I bought my bike four years ago and since then I have became very fond of cycling. Together, we have discovered and explored many new areas of Dublin.I particularly enjoy going for long trips and here are three of my favourite places for a day-long cycle trip:
- The Dublin Mountains
- Bull Island
The Dublin Mountains
On a sunny day the Dublin Mountains offer the perfect spot for taking beautiful panoramic pictures. From the top, you can see all the way from the Wicklow Mountains to Howth and beyond!
Unfortunately, there is no easy access and the best way to go is by bike. For the first 11km you will cycle through the city on roads where there isn’t always a cycle lane so you will need to pay attention to the traffic.
The hardest part starts when the road goes uphill as you leave the city. I always push my bike for the last 200 metres before reaching the car park where I lock it and start walking to the top.
The 4km walk to the summit passes through a beautiful pine forest and I enjoy the silence and peacefulness that it offers.
Another enjoyable ride for a day out follows the northside coastal road towards Bull Island. After passing Fairview Park the cycle lane is nicely laid very close to the coastline and away from the cars which makes it safe and offers beautiful views of the sea and Dublin harbour.
I usually enter Bull Island through the Wooden Bridge and lock my bike in one of the of the car parks on the left-hand side of the road. From there you can either walk inland, among the tall grass (being careful not to fall into the many holes made by rabbits living under this sandy ground!) or along the seashore. On a windy day you will see many kite-surfers practising their skills jumping above the waves. Bull Island is the perfect place to find some quietness and stare at the relaxing movements of the sea.
This ride is the longest and passes through hidden alleys and some of the nicest of the southside Dublin neighbourhoods. One of them is Ballsbridge, home of many embassies, including the the honeycomb-shaped American Embassy, a relatively modern building when compared to the beautiful old georgian buildings which house most of the other embassies.
Having passed Ballsbridge, the cycle lane then follows the southside coastal road and passes through Dun-Laoghaire, running past its piers. It’s worth stopping here to grab an ice cream and join the many people you’ll find here enjoying a nice stroll around the harbour. The road then follows a cycling-only path that goes through quiet alleys until it reaches the centre of Dalkey. After about 16km from the start of your journey, here is a good place to reward yourself with some cake and a coffee in one of the many small and charming coffee shops in this pretty village.
Emanuela (Administrator, Central School of English)
Simon is the Director of Studies at the Central School of English in Dublin