County Dublin: Action stations!

Dublin hasn’t just got the edge as a city break. It’s got the pick of adventure activities dotted about the coast, rivers and mountains on its doorstep

Thrills and spills on a raft adventure provided by
Thrills and spills on a raft adventure provided by

Splash out

It’s water, water everywhere in Dublin – with the city’s river and bay throwing up plenty of opportunities to get the adrenaline going before a night on the town.  

Start off with a spin down the Liffey. runs trips between Leixlip and Palmerstown, offering over two hours of thrills and spills on the river. Trips kick off with a high drop (literally) at Lucan, before passing stone-arch bridges, old mills and historic weirs on their way towards the city. Amidst the wide, relaxing stretches there are plenty of rapids to be shot... so don’t forget ye olde Speedos. 

Or what about hitting the surf? Pure Magic is a company doing exactly what it says on the tin - hooking up thrill seekers with a three-hour kite-surfing lesson on the Blue Flag Dollymount Strand. If you don’t fancy rocking the harness and lines, you can always grab a stand-up paddle board and take to the water without the wings. 

Play Tarzan...

Think of Dublin, and aerial trekking, giant swings and off-road buggies may not be the first things that spring to mind. But that’s exactly what’s on offer at Adventure Centre in Balbriggan. Set in the rolling countryside just 35 minutes from the city centre, small groups and individuals, hen and stag parties are all catered for here. The high-ropes based packages won’t leave you hanging around. Or maybe they will... 

Meanwhile, a 35-minute spin in the opposite direction could have you monkeying around in the Dublin Mountains. Zipit Forest Adventures is a fresh-from-the-packet attraction in Tibradden Wood, with several high-wire trails offering the chance to swoop down zip lines, swing into cargo nets and even cycle a BMX through the forest canopy. The Red Circuit is the big dog, with a 20m base jump tailor-made for YouTube.

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Off the rails...

Getting out of the city doesn’t have to involve adrenaline, of course. Dublin’s coastal Dart train is one of the sweetest commuter routes in Europe, with even a short spin opening up a brave new world of seaside villages, sea views... and possibly even dolphins and seals.

Heading north? Try Bram Stoker’s birthplace of Clontarf (7 minutes), or the snappy seafood restaurants and bracing cliff walks of the Howth Peninsula (28 minutes).

Flying south? 20 minutes sets you up for a jolly jaunt along the Victorian pier at Dun Laoghaire, or a half-hour opens up hidden beaches like White Rock, or local favourites like Killiney Hill, where you can watch the hang-gliders swoop like seagulls over the bay. 

Commuting has never felt so cool.

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