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For a visitor to Dublin and provided the skies are clear, you are aware of Dublin Bay as the plane makes its final approach to the airport. Into this arena, the Liffey River flows between the embrace of two long harbour walls that protect the port approaches from silting. Following the shoreline for much of its length, the DART (the Dublin Area Rapid Transit line) provides great views of the bay as well as good access to some of the spectacular open spaces which Dubliners love for recreation. Because of its accessibility, the runs suggested start from the DART. I have included a couple of areas which are not DART accessible because they deserve a mention.

There is also another site which has runs and maps which I can recommend - you will see some of the runs I recommend are listed. Recommended link to Dublin Runners Directory.

1.HOWTH: The Head and The Summit (3 miles or more - circular). DART Station: Howth. From outside the DART station, climb the steps across the main road and follow the path up the hill, across a recreation ground and on to the highest point. This is quite a stiff climb but the views are rewarding. There are plenty of paths and you may decide to go back the way you came. However, you will be further rewarded if you continue down to the road (at the Summit pub) and up to the car park on the headland. From here you can look down on the old lighthouse and then run round the cliffs, anti-clockwise, down to the harbour and back to the station. There are plenty of places for refreshment as you near the station.

2.PEARSE STATION: The Georgian Dublin (3 miles - circular). Leave the station and turn left keeping Trinity College on your right. At the end of the road, turn left and right and proceed past the Mont Clare Hotel round two sides of Merrion Square eventually leaving the National Gallery behind you. Cross at the lights and the Pepper Canister church will be straight in front of you. Pass the church, cross at the lights and run along the canal to your right. At Baggot Street, cross the road and continue up along the canal to Lesson Street Bridge and then continue again along the canal to the next bridge where you take a right back towards the centre. At the junction take a right and a left and continue along Harcourt Street into St. Stephen’s Green. Cross into the park and run around as long as you wish (this is an excellent place for a run during daylight hours but it’s locked at from dusk). You could take Grafton Street and head round Trinity College and back to Pearse Station but the quieter way back is to leave the Green after running two sides (beside the Shelbourne Hotel) and continue down Merrion Row beside the Huguenot Cemetery. Turn left at the first lights and Merrion Square will be on your right and the station almost dead ahead.

3.LANSDOWNE ROAD: The beach run (3 miles point to point): From the station, head towards the power station chimneys to the bottle bank and then take the path along the Dodder River to the next bridge. Turn right, over the bridge, and to the second set of traffic lights. There is a football field over to the right and you should run through it parallel to the road. You will then come to the beach and can take a detour left along the foreshore to Irishtown Nature Reserve and back. Alternatively, you can continue along the shoreline beside the road. When the tide is out, you can run on the sand but, with the tide in, you can run along the footpath beside the road which turns into a shoreline park. At the martello tower, cross at the pedestrian crossing, and go inland down St. Johns Road and by turning left at the end and then right at the end of that road, you reach Sydney Parade DART station.

4.BOOTERSTOWN: Along the coast (3 miles point to point): After leaving the train, go through the carpark and to the traffic lights at the main road. Take the path through the park to the left and in about 1 mile you will reach Blackrock DART station. From Blackrock, take the road the climbs alongside and above the tracks and take a right at the end and a left when this road ends. This road runs parallel to the beach and, after turning a corner right, comes to traffic lights - turn left. This road keeps a little back from the shore but in a mile, the shore becomes visible and there is an turning left down to a Martello tower. From the tower, there is a good one mile stretch along the shore to Dun Laoghaire harbour, the ferry terminal and Dun Laoghaire DART Station.

5.DALKEY: Another hill but what great views (3 miles - circular). From the station, take one of the roads heading south beside the tracks. Follow the tracks until the road reaches the coast and turn right, with the tracks, along Vico Road. From Vico Road, look for an opportunity to climb up the hill to your right; there are two sets of steps and, eventually (at the far end of the road where it climbs up into trees) there is a path. Taking the steps and heading left at the top will get you to the same place as the far path. At the gatepost, take the left trial (with steps) up the hill to the ziggurat and monument. The path then continues back round the hill and down to a car park. Run through the car park and head out on the access road but just after the car park look for the path headed right. This will take you to the old quarry. Take the branch in the path that keeps left along the cliff-tops and then down the old mineral railway to the road. At the road, head right and, after a half mile, take a left down to the railway station. There are many other paths and another hill top to climb – plenty of scope to keept he runs interesting and to make new discoveries.

6.BRAY: The Head(3 miles circular or 4 miles point to point): Bray is a seaside resort with a large hill at the end of the beach which demands to be climbed (perhaps at a walk!). The first part of the run is an easy stretch beside the sea and a good warm up for more strenuous work ahead! At the end of the esplanade, take the road as it climbs up and crosses the railway tracks. Here you have a choice of runs (1) continue along the cliff path to Greystones and take the bus back (3 miles), (2) take the challenge and branch right up through the wood to the cross at the top and then back to Bray or (3) climb the hill and continue on beyond along the wild hillside and then down into Greystones.

OTHER AREAS FOR RUNNING: Phoenix Park, St. Anne's Park, Marlay Park, Dublin Mountains (Pine Forest, Kilakee Woods, Ticknock Woods, Three Rock)

Websites which might help with transport: DART services ( ) and bus services (

Regular organised runs are organised by the Business House Athletic Association ( The Dublin Hash House Harriers run paper chases weekly ( The Woman’s Mini-Marathon (10k) is organised each June and the Dublin Marathon takes place on the last Monday of October.



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