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Spring strolls are good for the soul

Winter fades, and two flowers appear.

Is it the fresh air, the sunshine or the greenery putting a pep in our step this time of year? Hard to tell, but easy to embrace.

Besides releasing endorphins, boosting moods and increasing motivations, it’s proven that being one with nature inspires and supports us to grow, heal and learn. It’s where we develop a sense of belonging and restore our self-acceptance. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with the ones you care about — woolly and otherwise.

Now’s the perfect time to don your Donegal socks, pull out your picnic blanket, stuff your pockets with your favourite snacks (maybe a Nóbo bar or two) and enjoy the anticipated chill of fresh spring air.

The true charm of pedestrians does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking.

Mark Twain

Springwalks 1

Not all routes begin in Dublin. Although a smattering of good ones do. We originally crafted this list as a gift to our employees in the hopes of getting everyone out from behind their desks and into the great outdoors. The general consensus was that it was a gift worth sharing.

Before you set off on one of our recommended routes around Ireland, here are a few hiking essentials we'd be lost without:

  • Bean and Goose's shareable bark.
  • A pre-stroll Craft Cocktail to warm you from the toes up.
  • A BAGGU bag to tout necessary supplies.

A sandy saunter

For those seeking sand beneath their feet, good walking spots might be found around Sandymount, D1, D2, D4 and Ringsend. Meet at the yellowing rosehip bush by the entrance to Sandymount Strand from Séan Moore Park. Make your way along the stretch of sand, then out along South Wall towards Poolbeg Lighthouse. Finish off with a steaming cup of coffee from Strand Fare on the edges of Sandymount Green. Make sure to check the tide times before setting off for this one.

Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick, crick... I am, a stride at a time.

Stephen Dedalus

Town squares

Meet at the steps of Pepper Cannister Church on Upper Mount Street. Slowly saunter through Merrion Square and count the daffodils as you go — if you listen closely enough, you might hear the Oscar Wilde statue whisper ‘Illusion is the first of all pleasures.’ Walk through Stephen’s Green to reach the Iveagh Gardens (entrance off Clonmel Street) and finish up somewhere warm and cosy, perhaps inside the Commons Cafe at the Museum of Modern Literature?

Take a trip back in time

Those who like a little walk history ought to head in the direction of Rathmines, Rathfarnham, Terenure, Templeogue or Dundrum.

Marlay Park

Meet at the steps of Marlay Park House. Visit the nearby enclosed walled garden, then walk the lakeshore. Finish amongst the flock of fowl at Boland’s Coffee Shop.

St. Edna's Park

Meet at St. Enda's Taylors Lane Car Park. Walk the park and visit Pádraig Pearse’s School House café.

Springwalks 2

I gave it to Molly
Because she was jolly,
The leg of the duck,
The leg of the duck.

Cissy in James Joyce's Ulysses

Make it a quick one

Pushed for time? Head out towards Chapelizod, Inchicore, Kilmainham, Stoneybatter.

Chapelizod

Meet at the Obelisk (Wellington Monument) in Phoenix Park and take the low road west (Wellington Road which becomes Military Road which turns into Upper Glen Road) and drop down into Chapelizod from the park. End at Báaba Café.

Two Gardens

Meet at the GAA clubhouse beside the gate on the east side of the National War Memorial Gardens. Walk against the flow of the Liffey to Chapelizod to end at Báaba. Or, after the gardens, walk back east to IMMA to see the Royal Hospital Gardens. Itsa Café in the main museum courtyard is a good resting point.

Springwalks 4

Sprawling coastlines

Soak up the sights of coastal delights and the sounds of the seagulls by taking a stroll along the strips of Sandycove, Monkstown, Blackrock, Mount Merrion and Kilmacud.

Pier

Gather at the Canon on Dun Laoghaire Pier and walk out with an ice cream in hand from Teddy’s stand on the end of the jetty. Don't forget to kick the wall or else it doesn't count. Finish up by taking a pew on the lawns of People’s Park.

Pebbled bays

Meet by the bike racks outside the car park at Killiney Dart Station. Fred & Nancy’s silver airstream on the North end of the beach is open until 18:00 and serves homemade gelato or heartwarming hot toasties, depending on whether you've worked up an appetite.

Hilly hikes

Meet under the trees of Killiney Hill Car Park and head off on a loop to see great shapes: the great obelisk, pyramid and square. Not to mention the entire skyline of Dublin City and Killiney Beach down below. Killiney Room Tea Rooms for sweet and savoury treats post-amble.

Springwalks 3

What wonders you’ll find in the garden

Known as the Garden County, from its mountains to its beautiful beaches, Wicklow is a magical place to visit and just a short train or car journey from Dublin. You'll find an unrivalled variety of trees, plants, and shrubs throughout the county’s various planted gardens while the natural landscape provides a garden of its own.

Visit one of the many beautiful lakes such as Glendalough, Lough Tay or Lough Bray. If you'd rather stay local, Greystones and Enniskerry also have plenty of wild wonders to offer, too.

Bray Seafront

From the train station, walk the Victorian Promenade South, get a hot chocolate in Finbees and return to sip on stout and hear ancient mariners' tales at the Harbour Bar.

Marinas

Meet at the South Beach car park. Pick up a coffee and perhaps a gingerbread man or other home-baked treat from the friendly folk at the Fat Fox. Walk past Ladies Bay and the harbour, along the North beach to the beginning of the Cliff Walk. If there's life in your legs yet, venture on to Bray. Return (by Dart or foot) via St. Crispin's Cell for something a little stronger on the patio in front of the Beach House overlooking the harbour.

Little or Great Sugar Loaf

The Little Sugar Loaf is situated between the village of Kilmacanougue and the seaside town of Bray in Co. Wicklow. The Little Sugar Loaf has a summit height of 342m and sits in the shadow of its big brother the Great Sugar Loaf (501m). This is a really fun hike, that gives instant views of the sea and mountains on Wicklow’s beautiful coastline.

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If you take anything from this, let it be proof that gifts come in all shapes and forms. Interested in better gifting at scale for your teams, like a curated kit of hiking essentials? Reach out. We're good at figuring out how to delight and excite.


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Imperfect paths

Notes on an artist: Richard Long.

&Open Jun 18, 2020