Start Point: Ticknock Forrest Park or at Lamb Doyle’s Pub

Length: 6-18km

Difficulty: Medium

Total Ascent: 1460 feet

Max Elevation: 1741 feet

National Grid Reference: O 152 242

Ordnance Survey Ireland Discovery Series: 50

Hike Options:

  • Fairy Castle Short Loop (from Ticknock): 6km
  • Fairy Castle Vertical Climb (From Lamb Doyle’s Pub): 7km
  • Fairy Castle Long Loop (From Lamb Doyle’s Pub): 18km
Ticknock Hike
Rob Durston/Fáilte Ireland

This is one of Dublin’s most popular climbs for good reason. The views over Dublin and the Irish Sea are stunning. Ticknock offers a great network of mountain and forest walks just a stone’s throw away from Dublin. Nestled in the hills just beyond Sandyford in south Dublin, you can drive to Ticknock from the city centre in around half an hour but the walk will make you feel like you’re lost in the wilderness.

The forest has an extensive network of forest trails with pleasant moderate walks through the trees, it also has a tarmac road leading all the way to the top and is easily accessible for children and people with a lower level of fitness.

There are around 10km of walking trails through forests and mountains with incredible views of the greater Dublin area from the top of Three Rock Mountain. You can do an out and back if you don’t want to go too far, or there are plenty of loop walks in this area like the Fairy Castle Loop which is 5.5kms.

Things to Do in Dublin: The Complete Guide for Outdoor Lovers

One of our favourite routes is the Ticknock walk from Tibradden. This route takes you through Tibradden Woods, up to the top of Fairy Castle, down to Three Rock, right back to where you began via Ticknock Woods.

The trails are fairly well maintained, with some rocky and muddy sections, and are of moderate difficulty with some steep climbs. The main forest roads are very doable for children and families.

For a sneaky pint at the end of the hike, The Blue Light pub is situated at the foot of the Dublin Mountains and is your quintessential example of an Irish pub. In winter you can huddle around a turf fire, while in summer you can enjoy views across Dublin Bay and across to Howth. The Blue light serves hearty pub grub and always welcome instruments should you fancy joining one of the pub’s many impromptu trad sessions.

Getting there:

Ticknock is located in the Dublin Mountains, only a half hour (44B or 144 bus or car) from the centre of Dublin. Or just 3 km south west of Sandyford. From Marlay Park passing the main entrance to the Park on your right, turn right at Ballinteer St. Johns Clubhouse and following the road around the edge of the Park, turn left at the Taylor’s Grange junction onto the R113. Take the second turn on the right and this will bring you to the entrance to Ticknock forest.

Google Maps directions here. Download Trail Map here. For the short loop here or the long loop here.

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By Orla O'Muiri

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