Dublin Runnin’

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day and all things Irish I thought I’d share a few of my favourite places to run in Dublin; a fun and vibrant city I visited only a few weeks ago.

Places to run in Dublin:

Phoenix Park:

This is an absolutely huge park to the west of the city that’s accessed through a number of large iron gates. There’s plenty of open parkland and paths to traverse as you criss-cross the main road that runs dead straight through the middle of park.

There are plenty of monuments and buildings within the park, including the residences for the Republic Ireland and the American Ambassador. Word to the wise: don’t try and peer through the gates at the US residence when there’s a huge black limo trying to get in right behind you!

The park hosts a number of races over the year and is perfect for tempos and intervals, although there are some undulations in and around the park to keep you on your toes.

River Liffey:

The river than runs through the heart of this city. Perfect for getting a feel for the city, you can check out both old and new architecture sitting along its banks.

IMG_1046
Plenty of sculptures can be found along the banks of the Liffey

There are plenty of bridges that cross the river, from the 19th Century Ha’penny bridge, to the more modern Millenium bridge. There are paths along either side of the river (including some newly created boardwalks on the North side) although it can be get a little noisy with the nearby road, especially at peak times

 

Eastern Dublin- Clontarf & Bull Island:

A bit of an unexpected find. I looked at the map before I left and realised I could probably make it out to this area and back within an hour so decided to give it a try.

There’s a great waterside promenade as you head through Clontarf , with plenty of space for cycling commuters and runners. I was incredibly lucky to have timed my morning run with the sun rising up ahead so was treated to some excellent views out towards the sea.

Bull Island itself is a long, rectangular spit of land that is connected to the main part of Dublin via a couple of bridges. Its home to plenty of grassy sand dunes and offers uninterrupted views out to sea and back to the city.

Crossing the tiny (and aptly named) Wooden Bridge at the southern end of the Island, I eventually only had water to one side and the undulating dunes to the left of me, being pushed along by the strong wind that day. You can follow the path past the flat, sandy beach to the very end and reach the sculpture of Our Lady Start of the Sea and look along the entire length of the island.

Of course any wind that’s benefiting you one way will bite back on the return leg so it was a bit harder (and slower) getting home despite my attempts at drafting behind peddling commuters!

Royal Canal:

IMG_1087I didn’t get a chance to run along the canal but did walk along parts of the towpath that arcs away from Dublin Bay. It’s a peaceful path, but with plenty of views nearby such as the massive Croke Park stadium to the north and the expanding waterside developments to the south. A great way of getting to other areas of the city (such as the Botanical Gardens) without the need to cross too many roads.

 

Top Dublin Tips:

Of course you can’t just run while around Dublin all day so there’s plenty that’s easily to explore. Here are a few highlights:

Temple Bar:

Cobbled streets full of pubs and bars with plenty of atmosphere during day and especially in the evenings. For something a little different try a bit Ping Pong or Table Football at Buskers on the Ball. If you’re up for a little comedy (and free ice cream during the interval) then check out Comedy Crunch on Sunday nights in the basement of the Stag’s Head pub!

City Centre Squares & Green Spaces:

There are plenty of small rectangular city parks dotted all across the South side of the city with plenty of paths to walk along and places to sit down and watch the world go by. Enjoy a wander around St Stephen’s Green or check out the art sellers around the edge of Merrion Square. If you’re into your flora then a visit to the Botanical Gardens (towards the North of the city) and its numerous palm houses and outdoor gardens is worth a venture.

Howth:

A short hop on the DART system leads you to the small harbour village of Howth. Once you’ve nosed around the harbour, hike up the nearby hills and cliffs to get some excellent views of the island named Ireland’s Eye as well as a views back towards this every expanding city.

Pubs:

No visit to Dublin would be complete without a drink of the black stuff and there are plenty of drinking establishments to choose from. I’ve already mentioned a few above but that are plenty around Temple bar to tempt you and sample ‘the craic’ inside.

Food:

The city is full of eateries catering for a number of tastes. Here’s my pick:

  • Pitt Bros BBQ– Some quite awesome ribs and slow cooked meat to chow down, plus a free ice cream for desert: What’s not to love!
  • Jo’Burger– No boring burgers here, just a range of great ingredient combinations to suit anyone’s palate.
  • Lolly and Cooks– Hearty warming stews and a selection at cakes on offer at their George’s Street Arcade stall. Venture further down this small arcade for a number of other places to fill you up.
  • Woollen Mills– If you fancy something a bit special for breakfast then try out their brunch menu.
  • Rolling Donut– A couple of locations in the city selling some fab donuts. Try ‘The Dub’ with the classic combination of chocolate icing and vanilla custard creme! Don’t eat too many though
  • Brother Hubbard– Great for a coffee and a cake or scone. In the evenings they also eastern inspired food.

If you’d like a more comprehensive review of things to do in Dublin then its worth visiting my (apparently long suffering) travel companion’s post about the city at Girl with a Saddle Bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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