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bineba Malahide - A travel report by Sabine
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Malahide,  Ireland - flag Ireland -  Dublin
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bineba's travel reports

Malahide – I like to be beside the seaside

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Take the DART train north out of Dublin and in just over 20 minutes you’ll find yourself in this charming little seaside village which has plenty to offer and is well worth a visit. report of the month contest
Nov 2007

Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle
The great thing about visiting friends is that you get to go to places you would have otherwise missed. Take Malahide, for example. We had been planning to go to Dublin for a while, but never got round to it, but last year a friend of ours moved there and this year we finally got our act together. Our friends live in Malahide, 16 km north of Dublin and just 7 km from Dublin airport (but thankfully not in the flight path!), a picturesque seaside village, which I might have spotted on a map and even read about in a guide book, but probably never had visited. Malahide’s gaelic name is Mullagh Ide (Sand hill of the Hydes) and it has a long and interesting history. There was a settlement here in 6000 BC and it was invaded by the Vikings and the Danes in the 8th and 9th century and finally by the Normans in the 12th century. The village grew steadily, especially after the Normans built Malahide Castle for Sir Richard de Talbot (see below) and in the 18th and early 19th centuries it developed into an industrial town, producing silk, cotton, salt and cod liver oil among other things. The railway arrived in Malahide in the middle of the 19th century, people moved here to live and it also became a popular day trip destination for Dubliners, which it still is to this day. Malahide is a lovely place – it has somehow managed to preserve its small seaside village charm, yet it is one of Dublin’s more expensive suburbs with a population of more than 13,000 people. It is also quite cosmopolitan and feels busy without being overrun. You do get the feeling that the people who live here care for their town and they can be justifiably proud to have won the tidy towns competition in the past. The best way to get to Malahide from Dublin is by DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) and I would recommend it as parking spaces are hard to find. The journey takes ca. 20 minutes from Connolly Station and trains are frequent. (Single 2 Euros, return 3,60 Euros)

Favourite spots:
New Street
New Street
At the heart of Malahide is ‘the Diamond’, a street junction which connects New Street and Church Street with Main Street. The tree lined streets are home to numerous shops, boutiques, cafes, pubs and restaurants. There are beautifully planted hanging baskets and window boxes everywhere and my friend tells me that at Christmas time the trees are full of thousands of little fairy lights, giving the village a magical feel. The shop fronts are in the old style in bright colours and contribute to the attractiveness of the place.

What's really great:
The Marina
The Marina
I really do like to be beside the seaside and in Malahide you there is plenty of it. Take a walk along the footpaths beside Malahide Estuary (the only natural one along the East coast of Ireland) or walk South towards Portmarnock (there’s a railway station here, too) past the Irish Sea. The Marina is one of the largest in Dublin and has space for over 300 yachts. There is always something going on, and I, for one, enjoy watching the boats come and go. There is something very soothing about sitting on a bench or on the grass at the water’s edge and just let the world go past you. In the summer, Malahide’s Velvet Strand is very popular with swimmers and also offers other water sports. When we were there, people were flying kites or just going for a leisurely stroll in the afternoon sun.

Malahide Castle Park
Malahide Castle Park
Malahide Castle sits prettily in 250 acres of parkland, ca. 15 minutes walk from the station and to me looks a bit like a Sleeping Beauty castle. This castle was home of the Talbot family from 1185 until 1973 when the last Lord Talbot died. Just imagine: one family lived there for nearly 800 years!
Now, it is a museum that can be visited year round (Jan – Dec, Mon – Sat, 10 -17; Sun, Apr – Sept, 10-18 and Oct – Mar, 11-17). There is a collection of period furniture and paintings, amongst them the painting of 14 members of the family who sat down for breakfast in the Great Hall before they joined the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 – none of them returned alive.
There is also a craft shop and a tea room in the castle and if you get your timing right (we didn’t) you can visit Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood with its exhibits of dolls’ houses, Fry’s Model railway (both open April to September, closed Fridays) and the Talbot Botanical Garden (open May to September).

The Ammonite by Niall O'Neill
The Ammonite by Niall O'Neill
We stayed with friends in the Marina, who looked after us very well, but I don’t think they would appreciate it, if I gave out their address and telephone number!

You’ll be most likely visiting from Dublin and staying there, but if you like the idea of staying in Malahide itself, there are several choices from the 4* Grand Hotel with its indoor pool to numerous Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfast places in the area.

There are three pubs in Malahide all within 1 minute walk from each other in the centre of the village – perfect for a pub crawl! There is Duffy’s Pub on Main Street – you can’t miss its bright red and blue exterior; then there is Smyth’s Lounge on New Street, established in the 19th century, which is also home to and American & TexMex style restaurant and directly opposite is J. Gibney & Sons, which has been around since the 18th century.
Nothing against the first two pubs, but I really liked Gibney’s. Deceptively small from the outside, this warm and welcoming pub has so many rooms and bars, you could do a pub crawl in here without leaving the premises! It also has a big beer garden and a sports bar with big screens.

Main Street
Main Street
My friends tell me, that there are over 50 places in Malahide to have something to eat, from small cafes and panini bars to gourmet restaurants and everything in between. You are really spoilt for choice and can eat your way around the world. Irish, Italian, Chinese, Thai, French, Greek, Japanese, Indian, Southwestern – take your pick. We liked Giovanni’s Italian restaurant and our friends highly recommend Bon Appetit. Check out some of the choices on

Other recommendations:
Seal pup in Howth
Seal pup in Howth
Not far from Malahide, about 10-15 minutes by car is Howth, a fishing town on the north side of Howth Head overlooking the island called Ireland’s Eye in the Irish Sea and also approximately 15 km from Dublin. There are also direct DART trains from Dublin or you can change at Howth junction when coming from Malahide. It’s a pretty town for a stroll, but the real reason you should come to Howth for is the fresh fish and it doesn’t get much fresher than here. Along the pier where the fishing trawlers are moored and right next to the fish market are several fish restaurants serving the catch of the day. Our friends wanted to take us to The Oar House, but we hadn’t booked ahead and there was an hour wait. And this was at 3 pm! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the luxury of time as we were flying back that evening, but our next choice ‘Deep’ was very good as well.
I liked Howth and, as an extra bonus, we got to watch a family of seals play in the harbour amongst the boats.

Published on Tuesday November 6th, 2007

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Mon, Dec 10 2007 - 07:03 AM rating by szidonia

Even the title sounds like music to the ear. Sabine, I like this report very much, not only because you wrote about it at so many levels - I don't want to mention all of them, but for example it's history and those pubs/restaurants... and the fun in your "voice" when you mention your friends as hosts and their probable reaction if you'd expose their phone nr. here :). *****

Sat, Dec 08 2007 - 11:47 AM rating by shalini_md

Congrats for a well-deserved ROM.

Mon, Nov 19 2007 - 09:13 AM rating by cool_imad

A very good report indeed...

Fri, Nov 16 2007 - 01:06 PM rating by frenchfrog

Greally great report, it was a pleasure to read, yours photos are also great! looking forward to see the pubs!

Thu, Nov 15 2007 - 12:49 AM rating by downundergal

Great report on what sounds like a hidden gem - especially love the seal pup. Cheers,

Tue, Nov 06 2007 - 08:54 PM rating by rangutan

Never heard of the place - those make the best reports, well done!

Tue, Nov 06 2007 - 04:11 PM rating by horourke

You have done our little country proud. I love the Malahide/ Howth area myself

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