On the way north from Dublin to Belfast we stopped at Malahide Castle. You could have a delightful day of it at the castle and gardens or just stay for a few hours as we did. There is a visitor’s center where you purchase tickets; it has exhibits, shops and a café. It is famous for the Avoca Store where they have made world famous throws since 1723.
The castle is situated on 268 acres of woods and botanical gardens. The garden is large and very interesting with hundreds of different plants many from Australia and Chili brought there by the Talbot family members. The garden is divided into two sections the main shrubbery called the West Lawn, and the Walled Garden. The Walled Garden has seven glasshouses to accommodate the more tender species of plants. Be sure to see the peaches greenhouse and a beautiful Victorian glasshouse. The grounds provide a perfect place for a picnic lunch and there is plenty of room for the kids to run off some energy.
Castle tours are given regularly and they begin in the downstairs of the oldest part of the castle. The walls are lined with exhibits describing the history of Malahide Castle and the Talbot family members. The Castle played an important part in Ireland’s defense against the English invasion. The first stop on the tour is the Oak Room in the main section of the castle dating back to the 1500’s. The oak panels are carved with designs and medieval life scenes. The tour also includes the small drawing room, large drawing room decorated in Georgian style, great hall with a resident ghost, library and 3 bedrooms. The bedrooms include the main bedroom, a children’s room and a ladies bedroom. There is an elevator for handicap access. On the outside you can see the bell tower and large front lawn.
Abbey ruins of a pre-Norman church called St. Fenivus. There are abundant woodland trails where you will find many wild flowers, trees and shrubs.
Other County Shannon Heritage and Local Attractions include:
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park a 15th century castle, 19th century Bunratty Folk Park and the Village Street. – County Clare, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher Center – Spectacular cliff scenery and views for the Atlantic Ocean. – County Clare, Ireland
Saint John’s Castle -A 13th Century Castel featuring an imaginative exhibit and interpretation show. Excavated early Norman Houses, battlement, walks and more. -King’s Island, Limerick City, Ireland
Craggunowen – Reconstruction of a Bronze Age site with pre-historic dwellings, early Christian Ring Fort. Iron Age roadway and a replica of the Brendan Boat, a 6th century vessel. Plus a restored 16th century tower house. – Quin, County Clare, Ireland
Dunguaire Castle – A 16th Century historic exhibition, on the shores of Galway Bay. Medieval banquets nightly throughout the summer. – Kinvara,county Galway, Irelend
Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden – A 15th century castle and beautifully restored gardens. Medieval banquets nightly in the summer. – Quin County Clare, Ireland
Newbridge House and Farm – Situated in North County Dublin, a fine Georgian House on 360 acres of parkland. – Hearse Road, Donabate, County Dublin, Ireland
Ardgillan Castle and Demesne – It is one of Ireland’s hidden gems set in spectacular parklands where you can view the Irish Sea. The castle is a large 18th century country style house with castellated embellishments. It includes a rose and walled garden. – Ballbriggan, County Dublin, Ireland
Skerries Mills -It is a unique collection of windmills and watermill with millpond, millraces and wetlands. Also, there is an industrial heritage museum showcasing wind and water energy. – Skerries, Fingal, County Dublin
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