Dalkey and Killiney Hill
If you’ve been wondering why Killiney and Dalkey have some distinctly Mediterranean-sounding street names, this is the walk for you. It’s not too long, although it takes in a couple of climbs, and it handily starts at one Dart (train) station and ends at another, making it a great half-day outing from Dublin city centre.
Jump off the Dart at Dalkey and follow Sorrento Road southeast towards Sorrento Terrace. Track the edge of the sea along the Vico Road and then go steeply uphill to Dalkey Hill, via a small gate at the bottom of some very steep stone steps, locally known as the Cat’s Ladder.
From the summit, if you’re lucky enough to have decent weather, you’ll see the reason for all those grand Italianate names – you’re looking out over Dublin’s answer to the Bay of Naples – as well as the Sugar Loaf Mountain, the Wicklow Mountains and Dalkey Island, with its stony Martello Tower.
Press downwards over the hill, and you’ll pass the quarry from where the granite was extracted to build Dun Laoghaire’s mighty piers. Nowadays, its sheer sides make it the abseiling and rock-climbing hotspot for adventure-sports lovers. Through the car park, you’ll spot a number of pathways, veer left towards the sea again, with the next climb up easy steps bringing you to the top of Killiney Hill – and often, to the sight of paragliders setting off into the blue skies, when the wind and weather is just right.
At the top is an obelisk – built to provide work during the terrible winter of 1741 – and from there the trail goes down to Victoria Park’s gates, where you can stop for refreshment at the Tower Tea Rooms at the entrance, or across the road at the Druid’s Chair pub, noted by 10Best.com as a “great stop off point on a hike.”
Refuelled, turn left and it’s downhill to the Vico Road again, this time taking a right to bring you on a view-laden stroll right back to sea level and Killiney Dart Station – the immaculate gardens along the way only serve to enhance this picturesque ending to your walk.