Walks in Dublin you can take with the kids and ideas for family hikes near Dublin you and your kids will love
One of the many great things about Dublin is how close the city is to beautiful nature.
Without spending too much time in the car, you can easily reach lovely woods, beaches and beautiful viewpoints from where to admire the city, the sea or both!
We love going out for walks with the kids and, over the course of the years, we have selected our favourite family walks in Dublin and some easy hikes in Dublin and Wicklow perfect to stretch your legs and those of the children.
Our kids and us are good walkers but not avid hikers so the walks in this article require no special level of fitness or hiking ability.
We do however recommend you were hiking shoes on all the mountain path and cliffs walks. You can find the list of our favorite hiking shoes for kids here.
Buggy friendly walks in Dublin
Dodder walk – Dublin South riverside walk
The Dodder is a small river flowing through the south of Dublin followed, for part of its journey, by a pleasant and easy path.
The Dodder path is green and pleasant in parts of the walk you will easily forget you are in a residential area of Dublin City Centre: the woods here are this beautiful!
The walks follows a variety of terrains alternating easy, unpaved paths with city pavements and it crosses woodlands, city streets and nice lawns, which makes it quite varied and not boring.
The most beautiful part of the walk I believe is between Bushy Park and Milltown.
Bushy park is a beautiful inner city park and the river flows along its southern border.
The path here follows the water and has some beautiful trees that, in part, now belong to a native tree trail that leads you to different tree species native of Ireland present in the park.
Good to know: not all of this walk is buggy friendly however, Bushy Park offers several alternatives to the challenging bits. Once you get to the park, follow the main paved area rather than the river and you will quickly have the ability to rejoin the path after crossing Ratfarnham road.
As you leave the park, the path turns into a pavement and follows beautiful homes however, it has a surprise for nature lovers.
Here, despite the proximity of houses, if it easy to spot foxes on the other side of the river (we saw a family of them just the other day!), a heron who lives here and a beautiful and unexpected kingfisher!
Farther down the road the path opens up on nice lawns and gets to a cute corner with a peculiar statue of a rhino in the river: this is always a hit with kids!
Here is also here you get to the Dropping Well which is a lovely local pub and restaurant with a nice covered terrace with river views, where you can have a warm meal or a drink as a prize for your walking.
Because of how varied and easy it is, we find this to be one of the best walks in Dublin for small kids especially.
Ardgillan Castle – family walk in Dublin with fairy doors, views and playground
Ardgillan is a wonderful castle and estate in North Dublin with lovely walks for families.
The main thing that will attract the kids here is likely to be the playground, which is large, well kept, soft paved and even has a view (great for parents!) but the estate also has pleasant walks crossing woodland and the estate nice lawns.
On some stretches, fairy doors are hidden in the trees and are great for small kids to spot.
The paths are mostly flat and large and they are good for toddlers and easy to manage with even with a lightweight buggy.
The castle has also nice tea rooms that are great for a warm drink or slice of cake after you time outside.
This is a great walk in Dublin you have toddlers especially.
Dublin area piers
Dublin has several beautiful piers that are scenic and make for easy walks even when pushing a buggy.
Some perfect for a short walk breathing in the sea air are Poolbeg Lighthouse (South Wall Walk) and Dún Laoghaire Pier and North Bull Island pier, all very popular thanks to the easy access and the stunning view.
North Bull Island is also amazing for a walk along the sea but not all of it is buggy friendly (see below).
These are lovely places for when you just want a bit of fresh air and easy, nice walks in Dublin with a buggy.
Phoenix Park, Marlay Park, Bushy Park, St. Anne Park
All Dublin main parks offer lovely opportunities for a walk with a stroller as well as a stop at the playground.
Some of our favourites are:
- Phoenix Park, which has a lovely loop walk with nice views over the city
- Marlay Park, which is the starting point of the Wicklow way but it is also criss crossed by several paved paths that are great for buggies
- Bushy Park, which we have already mentioned when talking about the Dodder Walk and is a pleasant local park with nice walking loop around its perimeter
- St Anne’s park, also a favourite with our kids for the large spaces and rose garden, with is a lovely for a relaxing stroll.
Marlay, Bushy and St Anne’s Park usually also have markets at the weekend that make the perfect for a family day out.
Parks are a great place when you don’t feel like a full hike but want to go for a walk in Dublin City.
Easy walks in Dublin you can take with the kids
Killiney and Killiney Hill
If you are looking for stunning coastal views and expansive landscapes, then I recommend you go for a walk on Killiney hill.
Killuney is a wealthy and beautiful part of Dublin perched on a hill overlooking the Dublin Bay and, in the distance, Wicklow.
Walking on the hill is relaxing and soothing.
If you go up Vico Road, you have beautiful views over the Bay and you can also follow the steps down to Killiney Beach.
Our kids love the fact that you can catch a view of the Dart here too!
If you access the hill from the other side, you also have a nice playground with pretty views and you can take an easy stroll in the park towards the viewpoint at the top, which has amazing views.
Good to know: Walks in the park or the beach do not require special gear however, once you go on the trails on the Dublin mountains, even the easy ones, bringing a small backpack with essentials is handy. You can find our printable list of day hike essentials for kids here.
Massy’s Estate Woodland Walk
Massy’s Estate has wonderful woodland walks perfect for adults and kids alike.
You access the walk from Rathfarnham, from the same car park as the Hellfire Club (see below), but in this case the walk starts going down, instead of climbing up.
The woods here are wonderful.
You have no view as such but the silence, interrupted only by the crunch of the leaves under your feet and the murmuring of the brook, is soothing and perfect for a family walk.
This is one of our favourite place for forest school activities and the kids also love that there is a makeshift swing in the middle of the woods!
The Hell Fire Club walk
The hike to the Hell fire Club is one of the most popular walks near Dublin.
The trail goes up Montpelier Hill, on the Dublin mountains in Rathfarnham, and owes its name to the ruins of a building still standing at the top of it, where the ‘Hell fire Club’ used to meet and that it is rumoured to be haunted!
The peculiar story of the place attracts many but truly, you don’t need to have an interest in ghosts to enjoy this walk and there is nothing scary for the kids (unless you want to tell them scary tales about it of course!)
There are two main paths leaning up hill and they are short and offer nice views over Dublin City, almost from the get go: the walk doesn’t take more than one hour or so and it is perfect for days when you may be short on time but want to get some fresh air and stretch your legs in beautiful natural surroundings.
You can bring a picnic or get a light lunch or cake in Timbertrove, back where at the start of the trail, a lovely shop with wooden creations and garden decorations with a local cafe (and climbing frames).
You can find our experience on the Hellfire Club Walk here.
Cruagh Wood forest and scenic walk
The walk in Cruagh Woods is one of my favourite in Dublin as it is an easy hike with a variety of terrain and nice views.
You access the walk from Rathfarnham and leave the car at the entrance of a well marked, large forest road that climbs up a gentle slope.
The first part of the hike is on a large path across beautiful woods but soon arrives to top of the mountain, where you reach a plateau and get a first view over the city.
The view is expansive and leads your eye all the way to the sea!
The second part of the walk is downhill and it is along boardwalks: this is a beautiful part of the hike, my favourite, and you can see beautiful trees and flowers, as well as go birdwatching.
Several signs here inform of the presence of native bird species and if you have binoculars, they can be great to spy with the kids.
Tibradden Mountain Trail
Tibradden Mountain train is beside Cruagh and Is another lovely place where to enjoy views of the city.
The terrain here is quote varied as it starts in the woods to end on a trees-free, heather covered area with beautiful views over Dublin below.
If you know the area, you will easily recognise Three Rocks, ahead of you on the trail as here you are effectively on the other side of the mountain from Ticknock (see below)
This is one of the most popular walks in the Dublin Mountains for families as you can also reward the kids with playtime at Zipit (Ziplinig Forest Adventure) which is also here.
Fairy Castle Loop at Ticknock
The Fairy Castle Loop is a lovely family walk you can take in and above the Ticknock forest, in the Dublin Mountains just above Rathfarnham.
It is a very popular family hike and you will always find here families with kids and dogs and it is easy to see why: the walk starts on tarmac and in the forest but very easy opens up to reveal beautiful views over Dublin City and the mountains!
This very first part of the walk is easy and buggy friendly but the real surprise of this walks happens now, when the tarmac finishes and you follow the mountain trail.
Very quickly, you find yourself on top of rolling hills covered in heather and with 360 degree views of mountains and sea until the eye can see!
This places is absolutely stunning and it feels so remote, not even the view of the city will be enough to remind you that this is Dublin and not Iceland!
You can find our detailed description of the Ticknock Walk here.
Howth Cliff Walk
The Howth Cliff Walk is an easy hike in Dublin offering some of the best coastal views you can ask for.
The hike starts in Howth village and follows the perimeter of Howth Head, allowing you to catch wonderful views over the sea, at the start, and over the sea and the city during the last stretch.
Several paths criss-cross the head and I personally recommend the one that forms a long loop around the Howth peninsula as it is varied and has wonderful views.
This is an easy path and we did it with the kids in about 3 hours however, it is not buggy-friendly and there are some drops so caution is important. You can find our detailed guide to the Howth Cliff Walks here.
Bull Island is a flat beautiful island along the northern coast of Dublin City, famous for a a stunning and windy sandy beach with views over Dublin Bay and Howth.
This is one of those places visitors usually don’t know and the side of Dublin they are most surprised to discover, away from the the city centre and Dublin’s most famous attractions.
The beach here is huge, sandy and perfect for kite surfing, both doing and watching!
If you are not a kite surfer, the best thing to do ere is to walk along the beach.
You can be on the sand or you can easily follow the beautiful path immediately inland from it.
The area is always windy so you will want to bring a wind breaker and extra layer.
However, there are several cafes and restaurants just before the pier onto the island so you can easily warm up at the end if visiting in winter or back on their sun terraces in the summer!