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Touring Fingal

Donabate estuary shoreline by Colm O hAoghusa courtesy Geograph Ireland Bailey Lighthouse at Howth Head by Alex Lukawski courtesy Geograph Ireland Fingal, an area of Dublin county, is 173 square miles in size. It covers an area from the river Liffey and Dublin city boundary to Balbriggan. The countryside includes coastline and river valleys.

Lambay Island Tayleur Bay by David Medcalf courtesy Geograph Ireland Portrane cove limestone cliffs by Mike Simms courtesy Geograph Ireland Beaches are a highlight of the area and are found at Donabate, Portmarnock, Skerries, Loughshinny, Rush, Portrane, Sutton, Barnageara, Balbriggan, and Gormanston. In this area are market gardens that ship their vegetables to the city of Dublin.

Howth Head clifftop walk by Sarah Gallagher courtesy Geograph Ireland Loughshinny harbour by Jai courtesy Geograph Ireland Traditional occupations of the area have influenced its makeup. These include fishing in the seaside villages such as Loughshinny and Howth, where watersports are now a pleasant activity for visitors. Howth Head provides a scenic viewpoint of Dublin bay. The National Transport Museum in Howth is a collection of road transport.

Rush harbour by Alex McGregor courtesy Geograph Ireland Portmarnock martello tower by Ian Paterson courtesy Geograph Ireland Rush is a seaside village with an offshore bird sanctuary on the island of Lambay (not open to the public). Portmarnock’s ‘Velvet Strand’ is a two-mile long reach of sandy dunes. A martello tower is located here.

Lusk church and round tower by Kieran Campbell courtesy Geograph Ireland Portrane castle by Kieran Campbell courtesy Geograph Ireland Lusk is one of Ireland’s oldest ecclesiastical settlements. Portrane is the location of a 15th century castle, church, and tower.

Newbridge Demesne entrance by Colm O hAoghusa courtesy Geograph Ireland Donabate is home to 18th century Newbridge House with its 350 acres of parkland, a garden, and a 29-acre farm with Irish breeds of animals. The Victorian style kitchen garden includes roses, glasshouses, and a herbaceous border. The house interior is little changed and has original furniture. It was built for the archbishop of Dublin and contains fancy plasterwork. A dairy, estate worker’s house, carpenter shop, and blacksmith’s forge are further buildings of interest.

Malahide castle by Barbara Ballard Malahide marina by Sarah Gallagher courtesy Geograph Ireland Malahide is a heritage town in the Fingal area. Boats can be rented or moored at the local marina. Here also is Malahide Castle, which served as a castle, then a home, from 1185-1973. In this building is a collection of Irish portraits and period furniture. The Talbot Botanic Gardens, created 1948-1973, are located in the castle grounds. They have 5000 species, mainly southern hemisphere ones from Australia and Chile.

Skerries Mill courtesy Skerries Mills Skerries millrace courtesy Skerries Mills Skerries is a popular destination for swimming, walking, and visiting the local islands, which are teeming with wildlife. Seals are the main attraction. One island can be reached on foot at low tide. In the town is the Skerries Mills Industrial and Heritage Center and Town Park. The site dates from the 16th century when it belonged to a priory. A five sail and a four sail windmill are the main points of interest. They date from the 17th to 19th centuries. Millraces, a mill pond, and wetlands complete the picture.

Ardgillan castle view by jai courtesy Geograph Ireland Another Fingal attraction is Ardgillan Demesne Castle and Gardens, a regional park. The 194 acres offers views, rose gardens, walled gardens, and woodland walks. Thirty golf courses also attract visitors to Fingal. If you’re not a golfer, you could choose to cruise the Royal Canal.

Fingal Attractions

Ardgillan House and Demesne
Tel. 0 1849 2212

Lusk Heritage Centre
Lusk village
Tel. 0 1 843 7683 or 0 1 647 2461 or 0 1 833 1618

Malahide Castle
Tel. 0 1 846 2184

National Transport Museum
Heritage Depot, Howth Demesne, Howth
Tel. 0 1 832 0427
Web: National Transport Museum

Newbridge House and Garden
Newbridge, Donabate
Tel. 0 1 843 6064 for garden; Tel. 0 1 843 6534 for house

Skerries Mills Industrial and Heritage Center and Town Park
Tel. 0 1 849 5208
Web: Skerries Mills

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