From the mountains to the sea Dún Laoghaire really is a town for all seasons. John Wynne of Dún Laoghaire Tourism gives a brief outline of what’s on offer this season.
Dún Laoghaire Marina, situated right in the lively east coast seaport of Dún Laoghaire, could not be better suited to visitors looking for safe moorings, pleasant walks, entertainment, good food and friendly service.
For many visitors, their first contact with Ireland is the beautiful coastline as they enter Dún Laoghaire, with its spectacular man-made harbour. A trip on the DART (commuter rail) takes you from the Booterstown Marsh Bird Sanctuary, close to Dublin, through Blackrock, Monkstown, Dún Laoghaire, Dalkey and the breath-taking vista of Killiney Bay, to Shankill in the south, hugging the shoreline all the way.
Within ten or fifteen minutes drive from the coast one can play golf, go hill-walking on the ‘Wicklow Way’ which starts from the magnificent Marlay Park in Rathfarnham, go horse-riding, or enjoy a host of other outdoor activities, all set in spectacular countryside.
The area around Dún Laoghaire, Dalkey and Killiney is steeped in our literary and cultural heritage, both past and present. James Joyce, that great Irishman of letters, saw fit to base the opening chapter of Ulysses in the striking Martello Tower at Sandycove, just south of the harbour which was his home for a short while, and now houses a museum in his honour. The poet Oliver St. John Gogarty lived here. Nobel Prize Winner George Bernard Shaw of Pygmalion fame lived nearby in Dalkey.
More recently, the area has become home to musicians Enya, Bono and The Edge, writer Maeve Binchy, playwrights Hugh Leonard and Bernard Farrell, and Neil Jordan from the film world.
The new Heritage Centre in the Goat Castle on Dalkey’s Castle Street celebrates the town’s magical history as well as hosting art exhibitions, and programmes of music and drama. The National Maritime Museum, housed in the magnificent former Mariners Church, is a ‘must see’ in Dún Laoghaire.
There is a great wealth of archeological heritage in the area and this can experienced through a video presentation and site tour starting from the Dalkey Heritage Centre.
A visit to the county would not be complete without an evening in one of many restaurants that offer a fabulous choice of dishes from traditional Irish fare to wonderful flavours from around the world. The quality restaurants and the good family eateries of our towns and villages offer a wide choice of ethnic and international cuisines and virtually every pub has an extensive menu of fine Irish food. Believe it or not, the county has around 60 pubs and 80 restaurants.
If you wish to find out more about Dun Laoghaire Harbour, its facilities and walks – Click Here