Getting out into the crisp winter air every once in a while can be a refreshing and invigorating experience. Dusting off the cobwebs with a long stroll helps keep us active and can even help clear the mind of its troubles.
Winters in Dublin are usually quite mild, apart from the occasional frosty spell. Reasonably agreeable winter weather and an abundance of excellent walking trails make a winter walk a delight rather than a chore.
In this post we share the best winter walks in Dublin.
Map of Walks
The following map shows the location of every walk highlighted in this post:
The Phoenix Park
As you would imagine from one of the best parks in Dublin for running routes, The Phoenix Park is also home to an abundance of excellent walking trails.
Follow one of the many trails that strike off from the main road that runs through the park. There are outstanding views over Dublin from certain sections of the park, including a beautiful vista over South Dublin from the Papal Cross at the centre of the park. If you’re lucky, you might even have an encounter with the fallow deer that live in the park.
Location: The Phoenix Park, Dublin
Ardgillan Castle & Demesne
The walking trail at Ardgillan Castle & Demesne in North Dublin is perfect for families with young kids or those seeking out some breathtaking vistas. The trail meanders up and above Ardgillan Castle, opening up to stunning views over the castle walls to the Irish Sea beyond. On a clear day, the Mourne Mountains can be seen across the sea to the north.
The trail is a nice mix of meadow and woodland, and as a result there is a great chance of spotting some of the local birds and wildlife. There is also a Fairy Tree Trail that teaches children about the different kinds of Irish trees that grow around the trail.
Location: Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan, Dublin
North Bull Island
North Bull Island is one of the most unusual and mysterious places in Dublin. The island, which emerged from the sea over the last few hundred years as a result of silt build-up in Dublin Bay, is one of the best places in the capital for a run or a long walk.
The island is famous for its bird populations and is a nature reserve. In winter, the island is home to geese and wader birds that can be spotted easily as you make your way across the tough marram grass that covers the island.
North Bull Island can be accessed by the wooden bridge at the south of the island, or the causeway at the midsection of the island.
Location: North Bull Island, Dublin
Howth Cliff Path Loop
A trip to the wild and picturesque Howth peninsula is a tonic in itself, with the sea salt air, views over Dublin Bay, and the treasure trove of bars, restaurants, and cafes waiting in Howth village. However, before sampling the culinary delights on offer in the village, sweep away the cobwebs on the Howth Cliff Path Loop. The trail follows the sea cliffs of the peninsula and is the best way to enjoy the spectacular views.
The trail takes about two hours and takes in panoramas of Dublin Bay, Howth Harbour, and the two lighthouse of the peninsula. Keep an eye out also for the many species of gulls that call Howth their home. While the trail does follow the cliffs, the route is suitable for walkers of all abilities, although children should be monitored at all times. The traditional starting point is from Howth train station, from which point you can follow the signs for the well-marked trail.
Location: Howth Village, Dublin
Three Rock Mountain
The final entry on our list, Three Rock Mountain, is also the most challenging trail of the lot. Situated in the far south of Dublin, the mountain is most famous for being home to the television masts that broadcast to the city below. The name comes from the three tors or rocky outcrops that jut from the summit of the mountain, which for years were erroneously considered to be man-made by ancient inhabitants of Dublin.
While moderately challenging, the view from the top of the mountain is simply outstanding, with sweeping vistas of the capital and Dublin Bay on offer. The peak of the Great Sugar Loaf mountain in County Wicklow is also visible to the south.
Location: Three Rock Mountain, Ballyedmonduff, Dublin