Dublin Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Dublin

Planning a short break to Dublin? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Dublin. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Dublin. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Phoenix Park

With an area of around 707 hectares, Phoenix Park in Dublin is one of the largest parks of any European city. The park is not named, as some may think, in favour of the legendary bird but is a corruption of "fionn usige", which is Gaelic for "clear waters". This area was originally priory lands and later became royal hunting grounds. Here you can visit the third oldest zoo in the world, Dublin Zoo, or relax in the recreational areas and gardens with their conservatories and arboretum. (The official residence of the Irish Republic is also situated in the Park's grounds.)

Phoenix park is possibly best known as the place where Lord Cavendish and Thomas Burke, respectively Britain's chief secretary and under-secretary for Ireland, were murdered by the Invincibles in 1882. The Invincibles were a militant secret society who were at that time endeavoring to bring about a speedy Irish independence.

The park is about 11 km in circumference and includes part of the Liffey valley. Besides recreational and sporting facilities, Phoenix Park contains Dublin Zoo (the third-oldest public zoo in the world), several conservatories, an arboretum, and the residence of the president of the Irish Republic.

Wicklow Mountains in Ireland

The Wicklow Mountains are a popular destination for tourists in Ireland. They have smooth, round summits ground down by glaciation, and consist mainly of granite. The pointed summit of the Great Sugarloaf Mountain is a noted landmark in north-east County Wicklow, standing at 342 m (1,123 ft). The landscape features rivers, waterfalls, lakes, valleys, and gorges.he Wicklow mountains have been used as a refuge from invaders for centuries.

The Abbey Theatre

Give yourself a dose of Irish culture with an evening out at the theatre. Always entertainers at heart, the Irish established the Abbey Theatre as a product of the Irish cultural revival that began late in the 19th century. The drive was started largely by the Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats, who encouraged all Irish writers to get back to their roots and draw inspiration from Irish life and traditions rather than from fashionable English and European sources. Yeats, together with Irish dramatist Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory established the Irish Literary Theatre in 1899, which became the Irish National Theatre Society in 1902. With the financial assistance of English theatre manager Annie Horniman, the Irish National Theatre Society established in 1904 the stage company that later became known as the Abbey Theatre. Renowned as a writer's theatre, the greatest Irish actors of this and previous generations have graced its boards.

The Peacock Theatre, situated beneath the Abbey foyer is used by budding students of the Abbey School of Acting for experimental performances.

Web: www.AbbeyTheatre.ie

Dublin Castle

The castle can be found in the old part of the city - which makes sense, as it dates back to the early 1200's. Dublin Castle is the heart of historic Dublin and Dublin in fact gets its name from the Black Pool - 'Dubh Linn' which used to be where the present Castle garden now grows.

Many modifications were made since the 1200's and the building was in use up until 1922 - as the offices of the British viceroy of Ireland. Today Dublin Castle is used for ceremonial functions, such as the inauguration of the country's president. Dublin Castle is the heart of historic Dublin. Prior to the days of the castle the area was the site of an early Gaelic Ring fort and later a Viking fortress-part of which is on display to visitors.This area was a strategic site as it lay on the junction of the River Liffey and its tributary the Poddle.

The splendid State Apartments, previously the residential quarters of the viceregal court; Undercroft and Chapel Royal of the castle are open to visitors. Web: www.dublincastle.ie/

Custom House

The Custom House in Dublin is one of a number of Georgian buildings in the city and was designed by the renowned James Gandon and completed in 1791. The house is one of Dublin's finest heritage buildings and has played an important role in Dublin's history since built. The Visitor Centre, situated in the Clock Tower, includes a Gandon Museum that displays information of his life and work. There are also displays on the history of the Custom House itself, which include details on the 1921 fire which ravaged the building during the War of Independance and of the important roleplayers in Irish history who have held office here. The House is a 5 minute walk from O'Connell Bridge, across the quay from Tara Street station.

Oscar Wilde House

Situated on Merrion Square, literary fans must visit wild Oscar's house, which is an outstanding example of Georgian architecture. The residence of the Wilde family since 1855, Oscar lived here until 1876. The Irish-born writer was one of the leaders of the aesthetic movement and believed in the love of art for arts sake. Known for his eccentricities and bohemian lifestyle, young Wilde wore his hair in long flowing tresses and surrounded himself with beautiful things such as sunflowers and peacock feathers.

He was a novelist, playwright, poet, and critic of note and his brilliance and wit won him many devotees. His best known plays include An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), which have cleverly constructed plots and witty dialogue.In contrast, Wilde's Salomé is a serious drama about obsessive passion and was originally written in French with celebrated actress Sarah Bernhardt playing the lead.German composer Richard Strauss thereafter made the play into an opera.

The ground and first floors of the house are open for guided tours and fees go towards the financing of further restoration.

Web: www.amcd.edu/

Guinness Brewery

Drinkers of Guinness can draw near and learn about one of Dublin’s greatest success stories. Way back in 1759 Arthur Guinness took over a small disused brewery which he leased for nine thousand years at £45 per year, and by 1769 the first export shipment of Guinness left Dublin and he was well on his way to untold riches..

From brewing ale he moved on to brewing porter, a dark beer containing roasted barley, which spread like wildefire amongst pubs in Ireland and then elsewhere in Britain. Knowing that they were on to a good thing the creative genius came up with another delight- ‘stout’, of which over seven million glasses are consumed each day throughout the world. It has grown to be the largest brewery in Europe and covers some sixty acres and is the larget exporter of beer in the world. Whet your thirst with a visit to this huge brewery on Crane Street and you are guaranteed to enjoy your afternoon pint with even more relish than usual.

University of Dublin

Situated in the heart of Dublin, the university better known as Trinity College was founded in 1591 by Queen Elizabeth I. This is the oldest university in Ireland and was founded with the intention that Trinity College would be the first of many colleges which would form part of the University of Dublin. This however, did not happen, so the Universtiy of Dublin functions both as a college and a university.

The buildings are fine examples of 18th-century architecture and are set in a 40 acre campus which retains some of its old seclusion design of cobbled squares and parks. A few of the national treasures kept here include the Book of Kells a large and sumptuously decorated illuminated Gospel book produced by Irish monks and dating back to 800AD, the Books of Durrow and Armagh and an early Irish harp. These are on display in the Treasury and the Long Room. There is also an amazing library which houses over 200,000 of Trinity's oldest books.

For info go to www.tcd.ie/library/

St. Mary's

Take a walking tour to what is left of the once the wealthiest Cisterian abbey in Ireland and one of Dublin's best kept medieval secrets. Find it yourself in Meetinghouse Lane near the Boars Head Pub (if you have time for a quick one) or join one of the free walking tours that leave from the City Hall, Dame Street every Wednesday and Saturday.

There is an interesting exhibition put together by the Heritage Service, the Dublin Archaeological Society and the History of Art Department of Trinity College. The exhibition is on display in the two remaining rooms of this once important complex, the Chapter House and the Slype.

Site is accessed by stairs only, so don't have too many at the local before taking the tour!

Johnnie Fox's Pub

Have a delicious pub lunch or an evening of entertainment at the highest and one of the oldest pubs in Ireland, situated at :Glencullen, The Dublin Mountains.

There is live entertainment each night and a real live hooley show every now and then - you need to book for that though.

For details view www.@jfp.ie/

User Suggestions

Kilmainham Jail

Visit the wonderfull Kilmainham Jail and discover the history of Ireland and the history of 1916 rising.

Phoenix Park Tea Room

This tea room has the most delicious paninis i have ever eaten in my whole life! The service is fast and really well done. Plus its a great, relaxing, and peaceful area to enjoy your tea.

Viking Splash Tour - Tourist Attraction

Take to the streets of Dublin on this Viking Ship....ok...its a bus...1hr 20mins is on land on the bus and miracously the bus turns into a boat and you get another 30mins/40mins on the water cruising!a worth while experience at a great price!!

Oliver St John Gogarty - Bar or Club

Have a traditional Irish meal with recipes dating back to the 1800's in the cosy restaurant , or join in with the best of Dublin’s' traditional Irish musicians in the music bar, all situated in the heart of Dublin’s' Temple Bar. For details visit www.gogartys.com

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