Edmondstown Road (9.1km, 432m, 4.7%)

Map and elevation profile of Edmondstown Road climb


Edmondstown Road and Stocking Lane are the fraternal twins of the Dublin Mountains, two climbs connecting the same two points, recognisably related but each with its own distinct character. Of the two, Edmondstown Road is the longer and gentler, and the option I prefer at the start of longer rides — the steep ramp on Stocking Lane can deaden the legs if you’re out of shape. But they’re both terrific, and you can substitute them as the moment takes you on any route heading out along the Military Road.

The climb proceeds upwards in steps—an initial gentle rise to Edmondstown golf club flattens to pass under the M50, then becomes steeper as you pass the Merry Ploughboy. There’s another respite section after the turn-off for Mount Venus Road, dropping down a few metres to the longest ramp: 1.4km varying between 8–11%. The road winds left and right under the trees until you shank left over a small bridge, then right past the turn-off for Glencullen.

The gradient eases off, but the road surface deteriorates, the council having taken a distinctly (perversely, one might say) piecemeal approach to repaving the road. Passing the entrance to Cruagh Woods, you say goodbye to double-digit gradients, then make a couple of hairpins to arrive at the Viewing Point.

If this is your very first time there, it is acceptable to join the crowds taking selfies with the city in the background. Otherwise, take the sharp left onto Military Road and keep going. The last 2.5km ease gradually from 7% down to 2% as you approach the Noel Lemass memorial, but the road is well-surfaced to the county line, and you’ll be held back more by the wind which will hit you as soon as you emerge from the trees.

The descent is just as enjoyable as the climb, straight and  blazing fast in parts, technical in others. Keep your wits about you as pass the Cruagh Woods car park—particularly on weekends and holidays, you’ll often encounter drivers engaged in emergency manoeuvres, and stray dogs or children.

The view from Cruagh Road: green fields dropping away under partly cloudy skies, Dublin city and bay visible in the background.
The view from Cruagh Road

Thoughts, hopes, exhortations?