There is nothing quite like getting outdoors, breathing crisp fresh air and giving the legs a nice stretch. We all need an escape from city life to regroup every now and again, right?
Luckily for anyone in the vicinity of Dublin, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to taking a scenic walk/hike.
No I am not taking about strolling the length and breadth of Henry and Grafton Street window shopping (although that’s always a winner too). I am talking about getting in touch with nature, witness some unbelievable scenery and working up a little sweat to booth.
Bray to Greystones
The Bray to Greystones walk is an utterly spectacular and relatively easy walk. No wonder the locals love this place for their Sunday stroll? This cliff walk provides you with stunning coastal views and amazing photo opportunities of the rail line running beneath you.
The walk covers a distance of about 6 miles from start to finish and depending on how leisurely you take it, it’s a 2h 30m walk(easy peasy). Anyone with a keen eye will also spot lots of seabirds, colourful flora and there has often been Dolphin sightings too in the past.
The walking path is well maintained and isn’t exactly a steep or strenuous climb although those with any walking difficulties may find it a little on the tough side. The best part is when you reach Greystones you have lots of places to choose from to reward any hungry and thirsty walker. Drop into Spendlove Coffee and ice-cream for a refreshing 99. Come rain, hail or shine who isn’t a sucker for a creamy 99?
How to get to Bray
Bray is serviced by the DART railway network and in 39 minutes departing from Connolly station in the center of Dublin you will reach Bray station. The DART service runs approximately every 15 minutes with the last train departing at 11.20pm. There are also numerous bus companies passing through Bray on a daily basis with Glendalough bus operating a service 7 days a week and bus no 133 operating an hourly timetable.
Glendalough is home to nine marked walking trails set high in a luscious green valley. The path you choose to take will depend on the length of time you have to spend, with some trails enduring an hour of your time and some over a four hour time scale. You will start your trail at the Visitors center where the staff there can advise you on the best path to take considering the time you have to spend.
I would suggest carrying a bottle of water with you and some snacks in case you get peckish as you can only purchase food and bevies at the Visitors center and in the last car park close to the upper lake (there are toilets located here too)
Which path to choose
Now you will see my warning below about the time limit if you are travelling with the St Kevin’s bus so stupidly the trail we choose was a little rushed. Nonetheless the views were exceptional and we got a serious workout in. The route we took was the blue one and on the way you pass a waterfall called Polanass waterfall.
After embracing the waterfall you have a killer hike ahead of you, some 600 wooden steps to tackle until you reach the boardwalk at the top. Here at the boardwalk you will be greeted with an incredible viewpoint overlooking the Glendalough valley and upper lake area. Those 600 steps on the way back down strangely seem a breeze too, you can pretty much just run down (or in our case we didn’t really have a choice)
How to get to Glendalough
You can take St Kevin’s bus from St Stephen’s Green and the earliest time it departs is 11.30 am and you will reach Glendalough by 12.50pm. The bad news is the last bus coming back to Dublin city center is 4.30pm and I felt this did not allow enough time to fully explore and take in Glendalough (we could easily have spent all day here).I took my friend from Ari from America out here about between catching up and exploring we lost track of time, only to find ourselves running like mad lunatics to make that 4.30 bus. We made it like sweaty messes but just about. I would suggest driving to Glendalough if you have a car as then you can take in the area at a more leisurely pace
So once the weather perks up again (please don’t say that summer is really over) head to Bray and Glendalough and revel in the spectacular scenery as you burn some calories. What is it about a view that always make a workout so much better??
Are there any other walks/hikes outside of Dublin I should include in this list? Share you suggestions with me…