Dun Laoghaire is widely referred to as one of the most popular and beautiful seaside areas in all of Ireland. One cannot quite fathom the beauty of Dun Laoghaire in the morning or on a sunny day unless they experience it for themselves. Some of the most notable Irish figures have come from or lived in Dun Laoghaire at some point including singer Bob Geldof, writer Maeve Binchy, Irish rebel Joseph Holt and artist Sarah Purser.
Described as Dublin Bay’s Cultural Waterfront, Dun Laoghaire is abundant with things to see and do. There are so many historic events relating to this suburban Dublin town too. Going as far back as the 5th century, Dun Laoghaire was used by the High King of Ireland as a sea base to carry out raids on Britain! The present town of Dun Laoghaire as we know it however dates back to around the 1820’s.
One of the key features of Dun Laoghaire is the harbour, which is one of the largest harbours in Ireland, and took 42 years to originally construct. It is most notable for its two fabulous granite piers, with the East Pier a popular place for a stroll. The pier featured in the movie Michael Collins – remember when Collins, played by Liam Neeson, strolled along the seaside promenade talking to two of his comrades? That very promenade is the beautiful walkway that lines the harbour in Dun Laoghaire.
Unsurprisingly, water sports, especially yachting, are very popular in the area. You’ll often spot some fine sailing boats out on the waters of Dun Laoghaire and as it houses the largest marina in the country, it’s a favourite spot for locals and drifting boaters alike. The 820-berth marina is a relatively new feature and has become a great asset to the area since it first opened in 2001. It is worth a stroll down the marina if even just to admire the large expensive boats that often dock there. It perhaps comes as no surprise that Dun Laoghaire is home to The National Maritime Museum of Ireland. Housed in Mariners’ Church, which formerly served the British Navy, the National Maritime Museum houses several great maritime exhibitions.
One of the most famous landmarks in Dun Laoghaire is the People’s Park, a large public park located off of the East Pier of the harbour. The People’s Park was officially opened in 1890 and is approximately two hectares in all. It offers a number of key features of Georgian era design and contains a children’s park, band stand, tearooms, a garden for the blind and two beautiful fountains. Art enthusiasts should make their way to the Oratory of the Sacred heart in Dun Laoghaire, a haven of Celtic Renaissance Art while those looking to further immerse themselves in the culture of Dun Laoghaire should pay a visit to DLR Lexicon, the main public library and cultural centre in the area.
Dun Laoghaire is one of the most famous towns in Ireland and when you get to visit, you’ll get to see why so many love this charming town. Whether you are a maritime enthusiast, someone looking to divulge further into Irish culture, a keen photographer looking to bring home some beautiful shots of Ireland or someone who really just wants to indulge in the most beautiful places that Ireland has to offer, Dun Laoghaire is the place to go.