Overview : What the hills to the east of the main Dublin/Wicklow range may lack in height, they more than make up for in terms of views and... more »
Overview : What the hills to the east of the main Dublin/Wicklow range may lack in height, they more than make up for in terms of views and... more » ambience. This guide covers a half-day trip from the suburban village of Shankill out as far as The Scalp, a glacial outflow formed at the end of the last Ice Age and an important site of geological interest. Along the way it passes through a variety of woodland as well as the site of the former Ballycorus leadmines, an important industrial heritage site. The trip is topped off by a stop at the summit of Carrickgollogan, a mere 276 metres high but a hill that commands an incredible 360 degree panoramic view over Killiney Bay, Bray Head, the Little and Great Sugar Loaf mountains and the Dublin/Wicklow mountains. The trail makes use of part of the existing long-distance Dublin Mountains Way route along with local trails - the Rathmichael Walk, Scalp Lookout Trail and the Lead Mines Way, all of which are maintained by the Dublin Mountains Partnership. less «
There is limited on-street parking in Shankill and reaching the start of this trip is best done by public transport either by DART or ... more »Dublin Bus (Route 145).
The trails are well marked and maintained and can be walked with trail shoes, although some parts can be quite muddy depending on the weather.
There are ample shops, pubs and restaurants/cafes in Shankill to stock up on supplies before you head out or for refreshments at the end. less «
This small cross, found at the end of Rathmichael Lane, dates from the 12th century and is one of what are known as the Fassaroe Crosses, all of which are believed to have been the work of the same stonemason. The cross consists of a crucifixion scene in high relief on one side and false releif on the other. It is believed the cross may have... More marked the route between the churches at Rathmichael (which is close-by) and Kiltuck to the east.Less
Shortly after entering Rathmichael Wood the trail diverges from the Dublin Mountains Way, following the Rathmichael Walk, marked with green arrows.
Rathmichael Wood is a mixture of coniferous and broadleaf woodland and gorse covered scrub. The trail ascends a small grassy hill from which there are splendid views towards Bray Head. This area was the site of a former ringfort or rath, the remains of which can be discerned among a copse of trees close to the top.
At this point the trail leaves the Rathmichael Walk and rejoins the Dublin Mountains Way to reach Carrickgollogan Wood.
At this junction, shortly after entering Carrickgollogan Wood, the trail again leaves the Dublin Mountains Way continuing straight ahead to reach the lead mines chimney.
The chimney formed part of the Ballycorus lead mining and smelting operation, which was active from the early 19th century up to the 1920s. Mining began in 1907 and soon a major smelting operation established itself at Ballycorus, located in the valley below the location of the chimney. The lead works processed not only lead and silver mined... More locally but also lead mined in Glendalough, which was transported by train from Rathdrum to Shankill, and from the Laxey mine on the Isle of Man. The lead was mainly used for pipes and roofing in many of the houses built in Dublin at this time.
The chimney was constructed in 1836. A 2km long flue connected it to the lead works in the valley below. The vapours from the lead furnances travelled down the flue before escaping into the air through the chimney. Lead precipitated on the walls of the flue and was then collected by hand. It is the only example of such a flue and chimney to have been built in Ireland.
The chimney, which is made of granite, was originally much taller with a slender brick section, now dismantled, rising high above a viewing platform that was reached by a spiral staircase. The staircase and platform is still intact, although the lower sections have been removed for safety reasons.Less
Approaching the exit to Carrickgollogan Wood, the trail again rejoins the Dublin Mountains Way, this time following the yellow waymarkers all the way to The Scalp.
The trail emerges from Barnaslingan Wood at the eastern summit of The Scalp (238m). This narrow rocky gorge was created around 12,000 years ago close to the end of the last Ice Age. At this time, a great glacial lake formed near Enniskerry, enclosed by the mountains and the ice sheet. The pressure of the water in the lake acted on a weak spot in... More the bedrock and gouged out the channel now known as The Scalp. Similar channels exist at the Glen of the Downs and the Rocky Valley to the south. From the viewpoint it is possible to look down on the cars driving through The Scalp on the main Dublin to Enniskerry road. The area is also home to a herd of feral goats who may be spotted from time to time grazing on the rocky slopes.Less
For the initial stage of the return journey, the trail joins the Scalp Lookout Trail, marked with red discs, to return to the entrance to Barnaslingan Wood. It then rejoins the Dublin Mountains Way to return to Carrickgollogan Wood.
Reaching Carrickgollogan Wood, the trail follows the Lead Mines Way, marked with orange discs. This diverges from the Dublin Mountains Way in order to take in the summit of Carrickgollogan.
The last stop on this trip is the summit of Carrickgollogan Hill, a 276m high outcrop of Cambrian quartzite. The view from the top is spectacular offering a 360 degree view over Killiney and Dalkey to the north and east, the Bray Group of mountains - consisting of Bray Head, The Little Sugar Loaf (or Giltspur mountain) and the Great Sugar Loaf -... More to the south and the main Dublin and Wicklow range to the west.Less
For the final leg back to the start, the trail follows the Dublin Mountains Way out of Carrickgollogan Wood, through Rathmichael Wood and back to Shankill.