Romantic Walks and Strolls – Love is in the Air
Nothing beats a romantic ramble, leisurely walk or even a soppy stroll with your loved one. Arm in arm, or hand in hand. In the morning mist, or just as dusk is settling. A walk in the rain, or the dappled sunlight. Before a cosy meal or after a pint or two. Or maybe a coffee, or an ice-cream, or a big bag of salty chipper chips, soggy bottomed from vinegar. Which ever way you do it – there’s a walk for every mood. And plenty of romantic ones. Here are our five of the best romantic walks in Dublin. In no particular order, but we numbered them anyway. And for more walking inspiration read ‘The Blooming Best – Five Gorgeous Gardens to Walk in Dublin City‘.
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Through Georgian Dublin
Start your romantic walk at the Oscar Wilde Sculpture at the corner of one Dublin’s five historic Georgian squares; Merrion Square Park, on Merrion Square North. Take in the Georgian architecture and pretty doorways of Dublin. Off Merrion Square West – if you have time to explore, a visit to the National Gallery and Natural History Museum are worth your time.
Take a walk along Merrion Square West and along the Georgian Mile (northern end of Merrion Square to the top of Fitzwilliam Place) and visit Number Twenty Nine Fitzwilliam Street – a fully restored Georgian home. You can also spot the Pepper Canister Church in the distance and it’s only a short detour if you’d like a closer look. From No. 29, walk back along Fitzwilliam Street or James’s Street East to bring you on to Baggot Street, and from there walk to the famous St. Stephens Green – another fine spot to add to your romantic walks in Dublin list.
Along the Grand Canal
The stretch of Grand Canal between Emmet Bridge and La Touche Bridge, locally known as Portabello Bridge and onto Leeson Street Bridge is a short but enjoyable 20 minute stroll. You’ll spot swans, people on the water, and there’s a number of benches to sit at along Windsor Terrace, Portabello Road, and Charlemont Mall – should you so wish. There are also restaurants such as Locks Resaurant to distract you if you’ve worked up a hunger or thirst. Walk along the Grand Canal, city side as its calmer and more peaceful.
If you’d like a walk as opposed to a stroll then further past Leeson Street Bridge you’ll come to Grand Canal Lock 4 – also a destination to consider. Here you’ll find the Patrick Kavanagh Statue, and the gateway to a hive of activity when it comes to some great restaurants and bars. You can even wine and dine on the waters here aboard La Peniche. Take a left at Baggot Street Lower and it’ll lead you all the way back towards the city centre and St. Stephens Green.
The Phoenix Park & Farmleigh House
A walk through the Phoenix Park is always a good thing. Depending on how much you like to walk, you can make it a short stroll or a mini-adventure. Romantic walks or sweet strolls, it’s a definite contender for one of the best romantic walks in Dublin City.
Keep it simple with some deer spotting – there’s a herd of wild fallow deer in the park, a tradition that has lasted 350 years and one that is important to keep for the sake of the biodiversity of local wildlife. Keep your eye out for an ice-cream van. And end your romantic stroll with a 99 cone, topped with a chocolate flake, obviously.
Or make a day of it by walking from the Visitors Centre to Ashtown Castle and the Victorian Flower Gardens, Dublin Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin, The Magazine Fort and Farmleigh House and Gardens. A round trip walking from the Visitors Centre and back again will take about three hours. But this doesn’t take into account time spent at each site. Take them all in or pick and choose as you ramble around.
The South Great Wall
A walk along The South Great Wall out into Dublin Bay to Poolbeg Lighthouse with views across the sea and back to Dublin City is one of the most refreshing walks you’ll experience in the city. It can also be one of the most romantic, as you cosy up together as the blustery breeze tossels your hair.
One of the longest sea walls in Europe, The South Great Wall has been standing strong since the 1700s. Watch the ships and boats roll in and out of Dublin Bay. And if you’re interested you can time your visit to see some really impressive looking ships by visiting the Dublin Port and Marine Traffic websites.
Observe swimmers as they dive into the Irish Sea, from The Half Moon Swimming Club, a club that has been in existence since 1898. Watch wildlife and spot fishermen. On a clear day look across the waters to North Bull Island, Howth Head, and then Irishtown and Sandymount along the coast as far as Dún Laoighaire.
Getting to The South Great Wall can be tricky but this map will show you how to walk to it from the East Link Toll Bridge, this takes about 50 minutes, driving takes ten.
image source: William Murphy
There aren’t that many capital cities in Europe that boast of a beach a walk away from the city centre. And yet here we have Dublin, with its cityscape and landscape, from buildings and roads to mountains and pathways, harbours, a bay, canal and river. And of course its beach, Sandymount Strand, found at Sandymount Road in Dublin 4 and another great spot for romantic walks in Dublin.
Stretching about 1km, Sandymount Strand and the promenade offer views of Poolbeg and Dún Laoghaire. As well as Irishtown Nature Park – another area to note when looking for walking inspiration as it offers gorgeous walking trails around this area of the Poolbeg Peninsula.
Back to Sandymount Strand and halfway along the stretch you will come across a Martello Tower, one of the 16 that were built on Dublin’s south side. There were 28 in total – built along the Dublin coastline by the British, to protect against a possible invasion from Napoleon in the early 1800’s. Martello Towers are strong buildings and so have stood their ground over time. Today the one at Sandycove is now the ‘James Joyce Tower and Museum‘, aptly so for its feature in Ulysses. But you don’t have to go that far to find odes to Joyce.
Because heading north along Sandymount Strand is Irish Sculptor and artist Cliodna Cussen’s beautiful and inscribed stone sculpture ‘An Gallán Gréine do James Joyce‘ – The Sundial / Solar Pillar for James Joyce. Which, like Newgrange has been placed to illuminate light at winter solstice each year. At the north end of the strand you will come to the bold, beautiful and curvaceous sculpture ‘An Cailín Bán‘ by Mexican Artist Sebastian. A gift from Mexico to Ireland, the first of its kind, and a permanent artworks since 2002.
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