A Day on The Royal Canal

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Start your day off with a boat trip along the canal on a Royal Canal Boat Trip hosted by Jenny. Get a return trip from Maynooth to Leixlip and let Jenny take you to Maynooth. Whilst in Maynooth get a bite to eat at Beetroot Healthy Foods (wholesome, vegan & sustainable dinning) or Sásta By The River (wholesome & sustainable dinning). After a good feed, take a walk along the Royal Canal Greenway. Visit Castletown House and take a walk around one of Irelands most beautiful Georgian Houses Ireland has to offer. Check into Celbridge Manor Hotel for a quiet and cosy night after a day of exploring and dine in their School House bar, get a nice drink and stay in one of their Heritage Rooms situated in their original building for an authentic feel but with all the modern comforts. Or if you really want to go all out, why not stay at Carton House, with over 1,100 acres to discover, spa and pool facilities and some of the most beautiful architecture you can imagine.

Royal Canal Boat Trip Hire

Royal Canal Boat Trips is a Irish family business. We run our private charters, daily, all year round from Castleknock, Leixlip, Maynooth and Kilcock. We can accommodate between two and twelve passengers per trip.  Charters are three hours in duration  and include refreshments. We cater for families, visitors from over seas and groups of all ages and walks of life. It is our great pleasure to welcome you all aboard, where the kettle is on, the stove is lit and the scenery waits to find you utterly spellbound.

Beetroot Healthy Foods

At Beetroot Wholesome Food, we care passionately about health and wellness. We believe, that by practicing self-care and by nurturing our bodies with wholesome, plant based vegetarian and vegan fare, by thinking positive thoughts, and by respecting our planet, we can truly transform anyone’s wellbeing. We believe in sustainable ecological farming so much, that we grow our own organic produce on Beech Park Eco Farm. Beetroot Healthy Food, our Café in Maynooth was born just a few short years ago in 2016. In that short space of time, we are so proud to have won the Restaurants Ireland accolade for Best “Free From” Award, 3 years in a row. We care deeply about cooking wholesome, additive and allergen free plant based food. We also care deeply about our planet, and endeavour to promote zero waste packaging. All Beetroot packaging is fully compostable.

Sásta By The River

Serving breakfast, lunch and brunch, whilst Bringing vibrancy to healthy eating. Sasta By The River is a zero waste eatery. Open Wednesday to Sunday 9am – 3.30pm

Royal Canal Greenway

Welcome to the Royal Canal Greenway, a long-distance, off-road walking and cycling trail connecting Maynooth with Longford Town. The 130km trail passes through the lush green landscapes of Ireland’s Ancient East towards the mighty River Shannon in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. The Royal Canal, sometimes called the “Shoemaker’s Canal” from a story linking one of its early promoters with such a craft, was built 14 years after the Grand Canal. Following years of decline, it finally ceased to be used as a commercial waterway in 1951, though is still enjoyed by leisure users to this day. Start your adventure at Maynooth’s fine harbour in this renowned university town, close to the walled gardens and demesne of Carton House and trek or cycle 6km to Kilcock or further afield to Enfield and beyond. With an easy access to the stretch between Maynooth and Kilcock by car along the M4 and frequent bus and rail services from Dublin city centre makes this a convenient route for walkers.

Castletown House and Parklands

When it was built in the 1720s, Castletown set a radical precedent and it is an extraordinary part of our cultural inheritance. Now, as the OPW breathes contemporary life into Ireland’s earliest and finest Palladian house, it is trailblazing once more. We hope you enjoy your visit.

Celbridge Manor Hotel

Celbridge Manor Hotel is a magnificent Georgian-fronted hotel situated in the heritage town of Celbridge in County Kildare. Only minutes from Celbridge Village, the hotel sits on beautiful grounds, linked to the Clane Road by an opulent tree-lined avenue. The hotel combines old-world charm with the very best of modern convenience. Built in 1737 by Parliament Speaker, William Connolly of the nearby Castletown House, Ireland’s finest Palladian country house, the hotel served as a school until the mid 1970’s, when it was converted into a hotel. The hotel is decorated to a very high standard, reflecting the elegance of its inception in the Georgian era. The hotel contains 66 luxurious bedrooms, all tastefully decorated and containing all modern conveniences. Each bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, which contains a separate shower and stand-alone roll-top bath. The hotel serves the very best in fresh local produce and our Schoolhouse bar is a great place to catch up with friends, watch the big game, have a bite to eat or simply relax! The hotel is conveniently located 30 minutes from Dublin city centre and 30 minutes from Dublin airport and there is easy access to the M4, M7 and M50 motorways. Celbridge is also serviced by frequent bus and rail services. When you arrive at the gates you will be immediately transported to a world far removed from everyday life. A warm welcome awaits you, warm wood panelled lobby, sweeping staircase and light filled atrium.

Carton House

An exciting date for your diary and one that will always be remembered in the vibrant history of Carton House as we reopen to guests and visitors following an extensive restoration and luxury redesign. With more than 75 locations around the globe, Fairmont is known for its grand and awe-inspiring properties, many of which are steeped in history and are a focal point of their local regions. We are sure you will agree that Carton House fits this description perfectly, and our hotel will be the most historic property in the prestigious Fairmont collection. From the moment you arrive at Carton House this summer, you will discover a guest experience which has been completely reimagined. There will be a number of exciting new dining experiences to enjoy including The Morrison Room which has been transformed into a fine dining restaurant and Kathleen’s Kitchen serving a true taste of Ireland with the finest locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. A new bar, The Courtyard Bar will also serve a light menu with premium spirits, fine wines and cocktails providing guests with an indoor and outdoor destination to relax and unwind. 

If you would like to include a visit here during your time in Ireland, visit our website or get in touch and let us help you save time planning your Perfect Irish Trip


*Please note, we are advising international travel to Ireland from Spring 2022 and within Ireland from Summer 2021 onwards, unless advised otherwise by government officials, but we can help your plan your trip now 😊

For more information on us and what we do click into – www.perfectirishtrip.com

Phoenix Park, Dublin

About Phoenix Park.

Phoenix Park is one of Europe’s largest suburban park, covering 11km or 1,752 acres (707 hectares) of land. The park is over 350 years old. Walled off in 1662 for king Charles II, as a ‘Royal Deer Park’. The deer have been part of the park ever since and can be spotted in various locations throughout the 11km park. Before the park was walled off to become a park, the Vikings buried their dead here. Around 40 graves – one of which contained a woman buried with a pair of bronze Scandinavian brooches – were discovered together near the Islandbridge/ Kilmainham edge. This is the biggest Viking cemetery outside of Scandinavia. Some of the rules of Phoenix Park include – no lighting fires, no litter, no riding a horse unless in an area specified for horse-riding, no posters, not to drive on the grass and not to go faster than 50km/per hour on roads through the park. Phoenix Park is one of the most photogenic wild areas Dublin has to offer and is well worth a visit.

How to get around.

Rent bikes from Phoenix Park Bikes for €15 for a full day, €10 for 3 hours or €6 for one hour.

What to see.

We have listed what we view as some of the best things to see and do in Phoenix Park below.

  1. Dublin Zoo
    A hit amongst adults and children alike. Dublin zoo is home to over 400 animals and has been in operation since 1831, making it one of the world’s oldest zoos. The zoo covers over 69 acres. Many of the animals are part of international breeding programmes for endangered species, as their species are currently under threat. Pricing for adults is €18. and for children is €13.50. For more information and to get your tickets at a discounted price click here.
  2. Áras an Uachtaráin
    Áras an Uachtaráin, otherwise known as the President of Ireland’s humble abode is located in Phoenix Park and unlike most other presidential house’s you can almost wave into the window at President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina. The public are welcome every Saturday to come and join a guided tour free of charge and takes almost an hour. The tour operates on a first come on first served basis and the tour times are – 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Sometimes due to State and/or Official Business the tours cannot operate. For more information and for updates on tours click here.
  3. The Wild Deer
    Phoenix park is home to a herd of 400-450 fallow deer descend from the original herd introduced in the 1660s. They can be found throughout the park in various locations. Friends of the deer are advised not to feed them any food.
  4. Farmleigh
    A historic Edwardian period house holding important collections, an art gallery, a working farm, and the official Irish State guest house, Farmleigh House and Estate is open seven days a week. An estate of seventy-eight acres situated to the north-west of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, Farmleigh provides accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation. Entry for guided tours around the house start are €8 for adults For more information click here.
  5. Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
    A lively and entertaining exhibition on the history and the wildlife of the Phoenix Park is on display in the Visitor Centre. Here the visitor can enjoy a historical interpretation of the park from 3500 B.C. to the present day and can also view an audio-visual presentation on the Phoenix Park through the ages. Next to the visitor centre is Ashton Castle.
  6. Ashtown Castle
    Ashtown Castle is a medieval tower-house. Until 1978, this castle was hidden within the walls of a Georgian mansion (called Ashtown Lodge) that was occupied by the Under Secretary for Ireland. When the Georgian house was demolished in the late seventies, the castle was discovered inside. It has since been restored and is now open to the public. It may date from as early as the fifteenth century.
  7. Victorian Walled Gardens
    The Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden is a two and a half-acre garden set in the grounds of Ashtown Castle (next to the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre).

Other things to see and do in Phoenix Park.

  1. Wellington Monument
    Built to commemorate the victories of the ‘Iron Duke’ Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, who was born in Dublin, the memorial in the Phoenix park is the tallest obelisk in Europe. It is 205 feet tall.
  2. Papal Cross
    The Papal Cross is a simple large white cross that was erected near the edge of the Fifteen Acres for the Papal visit of Pope John Paul II on the 29th September 1979. On this day, before travelling to Drogheda, Co. Louth, Pope John Paul II delivered an open-air sermon to more than 1.25 million people.
  3. Magazine Fort
    The Magazine Fort is a bastion fort and magazine. Built in 1735, it was occupied by British Armed Forces until 1922 when it was turned over to the Irish Defence Forces.
  4. Phoenix Park Monument
    The Phoenix Monument was erected by the fourth Earl of Chesterfield in 1747. The column was carved in Portland stone. It is in the shape of a Corinthian column with a Phoenix bird rising from the ashes at its pinnacle.
  5. The People’s Gardens
    The Victorian People’s Flower Gardens comprise of an area of twenty-two acres, which were laid out around 1840 and opened in 1864. They provide an opportunity to display Victorian horticulture at its best.
  6. Prehistoric Burial Chamber
    A prehistoric burial chamber over 5,500 years old. The tumulus, which covered it, was opened in 1838 and skeletons, pottery and other relics, now in the National Museum were discovered.

Additional information.

For more information on all of these sites and attractions and for more details on their locations please visit phoenixpark.ie.

Best Wildlife Experiences In Ireland

Here at Perfect Irish Trip we have a huge appreciation for nature, animals and wildlife. We also believe in admiring said wild life from affair in their natural habitats. We are lucky in Ireland to have many amazing animals to admire in the wild. Some animals even have regular interaction with humans in the wild, like Fungie The Friendly Dolphin in Dingle or Dusty the Dolphin who can be spotted around County Clare. Below we have listed some of the best wildlife spots around Ireland.

Wild Ireland

Wild Ireland is an animal sanctuary set up by Killian McLoughlin, that rehabilitates animals and also houses animals once native to Ireland. Amongst the animals are 3 brown bears, European wolves, a lynx (the original Celtic Tiger), an otter and red deer, red deer, red foxes, an owl, an otter and many more. All animals have been rescued from cruel circumstances such as circuses, illegal trade and neglect. Killian worked closely with three international charities to bring the animals to his 23 acre site that they now call home. To visit Wild Ireland or to learn more click into – Wild Ireland

Fungie The Dolphin

Fungie the friendly bottle-nosed dolphin has built a home and a fanbase for himself on the Dingle shores. Fungie first said hello over 30 years ago to fishermen who gave him his name. He comes and goes as he pleases in and out of the Dingle harbour to say hello to passing boats. He is quite a rare dolphin who chooses to spend more time playing alongside boats with a frequent jump out to say hello to humans, rather than spending time with other dolphins. No boat tour guarantees that you will see Fungie and if he is not on the shores of the harbour where he knows the boats will be, he is then left alone to do as he please wherever he may be. For more information click into – Fungie The Dolphin

The Saltee Islands

The Saltee Islands are a haven for sea birds, nurturing an impressive array of birds, from Gannets and Gulls to Puffins and Manx Shearwaters. The Islands consist of the Great and Little Saltee and are situated approximately 5km off the coast of Kilmore Quay in County Wexford. The Great Saltee also has a breeding population of Grey Seals, one of the very few in eastern Ireland. Up to 120 animals are present in autumn and up to 20 pups are produced annually. Since December 1943 the Saltees have been privately owned by the Neale family. The Neale family have always respected this bird sanctuary and treated visiting Ornithologists and bird watchers alike with hospitality. Day visitors are allowed on Great Saltee between 11am and 4:30 pm only. Arranged trips from Kilmore Quay are approved within these hours. Any visitors landing a boat outside of these hours will be asked to leave. The Saltee Islands are both rare and beautiful. All are welcome to see and enjoy. For more information click into – The Saltee Islands

Phoenix Park Deer

Phoenix park is home to a herd of 400-450 fallow deer descend from the original herd introduced in the 1660s. They can be found throughout the park in various locations. Friends of the deer are advised not to feed them any food and only to admire them from afar. For more information click into – Phoenix Park Deer

Dusty The Dolphin

Dusty The Dolphin is another rare bottle nose Dolphin who has taken a particular interest in human companionship over the years. First spotted in Doolin in county Clare, Dusty can be found in various locations across county Clare and as far as the Aran Islands, although she received bad press over the years, most people who swim with regularly said the bad press was actually mostly due to human negligence and people acting in appropriately, since then, Dusty has taken on more solitude. If you are lucky to come across Dusty, we advise you admire her from afar or the shallow waters and allow her to come to you if she pleases. As someone who has been lucky to swim with dusty in the early years, I can attest she is an amazing being who should be respected and loved. 

As we said at the beginning of our post, wild life is to be respected and admired from a far, we are also huge believers in ‘Leave No Trace’  and ask that any time you are in nature that you leave everything as was and enjoy everything for what it is.If you would like to download our Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Tour of Ireland for €15.99 click here – Eco Friendly & Sustainable Tour of Ireland