Hike FAQs

Can I try a hike with the Club before joining to see if it’s right for me?

Of course! Prospective new members may apply to try up to two hikes with the Hillwalkers Club to see if it’s for them, before being required to become members.

How challenging is a Sunday hike?

The Hillwalkers Club caters for walkers who already have a reasonable level of fitness. The average walking distance is 17km, but can vary from 15km to 23km, while the ascent is typically between 500 and 1000 meters. The average walking time is 5 to 7 hours, including lunch and other stoppages. Distances and ascents for each hike are published in advance on the hike schedule. We sometimes have two different grades of hike on the same day, a harder hike for those confident in their fitness, and a more moderate hike, which will be at a slightly easier pace. If you are unsure of your fitness, we recommend that you try the moderate hike to see how you get on.

How much does it cost?

The Hillwalkers Club is run on a not for profit basis. Membership costs €50 per year, which includes membership of Mountaineering Ireland. The current return bus fare is €20, unless otherwise specified, to cover the cost of hiring the bus.

How do I get to the starting point of the hike?

The Hillwalkers Club uses a private bus, departing from Burgh Quay in Dublin city centre to bring members to the start of the hike, returning to the city centre afterwards. Occasionally, the Club may use public transport to travel to and from a hike.

Can I meet you at the starting point for the hike?

Using a bus is an environmentally sustainable that also allows us to enjoy more interesting, linear hiking routes, as we do not have to finish back where we began! This model means that it is not possible to meet at the hike starting point.

Are there any other meeting points for the bus?

Depending on the route, we have pick up/drop off points at Loughlinstown, Tallaght and Rathfarnham. Anyone wishing to be meet us at one of these points must inform us when booking their place. If it is your first hike with us, you should meet us at the main departure point in the city centre.

Hike meeting point at Burgh Quay, Dublin 2

Equipment List

The Irish hills can often experience four seasons in one day, with conditions at higher elevations considerably different to those on lower ground. The correct equipment is therefore necessary to ensure an enjoyable and safe day on the hills. Hike leaders have the discretion to refuse members who do not have the necessary equipment.
Hiking Boots: Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with ankle support and a treaded sole for grip are essential. Runners/trainers are not suitable footwear for hillwalking and are not permitted on our hikes.
Raingear: A waterproof, windproof jacket with a hood and waterproof overtrousers are mandatory on our walks. Without these, walkers may run the risk of hypothermia.
Clothing Layers: Several light layers of clothing such as synthetic or merino base layers, fleeces, soft shells, insulated jackets etc., work best. Clothing made of cotton retains moisture leading to discomfort and potentially hypothermia so should be avoided. For this reason, jeans are not permitted to be worn on our hikes.
Hat and gloves
Food and liquids: Bring a packed lunch and any snacks you may like. Bring adequate water for the day and a hot drink in a flask.
Rucksack: A 25 – 35 litre rucksack to carry everything in.
Gaiters: Gaiters cover the top of your boots to prevent dirt, vegetation and water from entering and causing discomfort. They can make a big difference to your enjoyment of the day and most people invest in a pair if they plan to take up hillwalking on a regular basis.
Walking poles: While not essential, many people like to use walking poles for extra support and stability. They are especially helpful if you are not used to walking across rough terrain
Headtorch: Hikes in winter may finish after dark so a headtorch is essential at this time of year