Hilltop Walking Tour Dublin
Find the real magic of the emerald isle in the unspoilt wilderness of the Dublin mountains. On each of the peaks of the Dublin mountains stands a neolithic cairn culminating in the last and best preserved of these, Fairy Castle. Erected around 5000 years ago, they remain a mystery to us today. Nobody knows for sure why they were put there but what we do know is that whispers of legends have, over the last 5000 years created a whole mythology surrounding the cairns. Ancient pagan gods, faeries, burial rituals, lay lines and power spots are just the start of these mysterious stone monuments that have stood the test of time and will continue to stand in the silence of the Dublin mountains long after we are all gone. Furthermore, in a story that could only come out of Ireland, learn how a group of young Irish students blagged their way into becoming respected international archaeologists by “discovering” an ancient Irish burial mound atop the Dublin mountains. “Discovering” in this case involved building a mound almost from scratch….
Standing at the peak of Fairy Castle is one of the most breathtaking views you will get in this part of the world. The panorama takes in both County Dublin and County Wicklow. County Wicklow’s most famous peaks, the Sugar loaves, slope gently down to the sparkling Irish sea and on a clear day you can see all the way to Wales. On a misty day, don’t despair! as the green mountains and iron-grey sea evoke a time of old – an Ireland long lost to history. Whatever the case, it is a view not to be missed.
Learn about the unique flora of the Dublin mountains, how Irish plants from the Dublin mountains were used during war time in Europe as invaluable medical items, where the saying “burning the candle at both ends” came from and why nothing rots at the top of the mountains. Other sightings for day the could include deer, hares, rabbits, lizards, frogs andnewts amongst the other colourful wildlife to be seen.
These hills are more than just ancient history and nature. They played a very important role in Ireland’s modern history too. The Dublin Mountains made the perfect hide out for republicans during the war of independence. Irishmen who knew these mountains like the back of their hands would use their superior knowledge of the area to their advantage. Ranging from huge mass camp outs of republicans, including very famous names in Irish history, invisible hidey-holes under stones and secret tunnels criss crossing the mountains to “mass stones” erected for Catholic men, women and children to hear mass illegally, the Dublin mountains have seen it all.
On our way out of the mountains see the infamous blue light of Smugglers pub, used to send secret messages to ships out to see letting them know when it was safe to come in to land and when they had to stay out a little longer to keep all sorts of illegal items, often for the republican cause out of the hands of the British. We will also walk through a little copse which it seems has been lost to time. A tiny little part of Dublin where time seems to have stood still. The houses are ancient, the forest untouched, a little piece of paradise, before we reach one of the most sacred sites on the island of Ireland, today marked by the first purpose built protestant church in Ireland.