Dublin / Hikes & Walks / Leinster

Dalkey and Killiney Hill – Coastal Views for Miles

After a very lazy Christmas Day, I was definitely in need of stretching the legs on St. Stephen’s Day. It looked like it would be a fine day so I figured Killiney Hill would be a good option. I even managed to convince my family to get up early and join me for for some fresh air!

While I sold it as a short walk up Killiney Hill, we did manage to add on a few extra kilometres. This really is a very scenic part of Dublin with stunning coastal views.  So if you make the trip out it’s well worth exploring Killiney and Dalkey a little.

White Rock Beach

We parked on Vico Road above White Rock beach and across from Killiney Hill Park. Easily distracted, we decided to go and check out White Rock Beach first. It’s a little bit of a trek down to the beach but it’s worth it. Follow the path downhill from the parking area. You’ll come to a bridge leading you over the railway track. Then there’s a steep enough stairway which takes you down onto the beach below.

It’s a lovely cove, with scenic views towards Bray Head and the Sugar Loafs. There’s a bathing shelter and it seems to be a popular swimming spot for locals. There were quite a few people getting in and out of the water for a dip. One man in the shelter was happy to give us the full frontal. There is a nudist friendly beach further up Vico Road so perhaps it’s caught on.  Who knows!

We spent a little time enjoying the early morning sun on the beach and then started the climb back up to Vico Road. The weather has been pretty mild for this time of year and having warned up from the climb, we ditched the coats in the car before going any further.

Hawk Cliff

It was such a lovely morning we decided to wander a little further along Vico Road towards Dalkey. Killiney Hill would just have to wait! I was keen to check out Hawk Cliff, having seen lots of lovely images from here online and according to Google maps it was only about 700km away.

It wasn’t signposted but is basically the next public access path you’ll come to. That’s if you continue walking along Vico Road in the direction of Dalkey. A couple were emerging from the path as we passed but they said it was the way to Vico Baths, so we continued on. We realised a little later they are one and the same, so we wandered down for a look on our way back.

A winding path leads you down the cliff and again you need to cross a bridge over the railway line. Then just follow the steps down to what has to be one of the most unique swimming spots in Dublin. This is the nudist friendly swimming spot apparently, though we didn’t see any sign stating that and unlike at White Rock beach, everyone here was actually togged up! It seems that there may be some public opposition, which is maybe why there is no signage up. 

Sorrento Park

Having initially missed Hawk Cliff, we had continued to the end of Vico Road and taken a right onto Coliemore Road. We passed an entrance for Sorrento Park, which looks pretty unremarkable from the road but actually has some stunning 360 views if you take the short climb to the summit. 

There are are couple of benches at the top, where you can catch your breath. Relax and enjoy the views to nearby Dalkey Island and along Vico Road towards Killiney Hill Park and Bray.

Killiney Hill Park

By now my dad was getting worried that he was going to miss his sports on TV.  It was time to head back and finally climb Killiney Hill!

We went back to White Road beach where we were parked. There’s an entrance to Killiney Hill Park just across the road. A flight of steps lead you up into the park and there’s an information panel with a handy reference map.

We headed for the Obelisk at the top of Killiney Hill so took a left at the top of the steps. The path continues on and joins up with other trails in the park. At that point there’s another information panel and map. A left here took us up some steep steps  but nothing too strenuous. It’s a short enough distance and again the views to Bray Head, the Wicklow mountains, Dublin Bay and city are well worth the climb.

Killiney Hill Park is small enough to explore easily. It also includes Dalkey Hill and Dalkey Quarry, a popular rock climbing spot. There are great views in all directions so if you have time try another track or two. If you’re feeling peckish after your efforts head for the Tower Tea Rooms, which is near the Killiney Hill Road entrance to the park.

We headed for home, happy in the knowledge we’d worked off a couple of mouthfuls of the Christmas trifle and already looking forward to more!

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