So get going! Ireland doesn’t have sunny, dry days all too often, so make sure to take advantage of them!
Have any others to add to the list? Let me know!