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

Haunted Castles Ireland

Haunted Castles Ireland

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we would do a small list of the best haunted castles to visit in Ireland. We all like a bit of a spook in our life from time to time and some of us like a spook a bit more than time to time, so much so that we might seek out a haunted location to investigate. Ireland is home to many a paranormal element. Some places are so well known that they provide guided tours, others are less well known. Below we have a list of some of the best haunted castles for you to visit.

Leap Castle is known to be haunted. Perfect Irish Trip

Leap Castle- Ireland’s Most Haunted Castle

Leap Castle, located in County Offaly (just under a two hour drive from Dublin). Leap Castle is said to be one of the most haunted castles in Europe. Originally the site was used by Druids for initiation ceremonies and then in the early 1500s, the first castle structor was built for the O’Carroll Clann. There was huge rivalry between two O’Carroll brothers. One of the brothers was a priest and was holding a small family mass ceremony in the chapel, mid mass the other O’Carroll brother charged in and murdered the priest by stabbing him with a sword. That was the start of the paranormal activity, the chapel is now aptly named – ‘The Bloody Chapel’. Over the next few centuries, the castle was home to more bloodshed and violence. In 1922 three cartloads of skeleton remains where found in the Oubliette. With a dark and bloody past and over 9 regular spirits seen on various occasions by different people Leap Castle isn’t for the faint hearted. Sean Ryan, the current owner takes regular bookings for private guided tours around the castle, showing the different rooms, telling the history of the castle and talking about all the different spirits. For more information and to book a tour email Sean Ryan – seanfryan@outlook.

Malahide Castle, Haunted, Ireland

Malahide Castle – Tour Around

Malahide Castle in north Dublin was built in 1185, by King Henry II of England and was gifted to the kings friend, Richard Talbot. The Castle is home to Puck, a professional joker or a ‘fool’ from medieval times. Puck was found stabbed in the courtyard of the castle, on a snowy Christmas morning. The tales behind Puck say that he was a jester for the castle, who, when not entertaining would keep lookout for any dangerous threats approaching the castle, he was said to have fallen in love Lady Elenora Fitzgerald who was being held has a prisoner within the castle. His spirit has been scene by many of the Talbot family members over the years. The castle was sold to the Irish family by Rose Talbot in 1975. Puck’s ghost has been seen by many of the visitors touring the castle. Malahide castle is home to four other spirits too, although they may not be as well known like Puck. Two short stories of the other spirits in the castle include the gruesome punishment of Miles Cobert, who was hanged, drawn, then quartered for treason and Walter Hussey, who was murdered the morning of his wedding (his bride-to-be later fell involve with his murderer). Malahide Castle is a beautiful castle to visit in Ireland and its conveniently located close to Dublin, you can explore the grounds or take guided tours of the castle, for more information click into – Malahide Castle

Ballygally Castle in County Antrim, Haunted

Ballygally Castle – Sleep Over

Ballygally Castle in County Antrim is home to Lady Isabella Shaw, whom is said to have been a permanent guest of the castle for about 400 years. There are two different stories behind her death, both of which castle blame on her husband after she gave birth to his son. One says after the birth of their son, Lord James Shaw locked his wife Isabella into a room at the top of the castle and upon trying to escape to find her son, she fell to her death. Another story says that Lord Shaw himself killed her or that he had her killed. Lady Isabella is said to be a friendly spirit who roams the castle. People can feel her presence or feel they have a moment that they cannot explain. You can stay over in Ballygally Castle (Lady Isabella Shaws ghost is said to roam the older parts of the castle) and you can also arrange a ghost tour by a member of staff, click here – Ballygally Castle Ghost Tour.

Leamaneh Castle, County Clare Ireland, Haunted

Leamaneh Castle – Explore the Ruins

Said to be haunted by Red Mary (or Máire Rua) the ruined site of Leamaneh Castle is said to be one of the most haunted castles in all of Ireland. Located just on the outskirts of The Burren national park, between Carran and Kilfenora. The history behind Red Mary is that she married Conor O’Brien and moved into his castle, carrying the wealth from her first marriage through to her marriage with Conor, Mary was able to build extensions to the castle, soon turning it into one of the grandest in the country at the time (1630s). Red Mary was known for her red hair that match her fiery ways and foul temper. It is said that if a servant couldn’t do exactly what was asked of them or displeased her in anyway they were sent to death, if male they were thrown out a castle window and hung by the neck and if female they were also thrown out from a castle window, but hung from their hair, she was even known for punishing maids by cutting off their breasts. After a battle which severely injured her husband Conor, when he was brought back to the castle gates, Red Mary is said to have shown no sympathy and closed the gates to him and his men and shouted to them “What do I want with dead men here?”. She then changed her mind and nursed him until he died. Later, having married again (for a third time) her husband Captain John Cooper felt her wrath, when he said something unfavourable about Red Marys second husband, Conor O’Brein, Mary jumped out of the bed and kicked him in the stomach, killing him. Obviously in her life mary made many enemies and this caught up with her, after the death of her last husband, Mary was captured and tied to a tree, left to starve and die. The location of Marys grave is unknown, but her she has been seen walking the halls of Leamaneh Castle and also in a druids alter near the castle. For more information on the history of the castle and on Red Mary click here – Red Mary at Leamaneh Castle. (The castle ruins are visible from the road, but not accessible.)

If you ever go to any other locations in Ireland that you sense a paranormal spirit, or even see one, we would love o hear about it. You can comment below or email us at

Public Transport Ireland

If you want to get around Ireland via public transport you are in luck. Ireland is kitted out to be easily accessible to travel while using public transport, with hourly buses and trains to most major towns and cities and regular commuter buses to smaller surrounding towns and villages. Cities like Dublin, Galway and Cork also offer city bike schemes with easy sign ups. 

Best Travel Sites To Help You Plan Your Route

  • Transport For Ireland (TFI) – TFI is a helpful website for helping you plan your travelling routes and methods. With TFI you enter your departure location, your destination location and your time of leaving and press search, you will then be presented with the best options, the time it will take, the costs of each different option and a detailed step by step (including a map)
  • Google Maps – Google maps is quite similar to the above, but offers slightly less information with regards to the costs of each journey, but if English isn’t your native language Google Maps may be the better option to start with initially to get the best understanding of your options and routes as it will provide the information in your chosen language.

Travel Options

Walk – Obvious, yes. Walking is the easiest way to get around most central city areas like Dublin, Galway and Cork, it is also the ideal way to get around little towns like Dingle / Cobh or Kinvara.
Bike Rental – Another great way to get around central areas is to rent a bike for a few hours. If renting a bike to site-see we recommend

  •  Dublin Bikes (a self-service bike rental system open to everyone from 14 years of age. With 40 stations, you can travel throughout the city centre, commute between home and work and get out and about to enjoy Dublin city at your leisure, just collect a bike and drop it securely back to a station), you can use Dublin Bikes with a Leap Card (info below).
  • Bleeper Bikes is similar to the above and probably more accessible to tourists. 
  •  GreenAer an electric bike rental company.

Bus – Ireland has a great bus system to help travellers get around

  • Dublin Bus – Operates throughout Dublin
  • Bus Éireann – Operates regular buses daily throughout Ireland
  • GoBus – Operates regular buses daily throughout Ireland

Rail – Ireland has a great railway system throughout. There are three different types, which we have listed below.

  • Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) – Irish Rail operates throughout Ireland and is one of the fasted way to get around. With hourly trains to most destinations.
  • DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) – The DART operates throughout Dublin and the wider Dublin area (to Dublin suburbs like Bray, Greystones and northbound as far as Dundalk, County Louth)
  • LUAS (Irish for speed) – The LUAS services has two routes in Dublin, the Green Line (From Carrickmines / Sandyford / Dundrum or Cabra / Phibsrough into Dublin City Centre) and the Red Line (From Citywest / Tallaght to Dublin City Centre) 

Traveling From Dublin Airport

If arriving into Dublin Airport and wondering how to get to Dublin City Centre or other locations you have three options.

  • Car Rental – To see the most competitive car rental prices click into – Kayak 
  • Bus – There are many different bus options for when you are leaving the airport, no matter how far you are traveling in Ireland. For full info to see your best options click into – Buses From Dublin Airport
  • Taxi – There is a constant string of taxis in operation at Dublin airport 24/7. If you would like to calculate your fare from Dublin Airport to your destination click into – FARE CALCULATOR.

Travel Cards
Leap Card(Best For Dublin City & Bus / Rail)While traveling around Ireland you should consider getting a Leap Card (The TFI Leap Card is a contactless smart card for automated fare collection overseen by Transport for Ireland) for easy and convenient travel. The Leap Card can be used on Dublin Bus, Go-Ahead Ireland, DART and Commuter Rail, Luas and Bus Éireann. There is a Leap Card app (which you can download – HERE) which allows you to top up your leap card instantly. You can purchase a Leap Card in one of over 650 outlets across Ireland, they are available in most corner/ convenience shops. You can save up to 31% by using your Leap Card while travelling across Ireland. 
Open Road (Best for bus travels)Bus Éireann offers a tourist travel card – Open Road allows travellers to hop-on hop-off ticket that gives you the freedom to explore Ireland at your own pace and can be purchased from a ticket machine in any Bus Éireann bus station. For more information or fare prices click into – The open road passes can be purchased from a ticket machine in any Bus Éireann bus station upon your first journey purchase.
Iarnród Éireann(Best for train travellers – Info for tourists is at bottom of link page)Irish Rail / Iarnrod Éireann offers two types of tourist passes that can be purchased at any ticket office at any Irish Rail station upon your first journey ticket purchase. The two types of passes are

  • Trekker Four Day – Four consecutive days of unlimited travel on all Iarnród Éireann services in the Republic of Ireland from the date of issue on the ticket. €110
  • Explorer – offers customers 5 days unlimited travel out of 15 consecutive days on all Iarnród Éireann services in the Republic of Ireland for only €160 for an Adult and €80 for a child*. (*Prices shown are standard class fares.)

If you would like any help planning your trip around Ireland and wondering the best modes of transport most suited to you and your trip check out our Personalised Tour Page and get in touch and let us help you plan your Perfect Irish Trip Here

5 Beautiful Brunch Spots in Dublin

Beautiful Brunch Spots Dublin Perfect Irish Trip

Is it a breakfast or a brunch? Who knows, but what we do know is sometimes not only does the perfect brunch require delicious food, but also the perfect backdrop. We have made a list of the top 5 brunch spots in Dublin city centre that are both beautiful and delicious. This list is in no particular order and there are plenty of fine brunch settings across Dublin, but these are some of our favourites.

WILDE, The Westbury

Perfect Irish Trip, WILDE at The Westbury a perfect place for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Classy vibe, colourful flowers, beautiful, Dublin

WILDE is one of the most stunning brunch spots in town (literally). Not only that, but the decor changes seasonly from beautiful, colourful floral decor to more oranges and autumnal tones leading into October. For more information click into – WILDE

The Ivy

Perfect Irish Trip, The Ivy, Colourful restaurant, dublin, brunch, lunch, classy,

The Ivy is atmospheric and with a great interior, it makes for a great spot for brunch and maybe a sneaky cocktail too. For more details click into – The Ivy


Perfect Irish Trip, Sophies Restaurant and bar Dublin, Rooftop, beautiful views, sophisticated,

Sophies is a special spot in Dublin, offering panoramic views across the city. The rooftop bar offers both indoor and outdoor seating options and should be listed by all even if it is only for a drink after brunch. For more information click into – Sophie’s


Balfes Dublin, Perfect Irish Trip, restaurant, brunch, lunch, dinner

Balfes is located in the Westbury Hotel, just off Grafton Street and makes for the perfect sophisticated brunch meeting spot. For more information click into – Balfes

Pepper Pot

Pepper Pot Cafe, Dublin, Powerscourt, Funky, Georgian, breakfast, brunch, lunch, Perfect Irish Trip

The Pepper Pot is a great spot for a healthy and seasonal brunch, The Peper Pot believes in a to slowness in all food preparations, located in the heart of Dublin city’s hustle and bustle, perched on a balcony within the Georgian Powerscourt Townhouse. For more info click into – The Pepper Pot 

As we said above, the list we have created is to give you inspiration for a beautiful and delicious brunch spot that is picture worthy in Dublin City Centre. There are plenty of more spots that make for a delicious brunch on your stay in Dublin. If you would like any help planning your Perfect Irish Trip please get in touch or you can purchase a personalised tour itinerary (where we get to understand your wants and needs and help you plan out your Perfect Irish Trip) here – Personalised Tour Itineraries Packages

All photos are from respective websites except for the Pepper Pot image which is from

Fun Eco-Friendly Attractions in Ireland

Fun Eco-Friendly Attractions in Ireland

Traveling across Ireland can be done in a very eco-friendly manor. We are very lucky here that many people and business owners are aiming to make the world a better place. Every day more and more companies are doing their part to make great changes, some companies however have set out with eco-friendly ethos in mind from the beginning. Here is a list of 5 of the most eco-friendly places you can explore in while touring Ireland or even if you live in Ireland and you want some adventure, we have made this list by covering somewhere in almost each of the four corners of Ireland. 

Cool Planet Experience

Cool Planet Experience is located in the Wicklow mountains, the garden of Ireland and we highly recommend that you go here. It is more so aimed at children and young teenagers, but is a fun experience for all ages. It is 45 minutes of interactive fun to learn about global warming, climate change and how to offset your carbon footprint by learning how to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. It is located at Powerscourt House and Gardens in Enniskerry, which is a beautiful estate to walk around and bask in nature.

Skellig Islands

An area of Ireland that is becoming highly recognised are the Skellig Islands, particularly Skellig Michael. As of recent times you will see them in the Star Wars franchise.  Due to the wildness that is the Atlantic ocean, these islands can only be accessed over the summer months and on calm days. There are walking island tours available, but to preserve the beauty, the buildings and the nature, there is a restriction on how many people can go onto these islands every year. The walking tours are from morning to mid-afternoon and cost €100 p/p. The eco boat tours are highly recommended, they pass both islands and give all the history, facts and information on the islands. They know the best places to stop and show you all the attractions on the islands so you don’t miss a thing. These eco boat tours cost €40p/p and last for 2 hours. (Prices may vary)

Burren Perfumery

The Burren Perfumery is one of the Burren’s many amazing secrets. Hidden away in Carran (an area in the Burren), there is a beautiful and enchanting perfumery, with a shop selling all natural and organically made perfumes, toiletries and candles and a delicious café. Using herbs and plants grown on-site for their ingredients in both the perfume and café. The Burren Perfumery is one of the true gems of Irish business to visit, you can walk around the small factory, be taken on a guided tour (free of charge) and explore the gardens were some of the ingredients are grown. Entry for the tours is currently free.

Hazel Chocolate Mountain

Not too far from the Burren Perfumery is Hazel Chocolate Mountain, a chocolate factory. It might be one of the last things you expect to find in the limestone mountains, but it is a very interesting little corner of the Burren. There is a guided tour on offer for a set fee, but sometimes if you arrive during a non-busy time, you might be able to avail of a quick mini tour for free. Hazel Chocolate Mountain adhere to strict environmental policies; they operate from a green roof building which helps minimize energy consumption, while also increases biodiversity and offers a unique habitat for wildlife. They have no plastic in their shop, all products are wrapped and covered using either recyclable or reusable paper and the staff use cloth gloves rather than plastic while handling the chocolate. They use only sustainable and ethical suppliers for their ingredients. It is a great experience for both adults and children, especially any foodies.

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.

These are only a few examples of some lovely eco-friendly places to visit in Ireland. If you would like more examples or you would like help preparing a plan/ itinerary of where you would like to stay and dine in Ireland you can look at our Eco-Friendly Tour of Ireland or have a look at our Perfect Irish Trip Packages. Happy Traveling.



5 Of The Best Eco-Friendly Eateries Across Ireland

5 of The Best Eco-Friendly Eateries Across Ireland

Traveling across Ireland can be done in a very eco-friendly manor. We are very lucky here that many people and business owners are aiming to make the world a better place. Every day more and more companies are doing their part to make great changes, some companies however have set out with eco-friendly ethos in mind from the beginning. Here is a list of 5 of the most eco-friendly places for you to dine in while touring Ireland or even if you live in Ireland and you want some healthy sustainable food choices, we have made this list by covering somewhere in almost each of the four corners of Ireland. 

Located in Rathfarnham, County Dublin, The Carrot’s Tail is not only a place to eat delicious food, but also acts as a ‘Zero Waste Shop’ too. Customers opting for some zero-waste shopping can bring their containers in and fill up on nuts, seeds, flours, grains, beans, herbs and spices as well as purchasing some zero waste essentials and reusable tools. Working from a full vegan menu, the Carrot’s Tail deliver filling, tasty and delightful food keeping all their customers happy.

In the heart of Dingle Town you will find The Fishbox, who serve the freshest of fish from their very own family trawler, very much a sustainable farm to table, or sea to plate method. All seafood, fruit and veg are locally sourced, even the desserts are handmade at home by the mother of the family, Deirdre, each morning, breads are sourced from local bakers and even the beer served is produced in a macro brewery 100m down the road. The Fishbox is not only delicious, but is sustainable and organic and puts huge pride in their ingredients.

Ard Bia at Nimmos is tucked away past the historic Spanish Arch and overlooking the waters of the River Corrib. Ard Bia offers a full days menu, consisting of: Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Serving seasonal and locally sourced food Ard Bia deliver high quality, sustainable and healthy meals to their customers. Taking menu inspiration locally, but also with Mediterranean and Middle East influence, the food leaves customers feeling satisfied and full.

The Gallery in Westport, County Mayo has been paving the way for a more eco-friendly and fairer trade within the food industry in Ireland (and worldwide) since 2014. Being Ireland’s first natural wine bar (each wine is at the very minimum, organically farmed and most are biodynamic), members of the world’s ‘Kiss The Ground Movement’ (a global movement of regenerative farming), was the first coffee shop to ban single use plastics and instead opted to use recycled jam jars for takeaway coffee, works from a ‘palm free menu’ and was the first to ban avocados from their menu (due to the negativities behind the scenes that many do not see involved in the farming process). They are only some of the reasons why The Gallery has made our list. All food and drink is organically and ethically sourced and is always local where possible. The Gallery should be on any eco-friendly food lovers list.

Drumanilra Farm Kitchen is located just outside of Boyle in County Roscommon and offers very much a ‘farm to table’ menu in every aspect of the word. All produce is organic and local (where possible). All fresh meats cooked in the Farm Kitchen are certified organic, Irish and fully traceable back to their organic farm of origin. Most are produced on Drumanilra Organic Farm. With a mission to ‘reconnect people with local, organic, wholesome, sustainable food, rooted in place and assured provenance, grown by Drumanilra Farm and other like-minded producers’ and two new premises being opened over the coming year Drumanilra Farm Kitchen is not be missed.

These are only a few examples of some lovely eco-friendly places to visit in Ireland. If you would like more examples or you would like help preparing a plan/ itinerary of where you would like to stay and dine in Ireland you can look at our Eco-Friendly Tour of Ireland or have a look at our Perfect Irish Trip Packages. Happy Traveling.