After a very lazy Christmas Day, I was definitely in need of a good stretch of the legs on St. Stephen’s Day. I managed to convince my family to get up early too and join me for out to trip out to Killiney for some fresh air!
I sold it as a short walk up Killiney hill but in the end 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. Deciding to go and check out White Rock Beach first, we took the path leading down from the parking area. It’s a little bit of a trek down to the beach but it’s worth it. Continue along the path and you’ll come to a bridge leading you over the railway track. Then there’s a steep enough stairway taking you down onto the beach.
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 and a man in the shelter who was happy to give us a full frontal. He was in no rush to get changed either, which made me wonder if White Rock is a nudist beach. On researching it, it seems the nudist beach is further up Vico Road, so maybe he just mixed them up!
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.
It was such a lovely morning we decided to wander a little further along Vico Road towards Dalkey before heading up Killiney Hill. 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, as 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 before following 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.
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 sit and enjoy the views out to nearby Dalkey Island and back along Vico Road towards Killiney Hill Park and Bray.
Killiney Hill Park
With my dad now getting worried that he was going to miss the horse racing on TV, it was time to head back and finally climb Killiney Hill!
We walked back to White Road beach where we were parked, as one of the entrances to Killiney Hill Park is just across the road. A panel displaying a map of the park is located at the start of some steps, which lead you up through the trees into the park.
Headed for the Obelisk at the top of Killiney Hill, we took a left at the top of the steps, following the path until it meets the other trails in the park and where you’ll find another panel and map. Take a left here again heading up the steps. It’s a bit steep but not too strenuous as it’s a short enough distance. 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 and 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 that we’d worked off maybe a couple of mouthfuls of the Christmas trifle and already looking forward to another big feed!
Other Short Walks in Dublin