When it comes to Dublin, I won’t lie – I have been quite often because for those who don’t know, my partner is Irish and from Dublin. His family lives in the most gorgeous part of the county, in my humble opinion, which is Dalkey. Since I live in the big busy city London I really enjoy staying in the coastal village of Dalkey. I decided to created this mini blog post for those interested in spending a weekend in Dublin and unsure of what’s on offer outside of the city. A little disclosure, unless you pay for an organised tour – you will need a car to visit some of these places. Otherwise, there’s a couple of options of bus tour that you can find online. But trust me, it’s so worth it.
1. Dalkey Village
Let me start with the closest one from Dublin city center; Dalkey. Dalkey is only a short 30 minute trip from the city centre and easily accessible by the Dart (coastal train). It’s a very cute village from where you can find traditional shops, pubs and restaurants. Needless to say it is very instagramable. Oh and why not stop off in one of the villages beautiful pubs on route for a real Irish pint of Guinness!
2. Dalkey (Vico road)
This is the coast of Dublin and it will blow your mind, the water is so blue and on a sunny day – you won’t believe that you are in Ireland. Local people love to swim all year around- if you are not a fan of regular ice baths then don’t say I didn’t warn you! I love going there for an adventurous coastal walk, breathing the fresh breeze sweeping over the Irish sea and feeling that positive Irish energy. This beautiful coastal walk of the coast is only a couple of minutes from Dalkey village. You can also booked a cruise around Dalkey island and check out the dauphins, yes it is a thing – see more info here or you can simply pay a fisherman to a quick transport to Dalkey island – check out more info here
3. Powerscourt Estate & Gardens (Wicklow)
From this point onwards, you will need to have a car as it is slightly outside of county Dublin; however, it is only a moderately short drive from Dalkey village (approximately 25-30 minutes). Occasional if the ‘luck of the Irish’ is on your side you may witness some beautiful wild horses galloping around the exterior gardens. Can use the morning to take a tour of their spacious gardens and estate and grab lunch in their on site restaurant cafe.
But initially this place is a hotel and a golf course and there is a very cute chain restaurant that I love; Avoca.This adorable restaurant is so also very ascetically pleasing and sells very cute Irish souvenir.
Glendalough is also located in county Wicklow, south of Dublin, along the east coast of the Country. It is well known to be a very popular place among tourist and often coined the ‘garden of Ireland’ yet it is so big that you rarely feel too overwhelmed by the many tourists that visit. When you first arrive on the site, you will find the Glendalough Monastric site. Without going in to too much detail, it is one of the most important early Christian sights and it is of course very aesthetically pleasing. Glendalough, which means Valley of the Two Lakes, is located in a wooded valley beside two tranquil lakes.
5. Hiking the Wicklow valley
For those that like nature walk or to simply hike, the Wicklow Way is of the most scenic places, you could easily pass a whole day hiking the many routes on offer. Due to the higher altitude of the mountains, the weather can be a bit more unpredictable – I can recall the time we took a hike here, the weather went from sunny and warm to very cold and rainy – so don’t forget to pack a good Jacket!
Other great things to visit:
6. Hiking from Bray to Greystones
We did this last year and the view was absolutely exceptional.
On the other side, on the other county; you will find a lot of good restaurant options and can always take the dart to go back to the city or to Dalkey