Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dalkey and Killiney

Between Dublin City and the rural playground that is all of County Wicklow, where a small peninsula and accompanying island stick out into the Irish Sea, Ireland's rich and famous make their homes.

And for good reason.

Down there in the beautiful seaside villages of Dalkey and Killiney, some of the most expensive real estate in Europe overlooks the beautiful sea and the coastal mountains—all within a quick train (or stretch limousine) ride away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin. 

We'd also heard that Dalkey and Killiney have a great hilltop park between them with great trails and great views. Excited, we took the DART down the coast on Easter Monday to find...fog.

Fog on Dalkey Hill Dublin, Ireland
Fog on Dalkey Hill

The air was clear at our place when we left; the air was clear on the train going south; the air was clear getting off the train. As we approached the seaside cliffs walk, we watched the thick fog roll in from the Irish sea, pushing up the hill from sea level. From where we were on the seaside, we could see nothing but a midday gray-out. We walked down to one of many swimming beaches on Dublin's coast before heading uphill into the hilltop park. Thankfully...

Looking Down at a Cloud Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland
Looking Down at a Cloud

Sugarloaf in the Fog
Sugarloaf in the Fog

We climbed above the fog line into clear blue sky. In the distance to the south, we could see the top of the Great Sugarloaf in the Wicklows peeking up out of its own fog bank.

Even more strangely, when we got to the north edge of the park and looked toward the city, the weird sea fog could only be seen around Howth. Dublin seemed to be protected by the Dalkey/Bray peninsulas to the south and Howth to the north. It was strange stuff looking from right to left; a thick fog obscuring everything here, a cityscape stretching for miles there.

Dun Laoghaire and Dublin from Dalkey Hill
Dun Laoghaire and Dublin from Dalkey Hill

After admiring Dublin to the north, we headed south to the other rise of this double-humped hill. The other side of the park faced Killiney, where the real money is. But first we had to get there, climbing up the attractive trail.

Steps up Killiney Hill
Steps up Killiney Hill

On the Killiney peak, we looked at the obelisk...because there isn't anything else to do with an obelisk, I guess. This obelisk and a nearby step pyramid were built as pleasant hilltop monuments in the eighteenth century. Today, they are just nice landmarks serving as a backdrop for the panoramic view of the sea and South County Dublin.

Killiney Obelisk
Killiney Obelisk

From the top, we could really see the effect of the sea fog. It must have been the warm air hitting the cold water of the sea, because the fog had very little staying power over the land below.

Fog Dying over Land Killiney, Dublin, Ireland
Sea Fog Dying over Land

I was hoping to take notes on the correct way to get from the south side of Killiney Hill back to the DART station so I could include this walk in an upcoming "Easy Hikes on the DART Line" section for The Frugal Guide, but we took a wrong turn coming into the village and ended up walking way too far inland, ending up closer to Dun Laoghaire, four DART stops from where we planned to finish our day. Oh well, it was a nice day, and we saved four stops' fare for our homeward journey!

I still plan to include this scenic walk in the book in some way, but I'll have to find a Cory-proof route to describe and map first!


  1. Great photos from above the fog! It's so strange how often the fog rolls in like that, but only in Killiney. No where else in Dublin. I've never thought to go up the hill above it. Tiernan's parents live just below it on the Killiney side. Like an ashamed we don't go up more kind of proximity. The locals call that obelisk the Witch's Hat. Other than the shape, I don't know why.

    It is harder to get up the hill from the far side. If you're coming from Killiney station you need to take a small local access path across from the station. It's not very well maintained, but I have gone down it in heels. It connects up to Marino Ave West at the top of the hill and goes past the houses of the rich and famous and a 6th Century Monastic site that is basically a grave yard in someone's back yard... The whole thing feels like walking down someone's driveway, but it's a road. Then you can turn right onto Killiney Road and follow it right up to the hill. It's definitely an inland trek to get up there. I've thought about trying the next road down, which is more coastal, but I'm not sure if there is public access the whole way along it. A footpath friendly route would be left out of Killiney Dart station, right on to Military Road and then right on to Killiney Road. There are a lot of lanes that aren't on maps as well. If I find any, I'll let you know!

    1. Sounds like you know the neighborhood very well! I still haven't been back to scout the easiest way, but I'm looking forward to getting down there again. It's a great walk, as you know already!


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