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Dublin’s Top 10 Parks

peter donegan, gardens

My top ten Irish parks and places list is based on a few things…. essentially it comes down to the entire experience and will not include any park where one is charged money to enter [that also includes hidden charges like parking etc]. That excludes more places than you realise… But, if you are looking to get out and about then I hope this maybe encourages you to do so without costing you a penny and gives you something a little bit different.

Coments can be left below. You can vote for your favourite park or click on the title of any of the parks listed to bring you to the post about that park.

Dublin’s Top 10 Parks

1. The War Memorial Park

If there is a park comparable to poetry…. This *is* it! The history, the story, the layout, in it’s entirety… I love it. Not as many know about it. Maybe because it’s only across the road from the ‘more popular’ Phoenix Park – but for me – this is the ultimate. A bit off the beaten track but it has everything a gardener and not could ever want.

2. Ardgillan Demesne

It is a park, a castle [but not a true castle…], a playground, a gardens… It is by far the finest example of a park I have seen in Ireland to date. If I could give this park a 6 out of 5 rating I would. Well done to the grounds staff – you really have taken how a park and gardens should be maintained to a new high. Based on Dublins northside, It stands out for very good reason.

3. Merrion Square Park

This is a really cool park. I love it. Right in the heart of Dublin City Centre. The art inside the park is brilliant; the buildings surrounding housed so many amazing Irish people. The sign on the gate is cool and the people are sooooo relaxed inside. It even has a playground. Go there, love it and enjoy it! Never overly crowded so you can really relax here.

4. Father Collins Park

To describe this park in a few words is impossible. To describe it on video would be unfair. This is without a doubt possibly the finest ‘new’ park I have ever seen in my life. Named after Father [Fr] Joseph Collins who was the hardest working and first parish priest of the Donaghmede area the 52 acre park took about 1.5 years to build. It is young. But it is pure genius at its absolute finest. Off the beaten track… but worth every minute you may spend getting lost.

5. The Garden Of Remembrance

It is quite simplistic in its lay-out and overall design. But I love the little snug part where one can sit in quiet and ponder. It is also the heart of Dublin City not far from O’connell Street and where a little tranquility is the order of the day…. this is a little gem.

6. Irelands Eye

Free in. No charge. That said you may need a boat to get there. But – The day out that I had there… is one that I will never forget. I even found it difficult to pick out just the one image for this post.

7. St Patricks Park

I love this park. I like the personal touch to it – the signs of which are, literally, everywhere. Of particular note *and something that makes the park so very beautiful are the little ode’s to those [possibly surpising] who knew the park so well. One of those is to Tom Keegan, a previous head gardener and he is just one of many. I like the layout. The park is well maintained. People in there seemed relaxed and the pace of life on entering somehow seems to slow motion slightly. Once again, a little off the beaten track but worth the walk.

8. Mountjoy Square Park

Mountjoy can boast being Dublin’s only true Georgian square, each of its sides being exactly 140 metres in length. While the North, East and West sides each have 18 houses, the South has 19, reflecting some variation in plot sizes. The park does need some extra added attention in no specific area and it seems, at this moment there’s a bit of everything there, which is good, but aesthetically it doesn’t do it justice. That said, I’d be quite proud to have this park on my doorstep. For the sole reason that its not overly complex… it makes my top 10

9. Loughshinny Beach

Well, it turns out one of North Dublins hidden gems may not be the worst day trip you ever took. And in this case it turns out there is a lot more than sand to see here. This place is literally brimmed with history and nature. For those not into the ye olde botanics of the great outdoors…. this is exactly what you are looking for. The beach may well be the meeting  point [so to speak] but there is so much more than that here. Something for all the family.

10. Dubh Linn Gardens

Nestled in behind Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street [palace st. to be exact] is one of the finest gardens I have ever entered in my life. You know when you just get that ‘feeling groovy’ kind of a nice feel….? That’s exactly what I got… the garden is serenity at its finest. Go there. Enjoy! Absolutely amazing. Talk about escapism right in the middle of the city, yet still not too many go here that often.

There are some parks you may expect to see here. Some may even surprise you that they are here. Not all that I have visited are reviewed on the blog – but nonetheless these are my Top 10 parks and places that you should visit and ones that I hope you enjoy should you choose to go there. I know I did.

Coments can be left below. You can vote for your favourite above or click on the title of any of the parks listed above to bring you to the post about that park.

donegan gardens

Mountjoy Square Park

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According to the Dublin City Council’s website:

Located in the centre of Mountjoy Square, once Dublin’s premier Georgian area, and comprising 1.8 hectares, this park was originally created by the Developer of the Square, Luke Gardiner, Lord Mountjoy around 1800, as part of his grand concept which envisaged the great sweep of Gardiner Street down to the Custom House.

While the Square was upgraded in the late 1980’s, its full potential as a Georgian Park must await the relocation of the existing all-weather sports area currently under active consideration by the City Council.

Funny thing is, I don’t know where the pitch or the people who use it would/ could go if the all weather pitch was relocated, that is assuming the park is for the people. That said, I would also like to see it returned to its original concept. But then that’s all very good for me to say. Either or I like the park, although there are bits of it I simply just didn’t get. That said I was happy to be there and enjoyed my stroll. Sincerely.

I didn’t like the fact that the gates weren’t open on all sides and the Dublin Bikes Scheme stand was empty. The pottery around some of the trees baffled me but then that was balanced by some new planting and what appears to be a corner of the park for leaf mulch. The play ground was being used when I was there. The more junior nippers were in one area whilst the not so juniors were in the one next to it. The people were friendly and as tourists watched with maps from outside one Mom explained to me how the electronic dance game worked with a quick Mother Daughter demonstration.

I liked the rambling paths. The sculpt in the middle made me walk up to it… but I’ve no idea what it represents. Sometimes it’s better that way. I liked the piles of raked leaves and wanted to kick them everywhere…. the trees were all pruned and crown raised above head height so one could see everywhere from anywhere in the park. I saw wallflowers freshly planted and the hedges nicely cut screened the football area.

The park does need some extra added attention in no specific area and it seems, at this moment there’s a bit of everything there, which is good, but aesthetically it doesn’t do it justice. That said, I’d be quite proud to have this park on my doorstep.

Wikipedia gives some really interesting facts on Mountjoy Square

Mountjoy Square (Irish: Cearnóg Mhuinseo), one of five Georgian squares in Dublin, Ireland, lies on the north side of the city just under a kilometre from the River Liffey. Planned and developed in the late 18th century by the second Luke Gardiner, then Viscount Mountjoy, the square is surrounded on all sides by individual terraced, red-brick Georgian houses. Construction began in the early 1790s and the work was completed in 1818

Mountjoy can boast being Dublin’s only true Georgian square, each of its sides being exactly 140 metres in length. While the North, East and West sides each have 18 houses, the South has 19, reflecting some variation in plot sizes. Though each side was originally numbered individually, the houses are now numbered continuously clockwise from no. 1 in the north-west corner. While its North and South sides are continuous from corner to corner, the East and West sides are in three terraces, interrupted by two side streets, Grenville Street and Gardiner Place to the West and Fitzgibbon and North Great Charles Street to the East. Gardiner Street passes through the West side of the square, while Belvidere Place and Gardiner Lane run off the North- and South-East corners.

Although some of the original buildings fell to ruin over the 20th century, replicas have been built in their place, so the square still maintains its consistent Georgian façade.

View more images of Mountjoy Square Park

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