North Bull Island, Co Dublin. This island in Dublin Bay has existed for only 200 years — before the building of the North Bull Wall on the recommendation of Captain William Bligh it was a mere sandbank, covered by the tides. It was Ireland’s first official bird sanctuary, and welcomes many species that can be only seen in winter. By January up to 5,000 ducks, 3,000 Brent geese and 30,000 waders all roost here nightly. The island is 5km long by 1km wide, and features a wide, sandy beach backed by dunes, grassland and salt marsh. Begin by heading to the visitor centre, then make a circuit as large or small as you like; the loop around the southern half of the island to North Bull Wall is 7km long.
START/FINISH GETTING THERE
Near St Anne’s Golf Club. Head to Clontarf on the R807, then cross the Causeway Road to the island. Park along the road just before the island’s roundabout, not far from the golf club entrance. Or take bus 130 from the city centre. Easy — flat terrain throughout.
7km/2-2.5 hours Your binoculars, and a copy of Adrian
LEVEL LENGTH/TIME TO WALK PACK