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Five One-Day Getaways From Dublin

If you come to Dublin with time on your hands, you could make numerous one-day outings from the city. One such option is to explore the coast north and south of Ireland’s capital, dotted with quaint fishing villages, idyllic spots to wander through and places to relax – all just a ride away on public transport. DART, the rapid rail system which runs along Dublin’s coastline, from Greystones in the south to Balbriggan in the north, and inland to Maynooth and Hazelhatch, is the best way to get around. What’s more, the comfort it offers and the route it plies – hard by the coast with great views – has led it to become a serious alternative for tourists visiting the area. Here are some towns and places of interest you will come across on the way:

1. Howth

Situated on the north end of Dublin Bay, this is a charming fishing village. From the train station located in the town centre, you can go on four looped walks that enable you to soak up this beautiful maritime village. Some of the main places to see are Baily Lighthouse, Howth Castle and gardens and the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye are two essential spots for bird-lovers, as numerous species can be spotted there.

2. Malahide

This seaside town north of Dublin is well worth strolling about to discover its shops and dive into its numerous bars and restaurants to have a pint and recharge. Don’t leave without first seeing its castle and surrounding gardens. Malahide Castle was built in the 12th century by the English Talbot family, who resided there until 1973. It is now open to the public for viewing and discovering the history of that illustrious family.

3. Sandycove

Sandycoveborders on south Dublin. Its main sightseeing landmark is the Martello Tower, also known as the James Joyce Tower, with its characteristic circular shape. It is part of a complex of fifteen towers that were built in the Dublin environs in 1804 to defend against the Napoleonic invasion. It houses the James Joyce Museum, which exhibits this celebrated Irish writer’s letters, photographs and belongings. Joyce lived on these premises for a time and it is the point of departure for one of his most popular novels, Ulysses.

4. Dalkey

Slightly further south of Sandycove lies Dalkey. This village was founded as a Viking settlement and has become a residential area for the well-to-do in recent years, so you are likely to come across the odd luxury mansion here. Bono and Van Morrison are among the celebrities that have succumbed to its charm. For enthusiasts of cultural heritage, the main street features a 10th-century church and two, 14th-century Norman castles. Hiking is a popular pursuit here and therefore a good excuse for seeking out scenic views. Dalkey Island, at the southern end, is one of the main attractions in the area. Access is via a regular boat service. The island is uninhabited and features archaeological remains of two churches and the Martello tower.

5. Bray

At the end of the line running along Dublin’s southern coastline lies Bray. This is a traditional summer resort for Dubliners and is still in vogue today. One of its landmarks is Bay Head, a 241-metre-high hill overlooking the sea separating the towns of Bray and Greystones. There is a coastal path around the foot of the hill that connects the two towns and is well worth walking. If you’re fit, you can also trundle up to the top, which is quite a steep climb, but the views to be had at the end of the walk are well worth the effort.

Ready to enjoy the coastal towns beyond Dublin’s boundaries? Check out our flights here.

Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Photos by Giuseppe Milo, William Murphy, Ana Rey, Bruce Calder

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