Ultimate Guide to Best Hiking Spot in Ireland

Discover the Top Hiking Spots Near Ireland

Did you know that just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin’s city center is an impressive 43 kilometers of hiking trails just waiting to be explored?

From scenic hikes with coast views to tranquil woodland walks, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures awaiting you in Dublin’s backyard. 

So, if you’re ready to lace up your hiking boots and embark on a journey of exploration, join us as we uncover the best hiking spots near Dublin. 

Wander Through the Enchanted Looking Ballinastoe Wood

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Address: Sraghmore, Oldtown, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

If you’re looking for a hike that delivers amazing sights, then the Ballinastoe Woods will not disappoint. This place looks like an otherworldly realm so much so that it often draws comparisons to the landscapes of Lord of the Rings. 

Nestled within the Wicklow Mountains, you’ll see giant trees and trickling streams. 

There are trails that take just 30 minutes, while others take more than 3 and a half hours. 

Most of the trails are pretty easy and straightforward too. The wooded area is popular among bikers, so just be careful and extra aware so that you don’t get hit. 

Embark on a More Spiritual Hike to Bray Head 

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Address: Newcourt, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

For a hike that brings just as much joy from being out and about in nature as a more meaningful feeling, then the Bray Head is a great option. 

You can climb up and down the hill itself and see the cross placed there in 1950 on the Holy Year, as well as enjoy the expansive views of Bray, Wicklow, and the Dublin Bay. 

If you’d rather have a longer walk, you can go on the Bray Head Looped Walk. 

This option will still let you see all the same things from the shorter walk, but with the added view from the cliff sides. You also get to pass Greystones and Newcourt which will lead you to a seafront where you can enjoy the view of the water. 

Choose History or Open Air Views at the Carrickgollogan Woods

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Address: Shankill, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Located right in Dublin, the Carrickgollogan Woods offers a quick and easy hike for when you just need to have your nature fix satisfied without straying far or exerting too much energy. There are 2 trails that you can choose from while you’re here. 

The Lead Mines Way leads you through the forest and to the iconic Lead Mines Chimney for a bit of history and architecture mixed in with your hike. 

The Mountain Access Route takes you higher up into the mountain and ends at the Viewing Rock where you’re treated to panoramic views of County Dublin down below. This area is a great place to stop for a while and just enjoy the fresh air. 

Conquer Djouce Mountain’s Majestic Heights

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Address: Wicklow Way, Powerscourt Paddock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Located within the Wicklow Mountains National Park’s north eastern side, the Djouce Mountain offers a peak of about 725 meters and is the 74th tallest in the country. Although the ranking might not seem impressive, the views you get certainly are. 

Starting from the most ideal car park, the JB Malone Car Park, the entire pathway measures about 6 km and will take you 2 to 3 hours to finish. The first thing you’re treated to are views of Lough Tay and then later on the JB Malone Monument. 

After this, you’ll be heading straight up to the peak of the climb. Here, you can see Dublin’s skyline and on extra clear days, you can even see beyond Bray and Arklow. 

See What the Djouce Woods Has to Offer

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Address: Deerpark, Ballinteskin, Co. Wicklow, Ireland 

Not to be mistaken with the Djouce Mountain Trails, this hiking spot takes you deep into the wooded area of Djouce. There are 2 trails to choose from. The Blue Loop is shorter with just a total distance of 4.5 km and it’s easier too. It only takes around 1.5 hours. 

The Deer Park Loop, also known as the Red Loop, is twice the length and takes twice as long. Both trails let you see some waterfalls and rivers, but the Deer Park Loop gives you access to a viewing platform where you can see amazing views. 

You can see Maulin and even the top part of the Great sugar loaf. Beyond, you also see glimpses of Dublin and Howth. 

Embark on Glendalough’s Spinc Loop Adventure

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Address: Lugduff, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

The Spinc which literally means pointed hill in Irish is a steep climb that grants you views off the Glendalough Valley. This trail is 9.5 km long with some sections that are pretty steep, but the climb begins with some 600 steps up some stairs. 

Majority of the hike is on wooden boardwalk planks, so there isn’t a lot of slipping and sliding on mud or loose soil. Throughout the climb, you’re walking right along the cliffs that follow the south shore of Upper Lake. 

Once you make it through the harder portions, you go down into a bog and then into Glenealo Valley where you can encounter some deer and goats that live there. 

Uncover Hidden Gems at Loughcrew Cairns

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Address: Loughcrew Cairns, Corstown, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland

The Loughcrew Cairns walk is one of the most underrated and lesser known hikes near Dublin. The entire walk measures just 2 km, but it’s jam packed with things to see. 

The very first things you see are the Loughcrew Passage Tombs. These are located on a group of hills called The Mountains of the Witch. You are not allowed to enter the passages anymore, but from the outside, there’s still much to appreciate. 

Some of the back stones of the passages are engraved with hand etched drawings and symbols which date back to around 5,000 years ago. While you’re at by the passages, you can see wide views of countryside and rolling hills covered in green grass. 

See the Famous Heart Shaped Lake at Lough Ouler

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Address: Laragh West, Wicklow Mountains National Park, County Wicklow, Ireland

For romantics or generally just for people who like to see amazing things nature can do, the hike up to see Lough Ouler is a great adventure just waiting for you. Lough Ouler is famous because from afar, the lake’s perimeter forms the shape of a heart. 

Be warned though, the climb to the viewing platform is a bit challenging. There are 2 trails you can take up to the lake, the Lough Ouler Loop will take you around 4 to 4.5 hours to reach. This is a great option for expert hikers looking for a challenge. 

If you’re not that confident with your skills yet, we recommend the Lough Ouler Hike from the Turlough Hill which only takes around 2 to 2.5 hours with the same endpoint. 

Conquer the Wicklow’s Highest Peak at Lugnaquilla Mountain

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Address: Lugnaquilla, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Since the Lugnaquilla Mountain hike is not to be taken lightly, we begin by saying that this hike is not for beginners and is only for very very experienced hikers. 

Climbing the mountain is one of the most difficult experiences partly due to the unpredictable and often moody weather in the area. But, if you do your due diligence, the climb is extremely rewarding and enjoyable. 

The trail begins from a forest track and into the Fraughan Rock Glen. You’ll encounter the Benleagh River flowing into a valley. After you reach the peak, you’re greeted by the  edge of Snowdon in Wales, the Great Sugarloaf, and Dublin. 

Climb Up the Iconic Sugarloaf Mountain

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Address: Glencap Commons Upper, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Sugarloaf Mountain is often seen from climbing some other mountain, but it’s more than just a sight to see from afar. This is a great hike for novice hikers because the trails are easy, well marked, and are not that steep. 

The hike begins with a walk from the car park towards the base of the mountain where you can see cows grazing. The rest of the hike takes you up the side of the mountain and to the peak where you can see Wicklow and the Dublin mountains. 

You can also see the Southeast coastline from the top of the mountain. On your way down, the trek is even easier with the entire round trip just taking around an hour or so. 

Unravel the Haunted Mysteries at The Hellfire Club

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Address: Montpelier, Co. Dublin, Ireland

If you need more than just views of trees to motivate you to go hiking, then maybe the Hellfire Club Walk is worth the try. This trail leads up to the summit of Montpelier Hill where some ruins of an old lodge, which is supposedly haunted, awaits you. 

The trail is mostly a gravel path with partial views of the Glenasmole Valley, but the fun really starts once you reach the ruins. The lodge was once known to be a meeting place for the Irish Hellfire Club who were rumored to be involved in dark magic.

The devil was once said to have been summoned in the very lodge as a stranger who joined them for a meeting. You can explore the lodge and see everything for yourself. 

Embark on a Highland Adventure at Slieve Foy

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Address: Glenmore, Co. Louth, Ireland

Slieve Foye is a mountain in Louth and its peak is the tallest in the region. The entire hike will take you around 2.5 hours to 3 hours to finish. It begins at Carlingford Village near Ma Bakers’ right side. You’ll encounter stone walls that mark the start of the trail. 

As you follow along the beaten path, you’re taken into a forest filled with source and pine trees. The climb uphill starts after you make your way out of the woods. After around 800 meters, you will reach the peak. 

At the top, you can see the Cooley Peninsula and the village down below. This area is a great place to take some success photos with the scenery behind you. 

Get Treated to Coastal Views on The Howth Head Walk

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Address: Howth, Dublin, Ireland

The Howth Cliff Walk follows Dublin’s coastline for the entire duration of the 6 km route. There are 5 different trails that you can choose from with time of completion ranging from 1.5 hours to 3 hours. 

If your skills and endurance are up for it, we recommend you take the Bog of the Frogs loop which is the longest of the 5. This is also known as the Purple Route and takes you to all the best spots the area has to offer. 

You will get to see Howth Hill as well as the Red Rock Beach. Even the iconic Baily Lighthouse is a stopover in this trail. Just make sure you’re up for the 3 hour trek. 

Take a Peek at Ancient Grounds at the  Tibradden Woods

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Address: Tibradden, Co. Dublin, Ireland

The Tibradden Woods are located in the Dublin Mountains and hiking here is a great option for a weekend hike with friends. The entire 2.5 km trek will take you 2 hours to complete. The walk takes you through the dense forest first and then up the mountain. 

The forest itself is beautiful with a wide variety of trees like Scots pine, larch, oak, beech, and Sitka spruce. Some of these giants date back to 1910. The forest is also home to rich wildlife from sika deer, badgers, birds, and foxes.

The main star of the show here is the burial cairn that’s located just before you reach the summit. It’s believed that this was dug up and built in the Bronze Age. 

Visit Ticknock Hill Just a Short Ways Away from Dublin

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Address: Co. Dublin, Ireland 

Another hiking spot just within reach of the city center is Ticknock Hill which is located in the Dublin Mountains. The area is swamped in forested areas with many available trails to choose from. All of them let you encounter clusters of trees and views at the top. 

The entire trail measures about 10 km with 2 most popular destinations. At the top of the Two Rock Mountain, you’ll see the Fairy Castle which is a Neolithic passage tomb that goes deep into the mountain for about 27 meters. 

The Three Rock Mountain peak offers amazing views of Dublin down below. There are huge rocks here that people use to sit and enjoy the sights.