Walk 3rd Nov 2018
Dun Laoghaire – Dalkey – Killiney
The weather forecast at the decision time for what route to choose for our walk, was challenging. Everywhere in our normal geographical area look wet, or potentially wet! But then, lo and behold, a small ‘window’ appeared right on my own doorstep! It didn’t look perfect, but compared to the rest, it was the best!
25 of us met up at Café Insomnia beside Meadows and Byrne in DunLaoghaire, a big crowd given the conditions, and set off on the walk at close to 10:00 hrs. There were spots of rain to accompany us with a SW breeze, conditions which persisted for most of the walk.
We headed in a southerly direction along the sea front, past the East Pier and the Lexicon building (Library) and then followed the promenade alongside Scotsman’s bay. This led us to Sandycove Harbour; the 40ft, the famous all year round bathing place, and The James Joyce Tower. The latter is a Martello tower which Joyce used in the opening scenes of his novel Ulysses. Incidently, Martello towers date back to Napoleonic times and were built as defensive structures against invasion. At the time, they were considered ‘bombproof’!
We continued on our ‘journey’ along Sandycove Ave . East, Breffni Rd., to Bullock Harbour. This was constructed in the early 19th century at what was a rocky, sheltered natural harbour. To make the harbour as it is now, local granite stone was used, probably excavated from the Dalkey quarries from where the stone was taken to build the Dun Laoghaire harbour, the construction of which also started at the same time.
From here we walked along Harbour Rd., past St Patrick’s and Church and Loreto School, continuing on Leslie Ave., to Coliemore Rd and on to Colimore Harbour. This harbour is situated on Dalkey Sound and provides the closest access point for Dalkey Island.
From here we started the uphill part of the walk on Colimore Rd. to Sorrento Tce. and Vico Rd. As we ascended Vico Rd, we enjoyed the magnificent views over Kiilliney Bay all the way south to Bray Head.
At the top of the hill, we turned left and downhill towards Killiney beach onto Strathmore Rd., forking right at Bono’s front gate! We stopped here for a photo but Bono didn’t join us!
We continued uphill on Strathmore Rd to Killiney Hill Rd and which brought us to Killiney Village. From here we continued uphill into the Killiney Hill park and to the obelisk at the summit of Victoria Hill. Apparently as a fact, the obelisk was constructed in 1742 by a John Mapas, landowner, to provide much needed employment at the time for the local population. I had wrongly thought it was erected to commemorate the visit of Queen Victoria to Dublin in or about 1849!
At the summit and in spite of the grey, overcast day, we were still treated to fabulous views over Killiney Bay and sweeping south / south west, taking in the Sugarloaf, Prince William Seat and Three Rock mountains.
We then descended towards Dalkey Hill, stopping in a sheltered spot in the dip between the two hills for a short snack break. At the old ruined watch tower on Dalkey Hill, which overlooks Dalkey quarry (the source of the stone used to build the harbours we passed earlier), we were treated to more fab views, this time looking north / northeast over Dublin and Dublin Bay to Howth.
From here we made our way downhill to Dalkey village via, Ardbruagh Rd and Sorrento Rd, which brought us onto Dalkey main street and the Queens Bar where we enjoyed our customary after walk bowl of soup – or whatever! Another great walk which the weather failed to dampen!
Distance: 10.4 kms, – Time: 2 hrs 46 mins. Total ascent: 325m