This weekend why not tackle one of Dublin’s most popular outdoor activities, the Ticknock walk? Located on the outskirts of Dublin, Ticknock is a cracking walk in the heart of the Dublin Mountains. It is easy to access thanks to its proximity to the LUAS and other public transport links as well as having great parking. And there are routes available for all levels of fitness and hiking ability. 

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.

Ticknock 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 is approx. 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 5.5km.

Ticknock: The Basics

Ticknock Hike
Rob Durston/Fáilte Ireland

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

Length: 6-12km

Difficulty: Medium

Total Ascent: 445 meters

Max Elevation: 530 meters

National Grid Reference: O 152 242

Traditional Maps: Ordnance Survey Ireland Discovery Series Sheet 50 or East-West Mapping Dublin Mountains

Hike Options:

Ticknock Hike Short Loop (from Ticknock): 6km – View the route on Hiiker
Vertical Ticknock Hike (From Lamb Doyle’s Pub): 7km – View the route on Hiiker
Ticknock Longer Loop (From Public Transport): 12km – View the route on Hiiker

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

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Ticknock: Getting There and Parking

Public Transport Dublin Bus

By Car:

The main car park on Ticknock is between a 30 and a 45-minute drive from the centre of the city. There is lots of parking available at the main Ticknock Forest car park. There is also space to park your car at Lamb Doyles Pub if you plan on beginning your hike from there.

By Public Transport:

There are a few ways to access the trails on Ticknock on public transport. You can take the Green Line Luas south to The Gallops and walk up Kilgobbin Road to Kilgobbin Lane. After 2km you will be on beautiful trails. Alternatively, you can get the 44 bus to Stepaside. A short 700m down the road you will find yourself under a canopy of trees, climbing your way up Ticknock.

Ticknock: Gear Essentials

Hiking Gear

The weather conditions, outdoor experience levels, and time of year will all impact what you should bring for your Ticknock hike. At the very least you should have:

Walking Shoes: The majority of the trails on Ticknock are very well maintained however a good pair of walking shoes are always essential when venturing off-road.

A Rain Jacket: We would always recommend having a rain jacket regardless of what the weather forecast says

Adequate Layers: Bear in mind that it is likely to be 5 to 10° colder at the summit. Fairy castle (the summit) is quite exposed so make sure you have appropriate warm layers.

A Map or Mapping App: Make sure you have a navigation solution. We have Hiiker downloaded on our phone, it always serves as an excellent backup if we don’t have a paper map.

Battery Pack: If you are using your phone for navigation it is absolutely essential to have a battery pack as these apps are quite intensive on your battery. Regardless it is always a good idea to have a battery pack when you go hiking.

Food:  Always plan to have enough food for a longer hike than you are anticipating.

Water: We generally recommend having at least 500 ml of water per hour when hiking, year-round.

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Food & Drink Near Ticknock

Trails Cafe on Ticknock

Trails Café: At the main Ticknock car park, you will find Trails Café. They provide a wide range of different high-quality food and drinks for you to have before or after your hike.

Quattro Wood-Fired Pizza: In Stepaside Village you can grab yourself a delicious woodfired pizza at Quattro.

Jonnie Fox’s Pub: If you’re in need of a big feed definitely had to Jonnie Fox’s Pub in Glencullen. The portion sizes are massive and their range is wide.

The Blue Light Pub: For a sneaky pint at the end of the hike, 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.

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By Outsider

  1. Pingback: Trail Running Routes Near Dublin: 5 of the Best |

  2. Priyanka
    August 22, 2019

    This is a brilliant post! I’ve been living in Dublin for a year now and didn’t know of Ticknock forest before, but this post told me literally everything right down to the last detail and I’m going there tomorrow! Keep up the good work!

  3. Virginia Richards Stokes
    August 28, 2021

    Ok I have found this trail in my guide book and on line. I am going to Dublin without a car in just a weeks. How do I get from central Dublin to the trail without a car

    1. Outsider
      September 1, 2021

      You will need to get the Luas to Sandyford and walk from there!

  4. Rory
    March 28, 2023

    There is a bus route which passes Blue Light pub which would save a lot of walking on roads; from the Dublin Bus website, it seems to be a route number 145 from the city centre, then 114 to Barnaculla (Blue Light address).

    1. Matthew McConnell
      April 6, 2023

      Really? What route is that?

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