Winding cobblestone streets and lush parks make Dublin an incredible spot to put in miles. With plentiful homages to musicians, poets, authors, and other notables who have called the city home, even water breaks can turn into mini history lessons. Phoenix Park, the capital’s 1,700-acre green lung, is one of the best places to run—and a spot on the October marathon—as is the path along the picturesque Grand Canal. Stay at The Merrion Hotel, an elegant property that occupies impeccably-restored Georgian buildings in the city’s center. Book a table at their Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, which is the only eatery in Ireland to hold two Michelin stars.
Try these 5 exercises for runners before you travel.
Few places are as beautiful, challenging, and rewarding to hit the links as Ireland. A true links course (meaning built on sandy soil along a coastline and buffeted by strong winds) is hard to find—there are only around 200 in the world—but Ireland has more than 50 of them. Among the premier places to play is Adare Manor, which boasts an 18-hole course designed by famed golf course architect Tom Fazio, and immaculate lodgings in a 13th-century castle hotel. From the gorgeously-appointed rooms, you can look out onto the manicured greens.
Horseback riding has a long and illustrious history in Ireland and those who want to saddle up won’t be disappointed. Stay at Dromoland Castle in Newmarket-on-Fergus, the ancestral estate of the famed O’Brien clan, who ruled the country in medieval times. The property offers steady steeds and various adventures for equestrians, including a woodland trek to the Mooghaun Hill Fort (a mysterious Bronze Age structure) and a ride around the 450-acre estate. The experience isn’t complete without partaking in the hotel’s horse-and-hound welcome, where visitors are greeted at Dromoland’s winding driveway by the County Clare Hunt, an esteemed local fox hunting club.
Before you go, consider these jockey-approved moves.
While the water may be chilly, Ireland’s west-facing coast is home to some of the most impressive Atlantic swells around. Bundoran, the capital of County Donegal—a rugged, mostly Irish-speaking county in the northwestern part of the country—is well-known for The Peak, a consistent reef break that delights intermediate and advanced surfers. The Finn McCool Surf School in Donegal provides lessons, wetsuits, boards, and other gear. Just a 30-minute drive away, Lough Eske Castle is a 17th-century castle hotel with unique, spacious suites and antique furnishings.
Prepare by training like a surfer.