If you have a little extra time while in Dublin, you might be interested in
heading to Malahide Castle, about 10 miles north of Dublin in the
affluent Dublin suburb of Malahide. The castle was once a fortress and
home to the Talbot family for approximately 8 centuries. Its architecture
is a blend of styles. Its current battlements are attractive and stately,
but were not defensive additions to the building.
Known for its elegant furnishing and portrait collection, the castle also
hosts Tara's Palace and Childhood Museum, which is billed as "...one of the
world's most significant dollhouses". In addition, if you like model
trains (O gauge), the Fry Model Railway on the grounds of the Malahide Castle
covers over 2500 square feet and is a must see. For more information on
the Castle and the Railway, see the official
Malahide Castle website.
If you have even more time, the best daytrip from Dublin is to
Glendalough (the Glen (valley) of the Two Lakes) located in the Wicklow
National Park in County Wicklow. Glendalough is one of Ireland's oldest
and most interesting monastic settlements.
In the 6th century, St. Kevin, a religious man seeking to escape from crowds
and society established a personal hermitage in the Glendalough Valley, near the
upper of two scenic lakes that occupy the glen. It appears that St.
Kevin's choice of location and personal dedication to religion attracted
followers. St. Kevin's hermit-like aspirations must have been tried by
this fame. Anecdotal stories have him pursued by women who admired his virtue.
In turn, these same stories have him tossing them into the lake or into bramble
bushes in an attempt to retain his virtue.
Over a period of time, a significant religious site developed and attracted the
attention of the Vikings who attacked it on several occasions and the English
who destroyed the settlement in the 14th century, after which it was abandoned.
Today a number of interesting monastic ruins attract tourists to Glendalough.
The 100-foot tall round tower and the cathedral are the most impressive
structures, followed by the ruins of several churches (especially St. Kevin's
Church), the ruins of a monastery and a number of decorated stone crosses. The
Round Tower at Glendalough is one of a number of these mysterious towers that
exist primarily in Ireland. Clocking in at a little over 100' , the tower is
thought to have served as beacon to pilgrims, a storehouse, a bell tower and a
refuge from marauders. The door to this tower (and most others) is about
10ft above ground level, which has been taken by some scholars to indicate the
defensive nature of the tower. Perhaps the tower was simply an attempt to
be closer to Heaven or for purposes of astronomy. Whatever the reason for
their construction, these tall, narrow towers capture the imagination of all who
Be sure to stop in the Visitor's Centre for its exhibition, as it will help you
interpret what you will see during your exploration of the site. In
addition, the Visitor's Centre provides guided tours that are available in
several languages. See
for more information on visiting Glendalough.
If you are looking for the best of the ruins, those surrounding the Lower
Lake are the most impressive (and most numerous). We think the real
beauty of the area is revealed when you walk the shores of the Upper Lake.
In addition, the twenty-minute walk between the lakes is quite pleasant. If you
are interested in more rigorous hiking, the National Park Information Office,
located close the Upper Lake along the Green Road, can provide trail
information. For details about the Wicklow Mountains National Park, visit
Although there are a number of minor attractions scattered through County
Wicklow, such as the
House and Gardens at Powerscourt /gardens/
Blessington Lakes, they are eclipsed for many travelers by the attractions in
West of Ireland, not to mention the treasures of Northern Ireland.
However, if you like country walking, this is a popular region for it.
Similarly, the towns of Kildare and Athy in County Kildare sit amidst scenic
countryside and you will undoubtedly find something that you will like in each
area. Kildare is a pretty little town and the National Stud Farm is on its
Athy is another village in a pleasant setting, with the 15th century White's
Castle (private - no tours) scenically positioned on the River Athy.
Explore the official County Kildare
for more information on the other towns and attractions of Kildare.
Finally, a little over an hour to the west of Dublin you will find Tullamore
Town and the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre where Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey was
first distilled in the Midlands of Ireland. Considered by many to be the
best whiskey distillery tour in Ireland, visiting the Centre,of course, includes
a tasting. Self-guided tours are available all day and guided tours are
offered twice a day. See the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre
website for more details on visiting.
More Places To Visit In Ireland
Click the link menu on the right-edge of this page to
explore another of Ireland's scenic regions.
If you need information about another travel
destination, try our
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.