County Dublin, despite being one of the largest and most densely populated in all of Ireland, is unfairly overlooked in favour of the capital city (from which it takes its name). Some very persuasive scenery along the coast at Howth Head and Killiney Hill, however, offers proof of life outside the city.
Fingal to the north flirts with some pretty nice beaches and beds a significant area of the River Liffey. This part of the county is dotted with curious rural locations, all scrambling for attention. One of the best of these (with four ranges of glasshouses and over 20,000 plant species), the National Botanic Gardens is spread across 48 acres and converges with the flood plain of the River Tulka. Ardgillan Castle, just north of Dublin City, houses a Victorian conservatory and an ice house.
To the south, deep river valleys string through the main Liffey Valley where the county borders the Wicklow Mountains. Utilising the pretty woodland scenery, Rathfarnham estate features a restored castle and park once owned by the Loftus family (whose house in Wexford, Loftus Hall, was said to have been infiltrated by the Devil). Just beyond the village of Rathfarnham, the Pearse Museum gives visitors the chance to view the former home of Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 Easter Rising against the British Army.
Unmissable Attractions in County Dublin
1. Howth Head
3. National Botanic Gardens (Opening Times: Monday – Friday from 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. in summer / Monday – Friday from 9.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. in winter) Prices: €2.00 per person
4. National Transport Museum (Opening Times: Saturday and Sunday from 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.) Prices: Adult €3.50 / Children and senior citizens €2.00 / Family €9.00
5. Ardgillan Castle and Demesne (Opening Times: Monday – Sunday from 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.) Prices: Adults €7.00 / Senior citizens and students €5.00 / Family (2 adults and 2 children) €14.00
6. Rathfarnham Castle (Opening Times: Opening Times vary from season to season, but generally Rathfarnham Castle is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10.00 a.m. – 5.15 p.m. in summer)
7. The Pearse Museum (Opening Times: Monday and Wednesday – Saturday from 9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. in summer / Monday and Wednesday – Saturday from 9.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. in winter)
8. King John’s Bridge, the oldest in Ireland, hangs over the Griffeen River (tributary of the Liffey)