Mass Path

4.4km there and back again (1 hour)
Grade: Class 3
Elevation change: less than 20 metres
Waymarking: green arrows
Dogs allowed on a lead

This historic walk leads from Kilcoole to the parish church of Kilquade. The Mass Path features beautiful views of the countryside, an old walled garden, Kilquade church, and at the turning around point an opportunity to stop at a garden centre café for refreshments.

Ballydonarea Loop

3.6km loop (45 mins)
Grade: Class 3
Elevation change: less than 20 metres
Waymarking: blue arrows
Dogs allowed on a lead

This popular walk leads from Kilcoole village to the Sea using a farm lane and rural footpath, then returns to Kilcoole via Sea Road. The walk can be extended by walking part of the coastal path toward Greystones or Newcastle.

Coastal Walk to Newcastle

4.2km one way (2 hours return)

From Kilcoole seafront, the coastal path leads south along a popular bird-watching route. There are beautiful vistas to the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. At the end of the walk there are options to explore the East Coast Nature Reserve at Newcastle beach.

From Kilcoole beach, head south. After about 2km, you will reach the railway bridge at the Breaches, an area where the sea flows into Kilcoole Marsh. Carefully cross the bridge and continue on to Newcastle’s Sea Road.

During the summer months, Birdwatch Ireland operate a protection area for the Little Tern. Stop and chat with a warden if one is available to see what other wildlife have been sighted at the beach.

Once at Newcastle, you can access the Nature Reserve by following Newcastle’s Sea Road inland for a short distance until you see the small car park on the left.

Coastal Walk to Greystones

4.3km one way (1 hour, 2 hours return)

From Kilcoole seafront, a coastal path leads along the railway tracks to Greystones, and beyond to Bray Head. One can either return to Kilcoole along the same track, by bus from Greystones (Dublin Bus 84), or take the intercity train (see Transportation page).

From Kilcoole beach, head north. You will pass houses on the left, many of which began as summer cottages. Behind the houses is Kilcoole Marsh, part of the Murrough complex.

Once past the houses keep a lookout for the ruins of Ballygannon House. A long overgrown laneway leads from the sea to the substantial ruins of barns and the still intact walled garden. The ruins are on private land.

Continue on the beach track until you reach Greystones.

Delgany Loop

7.6km (2.5 hours loop walk)

This walk allows you to continue from Kilcoole’s Mass Path north to Delgany village and then south again to the Mass Path.

Starting where the Mass Path joins the Kilquade road, head north briefly on the road, then take a left onto the path. Continue past farm fields along the stream, exiting at Farrenkelly Road. Go left along the cycleway and cross the road at the roundabout, returning back to rejoin the footpath. Cross through several gates and you will come out on a farm lane heading north near the N11. Just before you come to the N11, follow Blackberry Lane uphill to the right. This will lead on to Delgany, from whence you can return to Kilquade along Priory Road. See the map for details.

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Rock of Kilcoole – One of the best viewpoints for miles around, the Rock is a hidden gem at the heart of Kilcoole.

Church of St Comgall – Kilcoole’s medieval church was abandoned after the English Reformation but remains a powerful witness of centuries gone by. The burial ground contains many interesting and historical grave markers.

Darraghville House (Convent) – completed by John Darragh, Lord Mayor of Dublin, in 1782 as a summer home. The estate was sold to Holy Faith Sisters in 1894 and remained in their hands until recently passing to private investors. Two walled gardens and many stately old trees can be seen from the Mass Path.

Woodstock House – Once home to the influential Tottenham family, Woodstock was built in the 1770s on
extensive grounds. The house is now part of Druid’s Glen Golf Resort.

St Patrick’s Church Kilquade – this church was rebuilt after burning in the 1798 rebellion. Mass paths converge here from Kilcoole and Drummin.

Ballydonarea House – Once part of a larger holding centred at Greyfort on Sea Road, this estate was the birthplace in 1842 of Albert Hime, who went on to become prime minister of Natal in South Africa.

Donleavy Cottage – former home of J.P. Donleavy, author of The Ginger Man. The ruins of the house and studio where Donleavy wrote and painted are along the Ballydonarea Loop walk.

Ballygannon – An ancient estate bordering the sea, Ballygannon is now a ruin visible from the coastal path. Sea captain Hopton Scott shipwrecked nearby and was taken in by the Byrne family at Ballygannon. Scott fell in love with Randelia Byrne and they married in 1692. The last of the Scott family left Ballygannon in 1931.

The Breaches – A fantastic wetland habitat connected to the sea through a breach in the shore, this area is frequented by many waterfowl, including in summer the rare Little Tern.