“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature and vast curiosity” (Henry David Thoreau)
Despite its status as the most primal act of mobility, leisurely walking has faded out of fashion over the last century. The benefits of bounding into the wilderness to stretch one’s legs and get some headspace have dried up in favour of evenings spent lolling on the sofa or mindlessly scrolling through social media.
That said, there is nothing better to counteract the stress and strain of our sedentary lifestyles than pulling on the comfiest clothes you can find, grabbing an old pair of runners, and heading off for a ramble. Inhaling an hour or two of fresh air and coming close to nature are ideal for sparking creativity and boosting productivity.
Smooth out any worries whilst pounding river pathways, untangle your thoughts as you amble through the woods, or have a chat with friends as you clamber up hillsides. To set you off on your saunters, Trinity News have put together a list of the must-try scenic walks throughout Dublin:
The Dodder Walk
This is for those of you who quiver at the thought of trekking for hours on end. It’s an ideal route to walk off a hangover — undemanding and easy on the body, plus there’s a food market en route.
Located on Dublin’s southside and easily accessible for any Trinity Hall residents through nearby Dartry Park, this 3.5km walk begins at Bushy Park and follows a riverside path to The Dropping Well Pub. Wonderfully tranquil due to its proximity to the River Dodder, the route requires no maps or even proper walking gear. A simple stroll but stunning nonetheless.
Howth Head Walk
For the coastal lovers amongst us, Howth Head walk boasts spectacular clifftop views. Steeped in history, a ramble along the cliff path allows glimpses of the 15th century St Mary’s Abbey as well as of Balscadden House, the former abode of W.B Yeats. Only a stone’s throw from Dublin City on the Dart, this moderately challenging walk spans 6.5km, with the option of stopping for a refuel nearby at The Summit Inn.
The Great South Wall Walk
Situated closest to the city centre out of all the walks listed, a stroll from The Great South Wall to Poolbeg Lighthouse is perfect for burning off that Sunday brunch. Despite its proximity to Dublin City, the route broadens to encompass a promenade that stretches almost 4km.
When you reach the lighthouse at the end of the pier, you’ll be met by wonderful views of Dun Laoghaire and Killiney Head — on a clear day you might also catch a glimpse of the Dublin mountains .
Hell Fire Club
For a walk that’s more on the wildside, the Hell Fire Club sits atop Montpelier Hill, some 390 metres above Dublin city. Ideal for history lovers, this route strikes the perfect balance between an adventurous amble and an eerie history lesson.
Originally built in 1752 as a hunting lodge for William Connolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, the house lodge was taken over in 1729 by a young man who had been banned from every pub in Dublin.
The Hell Fire Club then evolved into a location where hedonistic behaviour was encouraged and illegal activities such as drinking, gambling and satanism took place.