I was fortunate to spend a week in Ireland recently, March 2-9 2016, and a high point was a visit to Dalkey and its nearby villages. Dalkey is approximately 30 minutes south of Dublin by DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and is a welcome change of pace from the crowds and tourists of Dublin.
When you arrive at Dalkey Station, your first destination should be Killiney Park. It’s a 15-minute easy uphill walk. The park is quite big and there are a few trails that will guide you to the Obelisk at the park’s highest point. From here, there’s an outstanding 360-degree view of Dublin, Ireland’s west coast, the Wicklow Mountains, Dalkey Island and White Rock Beach.
Continue down the hill and head back towards Dalkey. White Rock Beach is worth a visit too, so head over the train tracks and down to the beach if you are interested (the pictures are spectacular when the weather is on your side). It was sunny for most of our day trip, but a few clouds in the sky only added to the character of our pictures. When you are walking towards Dalkey, stop to look at Dalkey Island — you might be able to spot the rabbits and wild goats that live on the small island, and the seals the often lounge on its shores. You’ll also notice a stone church from the 10th century as well as a Martello Tower, built in the early 19th century due to a possible invasion from Napoleon.
Dalkey is a nice spot for lunch — we had a bite at Idlewilde Cafe on St Patrick’s Rd., but there’s also the very interesting Tramyard Kitchen a few minutes away. If you have more of an appetite, or if you are interested in returning for dinner, try the Queen’s Bar or the Magpie Inn. Prices are reasonable, service is fantastic, and the setting in both is memorable.
When you walk through Dalkey, you’ll notice its two remaining castles. Beyond Dalkey, heading north, you’ll enter Sandycove and eventually 40-foot beach. There’s a decent chance you’ll see people swimming in the ocean here year round. This beach is also adjacent to the James Joyce Tower and Museum. This stop doesn’t offer any mind-blowing structures, but the view of the ocean is well worth the walk.
At this point in our day, we decided to make our way back to Dalkey for dinner, but if you’re heading back to Dublin for the evening, the Sandycove Station is a short walk west of 40-foot beach. You can use the DART for your return trip. If you’re planning on spending the night in the Dalkey area, I strongly recommend the Fitzpatrick Castle. It’s only 10 minutes southwest of the Dalkey Station and offers a buffet breakfast, two pubs, a restaurant, and very polite service in general.