The county of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown lies south of the city of Dublin. Beaches, cliffs, and countryside offer recreation in the form of walking, water sports, golfing, and horseriding. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Attractions
The harbour town of Dun Laoghaire is ferry port with two piers and a lighthouse. The town has a promenade and a large park. The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is located in its Mariners Church. Models of historical ships are on show.
There are a number of sculptures at the seafront. A monument to King George IV to honour his visit in 1821 to the town was erected and the town changed its name to Kingstown. It was changed back to the original in 1922.
Monkstown, half a mile from Dun Laoghaire, was the site of Monkstown Castle, home to a group of 12th century monks. Monkstown’s St Mochanna Church was the favourite Victorian church of John Betjeman.
Booterstown Nature Reserve, in the care of the National Trust for Ireland and the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, is a water marsh sanctuary for native and migratory birds. Information boards are posted by the road. Killiney Park provides a view of the bay and Dun Laoghaire harbour as well as woodland and cliff walks.
At Sandyford are the Fernhill Gardens. Forty acres of parkland, woodland, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and other shrubs and trees can be enjoyed along with a water garden. The harbour of Sandycove is home to the Martello Tower (built to defend the coast from Napoleon), which houses the James Joyce Museum. His letters and first editions along with memorabilia are on display.
The town of Blackrock hosts weekend markets where gourmet cheeses, local crafts, antiques, and other items of interest are for sale. Dundrum dates from the 13th century, when it was built as a protection from clans invading Dublin.
Medieval Dalkey is a Heritage Town. In addition to its historic buildings and narrow streets, it has a heritage centre housed in medieval Goat Castle, a towerhouse. Here you can learn the town’s history and folklore through AV presentations and models or climb the castle battlements.
Heritage trails and historic walks are offered from April to December from the castle centre. Guided archaeological tours to Dalkey Island are offered in the summer. They include living history performances. Next to the centre is St Begnet’s, a 7th century church.
Upper Kilmacud Rd, Dundrum, Dublin 14
South of Dublin city centre
Tel. 0 1 298 4301; booking: 0 1 298 4301
19a Main Street, Blackrock
Tel. 0 1 2833 522
Web: Blackrock Market
Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre
Castle Street, Dalkey
Tel. 0 1 285 8366
Web: Dalkey Castle
Dalkey Island Boat Trips
Tel. 0 1 283 4298
Tel. 0 1 295 6000
James Joyce Museum
Tel. 0 1 280 9265
National Maritime Museum of Ireland
Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire
Tel. 0 1 280 0969
Photos of Dalkey castle, Dalkey island, view of Dalkey from castle roof © by Barbara Ballard
Blackrock Market courtesy Blackrock Market
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Dun Laoghaire beach, People’s Park, Sandycove martello tower by Christine Matthews; Dun Laoghaire golf club by Doug Lee; Dun Laoghaire harbour lighthouse by David Bagshaw; Sea urchin sculpture by Kay Atherton; Dun Laoghaire harbour King George monument, Booterstown Nature Reserve by Eric Jones; Monkstown St Mochanna church and graveyard opposite Monkstown castle by Joan and Max Wellman; Killiney bay by Joseph Mischyshyn; Sandycove seafront by Christopher Hilton
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