10 Great Locations off the DART
If you are living on the dart line, consider yourself blessed! Between picturesque Dublin and Wicklow towns with great coffee and food, to the seaside, there are so many day trips you can plan. It’s a brilliant day out for teens with friends, couples or families with young or older kids. Here is a top 10 breakdown of some towns and things to do within them*:
Howth, the stunning fishing village with so much to do! A brisk walk up Howth head and along the cliff walk will leave you feeling fresh and hungry for the abundance of seafood available at every seafront facing restaurant in the area. Walk along the harbour with your takeaway fish and chips and soak up the Irish sun/rain/ wind, feeling the sea spray in your hair. On the weekends pay a visit to the brilliant Howth Market and peruse the handmade arts and crafts on offer, along with different cuisines cooked fresh in front of you. Howth Castle and Gardens offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the town and ample space for the little ones to run free!
Another stunning seaside town with a walk-through main street dotted with the finest boutiques and restaurants. Stroll through the marina and see the boats docked there, arriving at the beach for a wade in the shallow sea, or explore the Malahide Castle and Gardens where you will find sprawling fields, huge playgrounds, a butterfly farm, a fairy trail and guided tours of the medieval castle itself.
Portmarnock is most well known for the gorgeous sprawling beach. Loved by teen groups and young families, it’s a great place to escape to for the day for a swim and maybe some sand-castle building. Along the velvet strand, there are beautiful views of the Dublin Mountains and Howth harbour.
4. Grand Canal Dock
Grand Canal Dock is an enclosed harbour in Dublin City Centre. Full of tech company offices, such as Google and Facebook, you’ll find young twenty-somethings hanging out on lunch break with restaurants catering to their tastes. Take a walk along the docks and keep going into the city centre to soak up the city’s atmosphere. Stroll through Grafton Street and Stephen’s Green, listening to buskers as you go.
Blackrock is steeped in history but with a whole new facelift on Main Street, you will find the latest and most popular restaurants and café’s lining the one-way pedestrianised street. The Blackrock Market is full of vendors selling clothes, toys and gifts along with the magnificent scents of international cuisine. Pick up some food from the market and taste the best coffee in Dublin from any of the café’s through Blackrock and bring it and a picnic to the beautiful Blackrock park. Sit overlooking the pond within or the sea beyond and relax!
Home of the Forty Foot, Sandycove is a great area to visit if you are a strong swimmer or simply want to watch others who are strong swimmers. Check out the famous Martello Tower where James Joyce lived for a week as a young man. The opening scene of Joyce's Ulysses is set in this tower. If the weather is good, take a dip or sunbathe on Sandycove beach.
7. Dun Laoghaire
Just a short stroll from Sandycove, visit Dun Laoghaire pier and town. The pier is a long walk to the lighthouse and a much-loved location for families. If you visit on a Sunday, the local People’s Park is full of great cooked food and fresh produce stalls for the Farmers’ market.
Killiney Hill is a must! Climb through the forest to keep it exciting for the kids or follow the path to the top for spectacular views of Killiney Bay and beyond. Visit Killiney’s stony beach (leave the buckets and spades at home) and wade through the clear water.
Bray seafront is a great day out for all. Walk Bray Head and sit with a picnic overlooking the bay, or wear decent footwear and do the Bray to Greystones walk. Or stay along the seafront and enjoy the playground or the amusement rides during the summer or the gorgeous seafood restaurants along the front. Another great place for the kids is the swan sanctuary at the harbour (do not get too close as they are wild!).
Another stunning coastal town which has become very popular in recent years, and for good reason. With a beautiful sheltered beach, local park and numerous business establishments along the main street. Do the Greystones to Bray walk while you’re there and see the views and visit St. Crispin’s Cell, a historical site located in Rathdown Lower.