Three Rock and Fairy Castle

START AT the Blue Light pub near Lamb Doyle's to ramble the hills popular with generations of Dubliners. The poet Winifred M Letts (1882-1972) recalled the area in her lines, “At Barnacullia all the whins were bright to see as guinea gold”. Take the path near the quarry which supplied granite for city buildings.


Although eroded by motorcycles, mountain bikes and horses, many tracks provide a variety of moderate rambles. Communication masts mark Three Rock. Follow a steep track to the cairn on Fairy Castle, 536m. That's a good place to stop and eat lunch, or “drum up” in hikers' parlance. Beyond Glencullen, the panorama extends to the Sugar Loaf and the Wicklow Mountains.

Turn south-east to two granite outcrops named Two Rock. Turn right on a main path and follow woodland tracks to a forest road. On a clear day, encroaching suburbs and Dublin Bay are in view. Past a car barrier, a path to the right descends to the starting point near Barnacullia. This popular walking area should be managed as part of a regional park.

Thanks to Rob Dawson and Na Coisithe.

More Leisure Walks near Dublin by Joss Lynam, 2004. OS Discovery map 50. Access from M50 near Ballinteer to R113. Bus 44C to Stepaside