Dublin Parks and Gardens
Tourist hot spot parks
Dublin parks aren’t just a place to relax or catch a moment of peace – they’re often landmarks in their own right. Blessington Street Basin is a former city reservoir, and as such is as much of a hub for wildlife as it is for visitors. This popular gem has been dubbed both a ‘secret garden’ and an ‘oasis within the city’, so is well worth a visit.
Merrion Square Park is known as ‘the heart of Georgian Dublin’, and there’s always something going on there; from exhibitions and concerts to lunchtime markets and visits from Santa! Close-by is Fitzwilliam Square and the picturesque Mountjoy Square, which is situated close to the River Liffey. The houses that surround this park have hosted several famous names (including the writer, Y.B. Yeats).
For a spot of lunch and shopping, the People’s Park is ideal. The farmer’s market is held every Sunday, so grab a bite to eat and take a relaxed wander along the pier. Then, stop by St. Patrick’s Park to see the Liberty Bell – a sculpture that’s an homage to Dublin’s medieval days.
A breath of fresh air
Dublin’s parks showcase some fantastic wildlife and displays of nature. The Dillon Garden is a charming colourful space, filled with gorgeous plant life. It’s only open in the spring and summer months and there’s a small fee to get inside, but this all justifies its reputation for being one of the best walled gardens that anyone could hope to see.
If you’re after fresh air and spectacular views, Killiney Hill Park should be next on your list. There’s an obelisk at the top of this hill, which is actually the remains of an ancient church known as ‘The Druid’s Chair’. The sprawling landscape of Killiney Bay and beyond is well worth the climb.
For a different type of calm, try Iveagh Gardens. This is a hidden treasure that some locals may not have even discovered yet. Hidden just off Hatch Street, find your way inside to explore rose gardens, rock gardens, a beautiful fountain centrepiece and complete tranquillity.
A history of green spaces
Endless history lives within Dublin’s boundaries, and the parks are just as vibrant with tales of the past as the buildings and streets. The Irish Government are currently lobbying UNESCO to have Phoenix Park listed as a world heritage site. As well as stunning landscaping and plenty of wildlife (look out for the deer), this park is peppered with historic buildings and monuments. For a space to reflect, there’s also the Garden of Remembrance. This quiet park is a memorial to those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.
Best parks for kids
If you have little ones in tow, there are plenty of options in Dublin. Father Collins Park has a fun playground and vast open playing fields, and Cabinteely Park boasts a veritable feast of activities for youngsters. The playground here has sections designed for different age groups; with zones for under 5s, 6-12 year olds and teenagers.