A Comprehensive Guide For Taking On The Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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Have you really been to Dublin if you didn’t get out to the region’s most iconic lighthouse? 

The Poolbeg Lighthouse walk is plausibly one of Dublin’s best strolls and one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks. It’s a fantastic little area with cracking seaside views where Dubliners love to head to get their daily dose of fresh air.

You may hear the odd person call it the Great South Wall Walk, which is also correct. That’s because the pathway out to the actual lighthouse is named the Great South Wall, so don’t get confused; they’re both the same.

This guide will fill you in on all of the things you need to know before visiting the Poolbeg Lighthouse, so you can have an enjoyable time on your first visit. From parking to different routes, you’re going to be sorted.

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Where Is Poolbeg Lighthouse Located?

Poolbeg Lighthouse is situated In Dublin at the end of the Great South Wall, which is right next to Dublin Bay and the River Liffey.

Poolbeg Lighthouse’s History

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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In terms of its history, Poolbeg Lighthouse has somewhat of an interesting past compared to other lighthouses, to say the least. 

Here are some little facts that you should know before we continue.

  • Poolbeg Lighthouse was built in 1768.
  • It was redesigned and painted red to show ships coming in from the Irish Sea that it was ‘Port Side’.
  • As stated above, Poolbeg Lighthouse sits at the end of the great south wall, which is about 4km in length and was the longest sea wall in the whole world when it was constructed between 1740 and 1780.
  • When the lighthouse began operating, it originally used candles as a form of lighting for many years, even after the introduction of oil, until eventually, the operators had to get with the times and move on.

Is There Parking At Poolbeg Lighthouse?

Parking is available close enough to Poolbeg Lighthouse. The car park is called “The Great South Wall Car Park.”

How Many Trails Are There That You Can Take To The Poolbeg Lighthouse?

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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Visitors have two options when it comes to walking routes out to the Poolbeg Lighthouse.

The first is a short, 4km loop trail that begins at the Great South Wall carpark. This one is ideal for those looking to get to the lighthouse as soon as possible, with no messing around. 

Those seeking a bit more of a challenge can take on the Sandymount Strand route. The route itself is over 11km in total and a tough one to complete.

How To Get To The Poolbeg Lighthouse

Route 1 – Great South Wall Walk Route (Short)

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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Getting to Dublin’s Poolbeg Lighthouse via the Great South Wall Walk is as easy as pie. It only takes 40 minutes in total to get to the lighthouse and back to your car, so it’s a grand little potter. Let’s break it down for you.

Step 1 – Begin your journey at the Great South Wall Carpark.

Step 2 – Walk out of the carpark and take a right turn.

Step 3 – Follow the road until you come to another right turn and then take it.

Step 4 – By now, you should be on the Great South Wall and see the Poolbeg Lighthouse directly in front of you. Walk straight ahead until you come to the lighthouse, and there you have it. 

That’s how easy this route is. Remember, the distance of this Poolbeg Lighthouse walk is only 4km over and back, so it’s pretty much made for those looking to stretch their legs.

Route 2 – Sandymount Strand Route (Long)

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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Starting your stroll to Poolbeg Lighthouse from Sandymount Beach is a bit more of an adventure than starting at the Poolbeg carpark. This route takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete over and back. It’s best if you bring plenty of water to keep yourself going for the duration of the walk. Directions are below.

Step 1 – Park your car at Sandymount Strand carpark. Head out the gate you came in and take a right to begin your walk.

Step 2 – Follow the road for about 10 minutes until you come to Sean Moore Nature Park. Once you reach there, take the right turn and walk inside the gates.

Step 3 – Keep walking down the park along the seaside until you come to another right turn and take that. Make sure it’s the first right turn you come to in the park.

Step 4 – Then you’re going to keep walking until you eventually come to Irishtown Nature Park. You’re going to stick to the right side of the trail the whole time close by the water and keep walking.

Step 5 – Eventually, you’ll come to a beach where you can walk on for a while until you come to a left turn, which you’ll have to take. If the tide is out, you’ll be able to stay on the beach.

Step 6 – Finally, take a right and then a left, and you’ll be able to see the Poolbeg Lighthouse directly ahead of you.

The directions above may sound a little bit confusing. A little tip for you is to try to follow them as much as possible, but if you just stick by the water the whole time, you’ll be fine.

Things To Do At Poolbeg Lighthouse

After arriving, you’ve completed Dublin’s Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk, sat down, and taken your break. You’re probably going to want to explore the area around the lighthouse.

1. The Lighthouse Itself

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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The lighthouse itself: One thing you’ll immediately realise is that the lighthouse is actually quite big. It looks a lot smaller from a distance, but once you get close you’ll be taken aback by it. Along with the size, you have this glimming bright red fascade that could nearly make you blind if you’re not careful.

2. Wall Art

poolbeg lighthouse walk

There’s a wall to the right of the lighthouse that has some fabulous contemporary works of street art. From colourful murals to emotional quotes, the contents of the wall art constantly change to give new and up and coming artists a place to showcase their masterpieces.

3. Enjoy The Views

Pull up a space on one of the many boulders on the shore beside the lighthouse, inhale that seaside air, and watch the vessels come and go from Dublin Port.

4. Check Out The Chimneys

poolbeg lighthouse walk
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Scraping the sky at 207 metres high, the Poolbeg chimneys are hard to miss. They’re part of an operating power station near Pigeon House Road. Originally, the site was a military barracks before transforming into what it is now. Many photographers flock out to the Poolbeg area these days in the hope of getting their money shot of the towers.

5. Grab A Coffee

Throughout the week, you’ll see a coffee van pulled up on the Great South Wall, offering some fine java to those needing a refuel after an energetic day. There’s nothing better to top off a day than a warm cuppa.

Frequently Asked Questions About Poolbeg Lighthouse

Is The Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk Difficult?

It really depends on what route you take and your level of fitness. If you park at the Great South Wall carpark and go by that route, it’s perfectly fine as it’s only a short distance, and completely fine to do even for somebody who is unfit. On the other hand, you have the Sandymount Strand route, which is a lot longer, so you’d have to be a bit more able for the endurance.

Is There A Beach Near Poolbeg Lighthouse?

Yes, there’s a beach near Poolbeg Lighthouse called Shelleybanks Beach. It’s a couple of minutes’ walk from the Great South Wall carpark.

When Is The Best Time To Do The Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk?

You can visit the Poolbeg Lighthouse whenever you please. Weekends and evenings during the week tend to be quite popular as that’s when people aren’t working. If the weather’s good, expect the carparks to be busy. You’ll have to get there early to find yourself a spot. 

Keep an eye on when there’s a sunset. Catching one of those by Poolbeg is something I’d recommend everybody do.

Can You Go Inside The Lighthouse?

Unfortunately not. You can’t go inside the lighthouse. The furthest you can get is just outside of it.

Can You Get To Poolbeg Lighthouse Without A Car?

Yes. To get to Poolbeg Lighthouse without a car, you can take the Dublin Bus number 47, which you can get from multiple locations in Dublin city centre, and it stops near Sandymount Strand. Click here for the timetable.

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