Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1.5km Time: 45 mins – 1hr (with small children)
Hike Description: This is truly one of my favourite short family walks close to Dublin. It’s easy enough for all the family, it has a rich variety of trees from America, Asia and Europe which form a lovely natural canopy and the history behind the nature trail itself is very easy to spot as you walk round.
In brief, the Estate was owned by Luke White in the 1800’s who was said to be one of Ireland’s richest men. John Thomas Massy inherited the Estate but by the time of his death in 1915 the Estate was heavily indebted and his grandson, Hugh Hamon 8th Baron Massy was eventually evicted whilst still laying in his sick bed – yikes, now that’s harsh! The mansion was demolished and the fine landscaped gardens grew wild forming the nature trail as you see it today. You can still see evidence of the gardens when walking along the nature trail, from small natural stones walls and bridges, the old ruins of a small house, a disused Icehouse and walled garden.
Children love this walk, there are logs to climb, areas of a small river in which they can paddle, some older children have made a rope swing over one part and there is enough to see that brings a sense of discovery to the walk.
The above photos were taken by Brittany Winkelman at our midterm ‘Woodland Walk’ this month. We all had such a great time, that we have decided to organise more family friendly hikes to help families explore and network. Events are posted on our website calendar, our Facebook Page or Meetup group.
How do we get there? Follow the R115 from Rathfarnham towards Glencullen. Follow signs up hill for Timbertrove Country Store & Café, you will pass Timbertrove on the left and the entrance to Massy’s Estate is immediately afterwards.
Accessibility by Public Transport: No public transport routes found.
National Grid Reference: O 120 238
Parking: Free parking is available in the Hellfire Club Car Park on the opposite side of the road to Massy’s Estate, but beware that parking is limited to opening hours with large gates that are locked overnight. Opening Hours: April – September: 07:00 – 21:00, October – March: 08:00 – 17:00. Car also park on the opposite side of the road to the entrance of Massy’s Estate.
Buggies: Some early parts of the walk are suitable for off-road buggies with large tyres. The entire looped walk is not buggy friendly.
Dogs: This is not surprisingly a very popular walk for dog walkers. We saw dogs both on and off lead.
Mobile Reception: Good
Nearest place to eat: Timbertrove Cafe. Turn right out of Massy’s Estate and Timbertrove is located 50m on right. Serves both hot and cold food.
Walk Extensions: You can easily extend this walk by crossing over the road and walking up to the Hellfire Club otherwise known at Montpelier Hill (the eerie remains of an old hunting lodge). The start of the walk can be found in the Hellfire Car Park.
Contributed By: Bee Sykes Date: November 2016
Photo Credits: Brittany Winkelman Photography