Length: 6.9 km (4.3 miles), terrain flat
Dublin Running Routes:
Dun Laoghaire coastal run
City Centre loop
Howth Cliff Walk trail
See the other running routes here!
NOTE: I took these pictures on a cloudy evening, so try to imagine everything in more picturesque sunlight!
A lot of visitors to Dublin stay close to the town center, bouncing around between the Guinness brewery and Grafton Street, without even noticing that the city has a long, scenic seacoast. The shore is lined with coastal vistas, parks and harbors.
|Dún Laoghaire coastline|
NOTE: see the Destinations Tips page for tips about spending your free time in this great town!
One of the most interesting spots to visit is Dún Laoghaire (also known as Dunleary), the old Royal Navy port for Dublin. Built in the 1820s to avoid the dangerous sail up the mouth of the River Liffey, the town around the port was called Kingstown by the British. Built in the Georgian style of the time, with long rows of terrace cottages, the town feels like an Irish Greenwich.
|Dún Laoghaire cottages|
I first experienced the train ride there when I had to get to Enniscorthy in the south. The train ride was absolutely beautiful, traveling directly along the Irish coast for a long time, before cutting up over the hills to Enniscorthy.
On my latest visit to Dublin last week, I decided to take a closer look, charting a running route through Dún Laoghaire to Bullock Harbour and back. This route is the result.
The Dún Laoghaire Route
It starts at the west end of town, at the Salthill & Monkstown DART station. The train ride there already provides you with great views of the coast.
When you get out of the train at Salthill, you have to go up a stairway to cross over the tracks and leave the station. But in the station parking lot, immediately go up the other stairs that cross back over the whole railway to land on the coastal path. The beach here is often used by windsurfers.
Turn to the right, with the water on your left side, and run parallel to the tracks, towards the harbor. The harbor begins in just a few hundred meters, when you pass the west pier. Just stay along the road going by the harbor, unless you'd like a little detour out to the end of either pier, with their 150-year-old lighthouses.
|Dún Laoghaire marina|
From now on, just stay along the water. After the east pier, there are some salt-water baths out on the rocks, only usable at high tide. Then, along Windsor Terrace, the shore is lined by a little park, where you can run right at the water's edge. You can see the stone tower and fort at Sandycove straight ahead. We'll run right to that spot.
When you get to Sandycove, the land sticks out in a little peninsula to the left. Follow the little street to the left and you'll come to Forty Foot Bathing Place, where you can take a fun break and jump off the rocks into the water. The rock formations remind me of the coast in Sydney, Australia. In warm weather, this is the place to cool off from a hot run.
|Swimmers having fun at Forty Foot|
|Kayakers at Bullock Harbour|
Or you might want to do as I did, and stop in at the Ritz Café at the corner of George Street and Patrick Street and get a fish and chips dinner (I had the smoked cod) and run with it down Marine Road to the yacht harbor and watch the boats while you eat, before heading back into the city (hey, I'm a sailor, what do you expect?).
Now you've earned your pints of Guinness back in Temple Bar this evening!
|Meanwhile, back in Temple Bar...|