Close your eyes and picture Dublin in your mind.  What do you see?

What if we told you that right on Dublin’s doorstep, only a short drive or bus trip away from the city centre, you could find yourself bouldering over large outcrops slap bang in the middle of the fantastic Dublin Mountains  or out  discovering Dublin’s coastal beauty on a 54-foot ocean-going yacht?

Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains shot from Dalkey

Often a surprise for visitors, the diversity of Dublin’s landscape caters to an equally diverse range of outdoor activities for young and old. If you are a thrill seeker looking for an adrenaline-fueled escapade, or if you are looking for a more leisurely paced activity, Dublin’s great outdoors has something for you.

The beautiful Dublin Mountains provide an incredible recreational facility. If you are looking for a leisurely family walk on an easy looped trail, a guided cross county hike along rocky forest paths, a spin on a mountain bike along a mountain bike trail, zorbing, paragliding, rock-climbing, zip lining, abseiling, horse riding, a mountain run, a bit of bouldering over the tors of Three Rock, or orienteering on one of Dublin’s five permanents orienteering courses, the trails and forests of the Dublin Mountains has something for you.  Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Dublin city and join in the many regular events that are run in the recreation sites such as Ticknock, Pine Forest and the infamous Hell Fire Club! You can even try your hand at skiing and snowboarding on an artificial ski slope in the Dublin hills at Kilternan.

Nearer at hand, the numerous parks and gardens of Dublin, many of which are built and managed by Dublin City Council and the other local authorities covering Dublin County,  offer opportunities for rest, relaxation and recreation. Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest urban park with a staggering  707 hectares offering Dublin Zoo, Farmleigh House, a visit to Aras an Uachtarain (the official residence of the Irish President), bike hire, walks, runs, markets, concerts and assorted events. You can play a number of different sports in Dublin’s parks in the playing fields, boules fields, tennis courts, athletic tracks, golf and pitch-and-putt courses, basketball courts, all-weather training areas, skateparks and an increasing number of cycleways, fitness trails and walks along tree trails.  Fantastic playgrounds await the younger visitors.  Rock-climbing and skateboarding await the more daring.  People watching and picnics await those who want a slower paced activity.

For water babies, the rivers, canals and coast Dublin offer a staggering array of outdoor adventures promising thrills and spills aplenty.  Fishing, rowing, swimming, sea and river kayaking, sailing, waterskiing, running on water on aqua spheres, scuba diving, windsurfing, canoeing, kite surfing, snorkelling, paddle boarding, power boating and rafting all await you. Little ones will love rockpooling, collecting sea shells and stones and may even spot some seals and dolphins.  Dublin has many beaches dotted along the coastline. Not many capitals can boast the sandy stretches Dublin enjoys and there’s a beach to suit everyone’s taste – even if you are just looking for some ice-cream!!

Some of the best links courses in Europe are located along the Dublin coastline.  So if you fancy a tough course, or just bringing your family along for a go at a 7 hole golf course for a few hours, then trying out one of more than 40 golf courses in Dublin might be the activity for you.

So what are you waiting for, stop reading this, get your boots on and get out and enjoy Dublin’s great outdoors!