Every time I go there I discover something new: open spaces, extensive rose gardens, cool playground, woods, streams, ponds, ruins, pitch'n'putt next door, nice coffee, small Saturday market.
North Dublin, next to Coast Road. Killester Dart station's probably the closest - about 5mins walk (but we usually drive or bus it - Coast Road has lots of buses)
A secret gem in Phoenix Park where they hold events over the summer; you can go and wander round the the grounds, the sunken garden, the walled garden, eat in the stunning boathouse restarant (12:30-5pm) overlooking the fish pond. They have outdoor concerts there too, and a farmers market. A one stop shop for a dry Sunday.
See www.farmleigh.ie/ for more details and opening times.
In my experience, it's usually nice & quiet - a lovely old fashioned city centre square. Slightly wild & overgrown - feels like a Lewis Carrol novel in places.
Nice secluded playground too for younger kids. Near the National Gallery which is also worth a visit (for both art and lunch!).
Merrion Square. Near Pearce St Dart. Lots of bus services. 2 minute walk from Stephen's Green, or Trinity College (East side).
Almost a stone’s throw away from St Stephen's Green, this little park is a quiet little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. While full of office workers during lunchtime on summer days, you'll nearly have the place to yourself when they're in work. A real hidden treasure.
Entrance is on Clonmel Street, off Harcourt Street.
Nearest Luas (light rail) stop: Harcourt Street and St Stephen's Green
This grand old public park, on the outskirts of Dublin's southern suburbs is a great way of escaping the mayhem, walking off that hangover and acts as a gateway to the beautiful Dublin and Wicklow hills. A wander through the Victorian grounds, forest, Saturday market and model railway for kids is extremely rewarding.
For one of the outstanding views of Dublin, follow the yellow marker posts for about an hour on a climb into the nearby woods. This view (on the Wicklow walkway) looks north taking in Dublin city, the bay and environs.
For even more stunning scenery follow the track for another hour up the hill and the city disappears to reveal open Irish hillsides and rolling forests. If you’re lucky, you will see some native deer and mountain goats.
Take the 48A bus from Dame Street (city centre near O'Connell Street) for 1/2 an hour, the last stop is Marley Park. To get to the viewing points follow the yellow markers in the main carpark. A map and information are also provided. For more details on the Wicklow way see www.wicklowway.com
The park is 707 hectares, making it more than twice the area of New York's Central Park.
The park is interesting not just for this expanse of land, but also because of the interesting history of its development. It began as a Royal Deer Park from around 1662, and was opened to the public in 1747. It holds a zoo, visitor centre, deer, the big Papal cross and the president's home (Aras an Uachtarain).
It's ideal to get the Luas up there, and chill out for a day, or just recover from the night before before hitting the town again.
At the west of the city, opposite Heuston train station
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Irish National War Memorial commemorates the estimated 49,000 Irishmen - all volunteers - who died, and the estimated 300,000 who fought in the British army during the first world war.
Unlike his other war memorials, Lutyens designed a tranquil garden on the banks of the Liffey. The garden consists of a Great War stone surrounded by circular fountains, which in turn are enclosed by pairs of 'book rooms' and pergolas. The 'book rooms' take the form of small limestone pavilions with sloping stone roofs and blank niches. Originally these rooms contained books designed by Harry Clarke containing all the names of the war dead.
The gardens was shamefully neglected for many years before undergoing restoration by the OPW in the 1980s. The park ranger now has a facility in one of the pavilions to view and print any page from the 12 book memorial record.
A stone’s throw from the wonderful Irish Museum of Modern Art, the historic Kilmainham Jail and close to the National Museum and Guinness brewery, it is a worthwhile and peaceful diversion from the throng of the city centre.
The riverside location is tranquil, and various rowing clubs are located on the opposite bank, beyond which you can see the magazine fort in the Phoenix Park. One of Dublin's best-kept secrets, the gardens bloom beautifully in mid-summer.
Located in Islandbridge, Dublin 8. Approximately 20 minutes walk from the Luas stop at Heuston Station. Buses:25,25A,26,51,68,69,78A & 79 from city centre all stop nearby.
At over 700 acres, this is Dublin's giant playground - the largest enclosed urban park in Europe. It features lakes, deer, cricket and polo pitches, Dublin zoo and Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of the president.
From the city centre, wander along the Liffey to the Parkgate entrance opposite Heuston station.
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