The Waterworks, Roundwood, Co. Dublin

Ideal for a Sunday afternoon stroll, this looped walk is a big hit for families and walkers. Head out past The Old Mill Pub in Tallaght and keep going straight past the Y junction for St. Anne's GAA club on the left. Cross a bridge and about 200m further on turn in to the small car park on the right. The track is relatively flat for the first 30 minutes winding past houses and fields filled with cows, goats and rabbits. As you reach the maintenance yard take the uphill track on the right which is steep for about 10 minutes. As you approach the first resrevoir you will see that you are walking through a small glen with the sides rising up. Cross over the bridge on your left to a forest track. 15 minutes past the bridge the Dublin Mountain Way takes off to the left heading towards The Hellfire Club. Continue on towards the second lake and to the far point of the loop. A few cottages await you as well as a road: turn right and right again to bring you back to the track with the River Dodder on your left. Picnic benches are conveniently placed for you to have your lunch. Follow the track back by the two lakes and on to the car park.

Grade: Easy
Duration: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

Greystones to Bray, Co. Wicklow

This pleasant cliff walk which can be taken in either direction is recommended for all grades of walkers. Park the car in Bray and take the DART to Greystones. Turn right out of the station and proceed up the town taking another right over a bridge over the DART tracks and follow the road to your left down to te harbour. The marina is currently being developed so unfortunatley the beach and surrounds resembles a construction site. Walk past the shop on your left and continue along the gravel track. The ground begins to rise slightly as you leave Greystones behind and fields replace the gravel either side of the track (40 minutes from DART.) The original track has since been closed off due to subsidence and erosion from the coast so proceed along the safe new track. As you continue, views over the Irish Sea open up. Continue on overlooking the DART tunnels and tracks with bird crags to your right. Bray swngs into view (1 hour 45 minutes) and it's a decision on whether to troop up Bray Head (35 minutes) or head on for some well deserved fish n' chips!

Below:

View overlooking the DART line along the Greystones to Bray walk

Luggala/Fancy Mountain, Co. Wicklow

A straightforward out and back walk, Fancy doesn't take a lot of stamina or time. Take the Military Road out of Tallaght and drive to Sally Gap. Proceed straight through and after a series of bends pul into a lay by on the right about 10 minutes from Sally Gap. Cross the road and walk back the way you came until you see a rough track cutting through the bog. Take this track and cross the boggy ground following the incline. If it's been raining the ground can be seriously waterlogged so do take care. After 20 minutes the incline increases until you top out (40 minutes from the car.) To the left the track drops down a few metres from the summit and the view opens up in all its glory. Lough Tay sparkles below on Guinness' Estate and the Irish Sea is present in the background of Djouce and Crone Wood. Return is by the same route.

Grade: Easy
Duration:
1 Hour 20 Minutes

Sugarloaf - 501m, Co. Wicklow

Within easy reach of Dublin, the Sugarloaf is an easy start to the year's hill walking. Located off the N11 at Kilmacanogue, this 501m hill can be walked up anytime of year. Park in the gravel car park just off the link road and set off through the stile. There is a visible track through the grass towards the boulders and scree to the left. Aim for the righthand channel to bring you around counter clockwise first and then to switch back to clockwise (25 minutes from car park.) The gradient steepens as you follow the narrowing track up between ever tightly packed boulders minding not to go over on an ankle by the looses scree underfoot. After rainfall, attention is required on the slippy rock. Through the narrow gully and you arrive at the summit (501m, 45 minutes from car park) to views stretching from Dublin to Bray and down to Wexford. To the South West, Wicklow's mountains are visible especially Djouce. Return to the car park the same way.

Grade:   Easy
Time:    1 Hour 15 Minutes

Djouce - 725m, Co. Wicklow

Down the N11 and past the Sugarloaf, you'll soon ind yourself in the shade of Djouce. At 725m, Djouce is a fair height so close to Dublin and is made all the more easier with boards running from two seperate car parks Crone Woods and opposite Fancy mountain. If approaching from Tallaght, head to Viewpoint and continue on to Sally Gap where you take a left. Follow the narrow, twisty road down through forest canopies to arrive at a car park on your left on a steep incline with views of Fancy mountain to your right. Take up the forest trail and after ten minutes take a lefthand fork. March along this trail which brings you through the forest and past felled trees up to JB Malone monument. JB Malone was a pioneer of the Wicklow Way and this is a tribute to him. Views expand over Fancy and further down into Wicklow. Tread onwards along the boards towards White Hill. Djouce will now be in view along the sweeping ridge. Cross a stile and march to the top of White Hill (40 minutes from car park.) Walk across the ridge and stop at the fork in the boards. The boards lead down to Crone Woods but take the left trail off the boards and continue the steep ascent. Nearing the top, bear right to gain the summit (1 Hour from car park.) Return the same way.

Grade   Easy
Time    1 Hour 45 minutes

Fairy Castle - 537m, Co. Dublin

A cornerstone of the Dublin mountains fraternity, Fairy Castle stands between Three Rock and Tibradden mountains. A nice rambleing walk, it starts steep but levels out nearer the summit. Start at Kilmashogue car park just off the Whitechurch Road and follow the track into the forest watching out for the Wicklow Way posts marked in yellow writing. A steep start to the trek, it eases after around 35 minutes when it heads up along the forest line. Turn off to the right and follow the track upwards keeping the forest line to your left. A number of tracks vear off to your left but continue on to a crossroads. To the left, a track races up towards he cairn of Fairy Castle, 20 minutes from here and along the Dublin Mountains Way (DMW.) Turning to the right, the Wicklow Way contines with the DMW for a 20 minute section until you take a right turnoff to head up to Tibradden. 10 minutes along this track, railway sleepers appear and make the going that bit easier. Another 20 minutes later and you'll be at the summit cairn looking across at Glendoo mountin and back down towards South Dublin. The DMW dips down around Glendoo and on towards Massey's, the Hell Fire Club and eventually Tallaght via the Waterworks. The return journey to the car park is by the same route taken up.

Grade   Easy - Moderate
Time    3 - 3.5 Hours


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