17 of the Best Dog-Walking Spots in Dublin

By Katy Thornton / September 29, 2020
best dog-walking spots in Dublin

Looking for the best dog-walking spots in Dublin? There’s no need to stick to the same old routes – take a detour and treat your pooch and yourself to somewhere new. Dublin, and the outskirts of Dublin have some wonderful spots to walk your dog.

If you’re looking for inspiration on walks to do in Ireland, check out our article here.

1. Sandymount Strand

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Sandymount Strand

It’s no secret that dogs love the beach. Sandymount provides such an expansive area for your pup to run around and enjoy the waves. It’s also just a lovely spot to go for a walk yourself and the scenes can be really stunning. Located in Dublin 4, it’s very close to a range of food spots as well, including Brownes, which often provides dog bowls outside as well as outdoor seating. With Sandymount you really can’t go wrong, making it one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin.

2. Howth Head

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Howth Head

This beautiful trail is definitely one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin. It is a long walk; it takes two hours to complete in total, so make sure you pack refreshments for you and your pooch as you embark on this journey. There are areas that are quite close to cliffs, so ensure you keep your dog on a lead to keep them protected. If you’re looking for refreshments either before or after your walk, why not stop in Bodega Café for a tea or coffee to warm you up.

3. Bull Island

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Bull Island

North Bull Island as its more formally known is an island in Dublin Bay. It’s a great place to go for a dip, whether you’re canine or human, as the water isn’t very deep. This spot is a 35 minute drive from Dublin City Centre, but it is well worth a visit; it is known for feeling like a completely different country, far away from the busyness of the capital. Try the Happy Out Café, the only café on Bull Island. Open 10AM to 5PM, they do an assortment of coffees and toasties, perfect for refuelling after a long walk.

4. Ticknock, Dublin Mountains

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Ticknock

This is a great hike, for canines and humans alike. It isn’t too steep for your dog, but will be a good form of exercise, and is expansive enough that there’s lots for them to explore. There are some beautiful views of Dublin from the top of Ticknock, making it one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin. Great for some Instagram content or to just get away from it all for the day. 

5. Glendalough, Wicklow

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Glendalough

This glacial valley is located outside of Dublin in County Wicklow and is well worth a visit. It provides some truly stunning scenery and there’s places where your dog can take a dip in the water. It’s best known as a monastic settlement from the Early Medieval period, in the 6th Century, and many of the original buildings still stand today. It is mesmerising to observe, as well as a gorgeous place to walk your dog for something a bit different. It is 36km out of Dublin but your pup will thank you for the change in scenery!

6. Phoenix Park 

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Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed park in all of Europe, which is just one of the reasons you should give it a visit. It used to be a hunting spot, and even when you visit the park now, you’ll spot a herd of deer enjoying the woodland. On a sunny day, this is one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin, with plenty to see and do. If you want some grub, try The Phoenix Café where you can sit with your dog in the courtyard. 

7. Poolbeg Lighthouse, Sandymount 

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Poolbeg Lighthouse

If you’re already on the Sandymount Strand, or have walked it a few times with your dog, why not try walking out to Poolbeg Lighthouse. In the winter it can be quite a chilly walk as it is very windy out there, but wrap up tight and this will serve as a great long walk for you and your dog. There are no barrier between the walkway and the sea, so be sure to keep your dog on a short lead! 

8. Irishtown Nature Reserve 

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Irishtown Nature Reserve

This reserve is between the Sandymount Strand and the Poolbeg Lighthouse. It’s grassy and quite expansive, making it one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin. On a day where you’re feeling really active you can attempt to walk The Strand, the Nature reserve and to the lighthouse, or just spend some time in the reserve, letting your dog roam around amongst the grass.

9. The Hellfire Club, Dublin Mountains

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The Hellfire Club

This spot, also known as Montpelier Hill, is always filled with people and their dogs from the city, particularly on weekends. Like Ticknock, there are shorter trails through the forest, or longer ones – you can customise the length of your route depending on how long you want to walk, or how much exercise your dog requires.

10. Bray Beach, Wicklow 

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Bray Beach

There are tons of takeaway coffee and cafés on the Bray seafront that make this one of the best dog-walking spots just outside of Dublin.  Whether you want to walk on the sand or on the path, your dog will love the beachy atmosphere. The tide is never too far out, so bring them down for a paddle in the water particularly on sunnier days. Get a crepe or an ice-cream in Ginos and enjoy the seaside with your pooch.

11. Knocksink, Glencullen Farm  

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Knocksink

If you’re looking for some peace, then Knocksink, a stunning canopy that surrounds Glencullen River, is the answer. Located by Glencullen Farm, this dog-walking spot prides itself on remaining unaffected by tourism developments and remaining the natural woodland it has always been. Take your dog, leave your earphones at home and just enjoy the beautiful landscapes this gorgeous spot has to offer.

12. Marlay Park, Rathfarnham

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Marlay Park

If you want to socialise your dog, Marlay Park is the place for you. There’s a dog park, split into two sections, one for bigger dogs and one for smaller dogs. You can let your dog off the lead and let them stretch their legs with the other pups – the dog park is particularly good for socialising your dog on the weekends as this is when it is at its busiest. There’s also ample space to throw a stick or a ball within the confines of the dog park. If you’re just looking to walk, the rest of Marlay Park is huge and provides plenty of routes to explore.

13. Dún Laoghaire Pier

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Dún Laoghaire Pier

A dog-walking spot that never gets old is Dún Laoghaire Pier. Whenever the weather is marginally good, people flock to Dun Laoghaire, and many of them take their dogs. It’s a nice stretch to walk but it’s not too long if your dog is smaller and doesn’t require as much exercise. Treat your pup to an ice-cream from Teddy’s or Scrumdiddly’s on the way back to your car.

14. Fernhill Park and Gardens, Stepaside

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Fernhill

Based in Stepaside, Fernhill is lovely and known for its historic landscape. Going into October, it is open from 9AM to 6PM. With picturesque woodland walks, Fernhill is a definite go-to if you’re looking for somewhere new to bring your pup. This spot is slightly elevated, meaning there’s an amazing view of Dublin Bay and the Dublin Mountains as you’re walking around the park. It is also known for its unique flora.

15. Killiney Hill

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Killiney Hill

Killiney is always chockablock with dog-walkers – it is beautiful and the view from the top of Killiney Hill is one that is worth the climb. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly café, the Tower Tea Rooms provide a stunning spot to enjoy a coffee and a pastry outdoors while keeping your dog happy too.

16. Bohernabreena Reservoir, Glenasmole Valley

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Bohernabreena Reservoir

This gem is one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin. There are a few walking trails for you and your pup at this spot. It is just four kilometres away from Tallaght, and the atmosphere here creates the most perfect riverside stroll that is much more than your basic walking route. Truly one of the best dog-walking spots in Dublin that you should not be sleeping on. Pack up the car and your pup and make a day of it.

17. Powerscourt, Wicklow

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Powerscourt Waterfall

The Powerscourt Waterfall is one of the most stunning natural spots near Dublin. It is on the impressive Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow, where people often have weddings, and it is free to visit between 10:30AM and 5:30PM in October. It is advised you bring a picnic and enjoy the elements for the day, and dogs are welcome to be walked as long as they are kept on a lead.

About the author

Katy Thornton

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