Dublin is a veritable paradise for runners. The flat, compact city centre has some excellent stretches for city running, while the city suburbs open up to beautiful coastal routes to the east and challenging hill trails to the south.
Whether you’re in the mood for a long and challenging run to get the blood pumping or a quick run to blow away the cobwebs, Dublin has the perfect route for you.
In this post we share the 7 best running routes in Dublin.
Map of Running Routes
The following map shows the location of every running route highlighted in this post:
The Phoenix Park
The vast expanse of The Phoenix Park is undoubtedly the crown jewel of Dublin. One of the largest enclosed parks in Europe, the 1,750 acre park boasts a zoo, the iconic Wellington monument, and even a herd of fallow deer.
The section of road that bisects the park is approximately 3 kilometres long, and the pavement on either side is perfect for running as it is set back slightly from the road. There are also numerous trails that branch off from the main road and delve deep into the park. The route around the perimeter wall is approximately 11km and is an excellent way to see the various areas of the park.
Marly Park is a large suburban park in the south of Dublin. The park is known for hosting the most popular Parkrun 5 kilometre run in Dublin. For those looking to get into running, finding your local Parkrun is one of the easiest ways to find other runners in your area, and the weekly timed run every Saturday serves as an excellent motivator to train during the week.
Beyond the Parkrun, Marly Park is a pleasant and safe spot for running, far from the noise and fumes of Dublin traffic.
The Great South Wall
The Great South Wall stretches like a granite road more than four kilometres out into the Irish Sea. The sea wall dates back to the early 18th century, and was built to solve the issue of silt piling up in Dublin Bay blocking access to the river Liffey. The Poolbeg Lighthouse stands proudly at the seaward end of the wall, and actively guides ships in to Dublin Bay.
The Great South Wall is best tackled on calm days in order to minimise the risk of salt-spray from the waves of the Irish Sea, which can leave the wall slippy and wet. The strong, salty sea air and views of the iconic Poolbeg Chimneys make this running route one of the quirkiest in Dublin.
The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal that loops around South Dublin is one of the most scenic running routes in the city. The canal tracks through the Baggot Street and Portobello neighbourhoods of Dublin before eventually winding its way out of the city to the west.
While every stretch of the canal is pleasant and suitable for running, the city centre stretch to the east of the city is the most beautiful, with plentiful tree cover along the banks of the canal.
Ticknock Forest is a hilly, forested area located at the foot of the Dublin Mountains in South Dublin. Best known for its hiking trails, the forest is also suitable for runners looking for more of a vertical challenge.
The area is at a high enough elevation to boast stunning views over the city, particularly at dusk when the lights of Dublin glow in the coming darkness.
Information on the routes on offer can be found here.
The long stretch of beach along Sandymount Strand is one of the most popular running routes in Dublin, and for good reason. At low tide, there is plenty of firm sand to run on for those looking for joint-friendly routes, with the choice of a wide stretch of pavement along the beach for high-tide.
The route overlooks Dublin Bay and the Poolbeg Chimneys so beloved of Dubliners, and is a spacious and peaceful stretch of coastline for runners to enjoy.
The final entry on our list is by no means least – by all accounts, Howth Peninsula is one of the best places for a run in the entire country. The elevated promontory juts out into the Irish Sea, offering incredible views over Dublin Bay. The cliff walk trails that hug the cliffs of the peninsula are excellent for hill runners and those looking for a challenge.
The natural beauty of the scenery and the abundant wildlife (including a multitude of seabirds) make this running route one to remember.