Presentation of the destination
The Irish city of Dún Laoghaire can be found in County Dublin and is just under 8 miles from the city centre of the Irish capital, Dublin. The town is also occasionally known by the older Anglicised version of its Irish name, Dunleary. Dún Laoghaire was known as Kingstown between 1821 and 1920.Dún Laoghaire dates back to the 1820s. However, a village, often referred to as Old Dunleary, preexisted the city. Old Dunleary was a small seaside town surrounded by pastures and quarries.Given its proximity to the capital city, Dún Laoghaire is accessible by Dublin’s DART railway system as well as the national train services. There are a great number of bus services that run from Dún Laoghaire to Dublin, meaning that visitors can always make their way to the capital if they would prefer a change of scenery or have somehow managed to exhaust their options in Dún Laoghaire.
Points of interests / things to see
Hikers will love Dún Laoghaire as there is no absence of amazing places to hike around when the weather is nice. One such example of a great place to hike around is Two Rock. Two Rock is also known as Binn Dá Charraig in Irish, which means “Black Mountain”, or Sliab Lecga, “Mountain of Flagstones”. Its peak is 536 metres above sea level and while it is nowhere near the highest mountain in Ireland, it is the highest of the Dublin Mountains, which it is a part of, alongside Three Rock, Kilmashogue, and Tibradden Mountains.The summit of the mountain is known as Fairy Castle and those who make their way to the top will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Dublin area to the North and the Wicklow Mountains when facing southwards. Travellers to the summit will be met by an area of land that is predominantly a shallow bog, having passed the ferns and gorse on the ascent.On your way to the top of Two Rock, you will pass a number of fascinating prehistoric monuments. One of these monuments is a passage tomb, a type of burial site where stones are used to create an entryway, or passage, into the tomb.
Tourists to Dún Laoghaire should certainly make the time in their schedule to visit the Joyce Tower and Museum. Joyce Tower is named for the Irish poet and literary writer, James Joyce. Joyce is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most influential writers of his time and Joyce tower could be said to be a must-see for any fans of his work, particularly his most popular work, Ulysses, which adapts the classical Greek work, Homer’s Odyssey, into a number of literary styles, including his own modernist avant-garde style.The interior of Joyce Tower houses a museum dedicated to the life and work of the Irish novelist and visitors can enjoy a recreation of a living space as it would have appeared in 1904, which even contains some of Joyce’s personal effects and possessions.A personal friend of Joyce, Oliver St. John Gogarty was leasing the tower and had intentions to make Ireland more like Greece, at least culturally. It is said that Gogarty fired a gun towards Joyce and his seminal work, Ulysses, takes place the morning immediately after the event. Unsurprisingly, Gogarty is not favourably portrayed by Joyce in the work.Joyce Tower and Museum is open daily from 10:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening.
Three Rock Mountain is another of the Dublin Mountains and while it is one greater than Two Rock, it is open to debate whether or not it is a better mountain. Keen hikers will enjoy both Two Rock and Three Rock, which is named for the granite rocks that will be found by those who manage to climb the 444 vertical metres to the summit. There are three groups of granite rocks, hence the name “Three Rock”. While these collections of granite are naturally occurring, there is something unique about them that made people believe that they had been either made by man or placed there. However, these rock formations are in fact known as tors, a rock formation that is created through weathering and erosion.While the summit and the views are beautiful, some nature lovers may be saddened by the number of radio masts and towers present at the peak. These masts and towers transmit signals to the Dublin area under the summit so if you have enjoyed any Irish television or radio, you may not have too much right to complain.Woodsmen, lumberjacks, and other tree enthusiasts will enjoy the trees that line the slopes of Three Rock Mountain, including Japanese larch, lodgepole pine, Monterey pine, Scots pine, and Sitka spruce.
The National Maritime Museum of Ireland, which can be found inside the Mariners’ Church in Dún Laoghaire is a figurative stone’s throw from the DART station and the ferry terminal. The Mariners’ Church can be found on Haigh Terrace.The home of the National Maritime Museum, the Mariners’ Church, was initially built in 1837, during the early years of Dún Laoghaire’s history. The church was built principally for seafarers and the coastguard, who would use the harbor of Kingstown as asylum. The church would have held 1400 people when there was still seating inside and a third of this seating was allocated to the seafarers, coastguard, and their respective families.The museum still maintains a number of aspects from the church, including stained glass as well as docks for prisoners, so that those who had been arrested on the ships could still be punished while at mass.The church closed in 1971 due to the decreasing size of the congregation and an agreement in 1974 between the Church of Ireland and the Maritime Institute of Ireland enabled the church to be renovated and reopened in 1978 as the National Maritime Museum of Ireland.From Tuesdays to Sundays the museum is open from 11:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Tibradden mountain is another of the magnificent Dublin Mountains. The mountain also goes by the Irish name of Sliabh Thigh Bródáin, which means “mountain of the house of Bródáin”. Amongst the common name and Irish name, the mountain has a number of aliases including “Garrycastle” and “Kilmainham Begg”. The summit can be found 467 metres up and is another chance for hikers, ramblers, and walkers to enjoy spectacular views of the Dublin area from above without having to fly. Two Rock can also be seen from the peak so those who have already climbed it can see exactly what they achieved and those who have not can whet their appetite for another adventure.Much like Two Rock and Three Rock, Tibradden Mountain features a good amount of granite and the same types of trees as Three Rock as well as badgers and foxes.While Tibradden Mountain is certainly a treat for hikers and ramblers, there are a number of sites of historical interest, offering something to those who love history or anthropology.The prehistoric burial site at Tibradden Mountain was discovered and excavated by the Royal Irish Academy in 1849. The burial site is also thought to be the resting place of the mountain’s Irish namesake, Bródáin.
Another great hiking point in Dún Laoghaire is Branaslingan, which gets its name from the Irish Barr na Slinneán, which means “summit of the shoulder blades”. This peak is somewhat lower than the other mountains in the area at 238 metres high but has a wonderful view of “The Scalp”, an Anglicism of its Irish name An Scailp, which actually means “the chasm”.Legend has it that the granite either side of the chasm would loosen and fall into the chasm and pose a great risk to any traveller along the route. The chasm itself was caused during the Ice Age in which the area would have been covered by an ice sheet which would later melt.
If mountains and hiking are not your thing then you can enjoy a much more relaxing walk around Dún Laoghaire’s local park, the People’s Park. The park was developed in the formal victorian style towards the end of the 19th century by the Kingstown Town Commissioners and can be accessed by the impressive entrances that are found on George’s Street and Queen’s Road.As a landscaped park, the People’s Park is aesthetically impressive and visitors with children will appreciate the new playground while adults in the group can enjoy the tea rooms, which are a perfect place to stop when the weather turns against you.
The nearby Dalkey Castle can be accessed by the convenient DART public transport system, with the station just a short 5-minute walk from the castle. The battlements of the castle can be climbed by visitors and offer spectacular views of the local geography, including a view of the sea and of the nearby mountains.Guided walks are available on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00 in the morning during the summer months and must be booked in advance. If you are part of a group you can arrange tours at other times. In addition to the tours, the Heritage Centre offers a fascinating experience to those visiting the area, including the Writers’ Gallery.
If you find yourself in the People’s Park on a Sunday then you are in for a treat. Every Sunday throughout the year plays host to the Dún Laoghaire market where merchants are offering a huge variety of produce and crafts from across the globe. From Japanese, Lebanese, and Chinese, to Polish, Pakistani, and Greek produce, every taste is catered for.There is also a great deal of Irish produce available at the Dún Laoghaire market if you wish to purchase something from the local area. The market runs from 11:00 in the morning till 4:00 in the afternoon every Sunday and is not to be missed.
Vacation rentals in Dún laoghaire (County Dublin)
How to get there ?
With Dún Laoghaire being located just 8 miles from Dublin, the airport at Dublin is the obvious choice for international travellers flying to Ireland. As Ireland’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus offers a huge number of flights to and from Dublin Airport, particularly a massive number of European cities, as well as the major international cities across the globe. Heavy competition from budget airlines also means that Aer Lingus’ prices are very reasonable for flights to and from Dublin. However, if you are on a shoestring budget and travelling light, Ryanair also offers a great number of flights from various European cities.From Dublin Airport, getting to Dún Laoghaire is very simple. The DART runs to and from the centre of Dublin and surrounding suburbs. As well the DART, the Dublin and Kingstown railway has served the city since 1834 and the mainline Dublin to Wexford and Rosslare stops at Dún Laoghaire’s train station. While the trains are reasonably fast and efficient, there are also a number of bus services that run between Dún Laoghaire and Dublin. However, the 46a bus service that runs to Dún Laoghaire is one of the busiest services in all of Dublin and should be avoided if you need a seat.
Hotels in Dún laoghaire (County Dublin)