Ireland has a wealth of wonderful places to visit – but everyone will have different favorites, even within the same city! Our hope is that by the time Dublin2019 rolls around, you will have a list of places that you will want to visit – or re-visit, so do please consider contributing your own favorites! This week we are very happy to bring you
A walking tour of Dublin with Louis D’Alton
One of my many favourite things about Dublin is that it is a fabulous city for walking. Full disclosure. I am not a walker by nature. I would much rather sit or lean, or better yet lie down, but Dublin is a wonderful town to walk in. I won’t even pretend to give an extensive tour in this short a space, but I will point out some of my favourite spots to hang about when I am there.
You really can’t go wrong with a stroll along either side of the Liffey. In fact I strongly suggest several strolls, working a section at a time and stopping for nibbles and drink along the way. At night the river and buildings are lit up and it is really quite lovely. Looking across from the south side to the north you can see the customs house glowing in the night.
There are of course the famous bridges to cross over, including the relatively recent Samuel Beckett, a beautiful cable bridge which opened in 2009.
There is also the famous famine statues created by Rowan Gillespie in 1997 which commemorate the thousands of Irish forced to leave their homeland during the ‘famine’. The emaciated, ghostly figures reside by Customs House quay near the permanently moored famine ship the “Jeanie Johnston”.
Follow the river down to the docks and walk out along the Victorian dock which bisects Dublin bay, though given the wind at the seaside you may want to do this on a sunny day. Watch the people fishing or the boats coming and going, either way its a relaxing afternoon or evening.
The History and Architecture
While Dublin has been undergoing a building boom since the 1970’s it is still one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found. Walk through some of the residential neighbourhoods bordering the city core, or simply soak up the ambiance of the core itself, there is no shortage of sights.
To the west of the city lies Christ Church cathedral, which amongst other things houses the tomb of Strongbow (who played a leading role in the Norman invasion of Ireland). Even if you don’t want to go in for the tour the grounds are beautiful as is the stone and iron work of the cathedral.
The Christ Church grounds also contains a statue of the “Homeless Jesus” a work created by Canadian Artist Timothy Schalz. Copies of the work reside in a number of cities worldwide including Hamilton Canada, as well as Chicago and Washington in the US.
Speaking of cathedrals, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral lies to the south of Christ Church and is adjoined by a beautiful garden. This is a lovely spot to take a lunch and enjoy the day. There are a number of shops within walking distance where the necessities for a park picnic are easily gathered.
While walking about keep your eye’s peeled for the occasional chunk of ancient wall that once upon a time encircled the entire city.
Of course all these things pale in comparison to the true delight of Dublin, which is the Irish themselves. Their joy and charm abound from the adornment of their walls, to their mode of travel and choice of companion.
No matter what else you may do or see (and there are endless other things to do and see) I suggest that at some point you stop at cheery pub and partake of two of Ireland’s greatest treasures, a wee Jemmy (Jameson’s) and a pint of Guinness.