Walk in Ireland – The One With The Finest Dublin City Viewpoint.
Fairies are an intrinsic part of Irish folklore and mythology. It’s a fascinating area of Irish Culture that’s full of mystery and intrigue.
To get a breath of fresh air, explore some fairy folklore and for the finest Dublin City viewpoint then walk this way along the Fairy Castle Loop walk from Glencullen in the Dublin Mountains.
Most walkers visit the 536m summit of Fairy Castle on a loop walk from Ticknock Forest in the Dublin Mountains. But for something a little bit different, try approaching Fairy Castle from Glencullen, following the Dublin Mountain Way. These heather-topped hills are packed with legendary tales.
There is a forest track and well made hill paths guiding you up to the large collapsed cairn at Fairy Castle in the Dublin mountains. As you approach Fairy Castle there are far reaching views to the south of the Wicklow mountains and across Dublin to Howth Head and the North County Dublin coast. On a fine day you can even see as far as the Mourne Mountains to the far north.
Fairy Castle, Two Rock Mountain, County Dublin.
Fairy Castle is a collapsed Bronze Age Cairn or passage tomb on the summit of Two Rock mountain, dating from 2000 – 2500BC. It has never been excavated. Two Rock Mountain takes its name from the two granite tors that lie to the south-east of the summit.
The tomb was once known by locals as ‘The Cave’ but it has since collapsed however and there is a belief by the locals that fairies still live within the remaining mound. Many regard these small embankments as sacred places which should not be touched. Incredibly, numerous stories have emerged through the years of people tampering with such sites around Ireland and going on to have bad luck.
The original Fairy Castle cairn is now topped by a much more recent one and located at the top of the climb at the highest point of the Dublin Mountains. From here there are great views over Dublin city and the coast.
The route then descends back the same way, along the hill paths and forest tracks back to the starting point.
Why not conquer the Fairy Castle climb and be rewarded with scenic views that are out of this world?
Pre-Historic Monuments in the Dublin Mountains.
There are many other prehistoric monuments on all sides of this mountain. There is a burial cairn on Tibradden, a wedge tomb at Kilmashogue, and another Wedge tomb at Ballyedmonduff in Glencullen Forest, on the south eastern slope of Two Rock.
The Ballyedmonduff Wedge Tomb is considered to be one of the finest examples of a wedge tomb in Ireland. The date of construction is approx c.1700 b.c (during the Bronze Age) and like many other wedge tombs is locally known as the ‘Giant’s Grave’.
Moderate Walk – Mix of terrain with gravel paths and forest tracks and 250m ascent. Signed paths lead the way to Fairy Castle.
8 km/4.97 Miles/2.5 to 3 hours.
Start and Finish at:
The car park at Glencullen Adventure Park (The Gap).
How to get there:
Situated in the Dublin/Wicklow mountain border and just 20 minutes from Dublin city centre, the GAP is located beside the R116 in Glencullen, County Dublin.
Walking Check List:
Check the weather and pack smart – Have a fully charged cell phone; Water; Snacks; Wear layers of appropriate clothing, waterproof jacket and correct footwear/waterproof hiking boots. Bring a camera for the fabulous views.
Leave word with someone about where you are going and approximately what time you expect to be back.
Never leave any items or valuables visible inside your parked vehicle.
The Gap Kitchen Cafe on Ballybrack Road in County Dublin have picnic tables outside where hungry walkers or cyclists can refuel on delicious burgers, light bites and tasty sweet treats. Plus they are all about sustainability, providing Eco friendly cutlery and biodegradable cups, and working with local suppliers, having their fresh bread and buns baked in Bray by Keegan Artisan Bakery and their 100% Irish beef and poultry is provided from Frank Doyle master butcher in Bray.
The Gap Kitchen cafe is located near the famous Johnnie Fox’s Pub nestled in the Dublin Mountains, if you have worked up a thirst on the hike. Johnnie Fox’s pub is famous for its seafood and traditional music sessions, so you can sit back and relax to the sounds of traditional Irish music, before heading back to Dublin.
Suggested Walking Guide:
Find more route details on Dublin Mountains Partnership and download a copy of the map.
Phone 999 or 112 and advise the emergency crew whether you need an Ambulance, the Gardaí (police), Fire Brigade or Mountain Rescue.
The Fairy Castle Loop Walk “Leave No Trace” principles are:
- Plan ahead and Prepare
- Be Considerate of Others
- Respect all Animals and Wildlife
- Travel on Durable Ground
- Leave What You Find
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Minimize the effects of fire.
Minimize your impact on the environment. Leave nothing but footprints & take nothing but photographs.
Explore County Dublin.
When you’re ready to explore beyond the city, Dublin’s got plenty of treasures in store for you, boasting beautiful surrounding landscapes, from breathtaking mountain hikes to coastal walks overlooking the deep blue Irish Sea.
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Note: Featured image at the top of the blog is of the Fairy Castle ruins in the Dublin Mountains © mountaintrails.ie
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