Dublin is one of Europe’s most vibrant capital: welcome to the home of Guinness, Temple Bar and its many Irish Pubs, litterary giants like James Joyce or Oscar Wilde, the river Liffey and the home of U2. Located on the Irish Sea and at the foothills of the Dublin/Wicklow mountains, Dublin is also a great destination for outdoor activities incuding Mountain Biking, Kite Surfing, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and of course Trail Running.
The list of locations below are all of great scenic interest and a great way to discover this amazing city.
The phoenix Park is the largest enclosed public park in any capital city in Europe. The many roads and paths make it ideal for road running. But get off the tarmac and you’ll find many trails to follow with a few ups and downs. Attractions around the Phoenix Park include a 17th Century Fort, the 35 meters Papal cross, Ashtown Castle medieval tower-house and a 5,500 yrs old Prehistoric Burial Chamber. It is also home to a large and very friendly herd of wild deer happy to feature on selfies. The 11km circumference and 7.07 hectare area will give you plenty trail running loop options to run from 5k up to 20k. The Phoenix Park offers plenty parking location, but is better accessed by the many buses from Dublin City Centre.
More info: http://phoenixpark.ie/
Howth Head Peninsula
Howth Peninsula stretches out into the Irish Sea and is a popular day trip just a few kilometers North of Dublin City Centre. The fishing villages of Howth is a great start & finish run location, with many places to eat or drink. The main attraction though are the various loop trails following Howth Head. Choose from 6k to 10k with all trails following the cliffs over the Irish Sea to reach Howth Lighthouse and then back through various ways. The views over Dublin Bay, the Irish Coast and the Dublin/Wicklow mountains are fantastic. Access to Howth is very easy with trains running all day long from Dublin City Centre
Fairy Castle & Dublin Mountains
Fairy Castle, in the centre of the Dublin Mountains, is the highest point to be seen from mostly anywhere in the City. With various communication anthenas flashing at nigth, this is one of Dublin’s most visible landmark. There are various trails around the Dublin Mountains offering many trail options for distance or elevation. This is also where the Wicklow Way and the Dublin Mountains way meet. The main access to Fairy Castle is at Ticknock forest, but there are starting options at Lamb Doyles Pub or Tibradden forest as well. Fairy Castle offers the best views over Dublin City and on a clear day, you can see up to the Mourne Mountains and sometimes Wales. There is a bus that services Lamb Doyles Pubfrom Dundrum in Dublin.
Bray Head & Sugarloafs
Welcome to County Wicklow. Bray has always been one of Dublin’s favourite day-trip destination. The long Victorian promenade finishes at the foothills of Bray Head and the start of the very popular CliffWalk. The 7km trail follows the railway line on the edge of the cliffs onto Greystones. This stretch is probably one of Ireland most popular walks with many taking the train back into Bray after endulging in some of Greystones’ many eateries. Climb to Bray Head is also a must, and there is a great loop option inviting runners to reach the cross at the top of the hill, follow the ridge then loop back down along the Cliff Walk (around 7k as well). in August 2019, the new Belmont Way is now connecting Bray Head with the little Sugarloaf, itself connecting with the Sugarloaf Way though Kilmacanogue. This new trail offers tremendous long distance trail running options up to 30k round trip to Bray. A shorter option would be to use public transport to or from Kilmacanogue. This new route is part of EcoTrail Wicklow, Ireland’s largest trail running race, held the last Saturday of September.