Three Castles to Visit on the Northside of Dublin

Ireland is famous for its castles. Even the crest for Dublin has three castles burning on it. Many of these fine regal residences are out in the countryside well away from Dublin, but there are still quite a few not so far from our city centre campus that are well worth a visit.

Even if you don’t go inside to see the spectacular decor and furniture from ye olden days, visiting the grounds and enjoying the gardens of these places is a must. So why not start by checking out these three.

Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillian Castle sits between Balbriggan and Skerries, just off the M1 Motorway. The grounds here are huge, well maintained and there are beautiful views of the sea. It is a good thirty kilometres north of Dublin city centre so you will need a car. A good idea here is to plan the day and take in a trip to the beautiful villages of Skerries or Malahide where you will be able to grab some lunch along the seafront.

The castle itself was built in the mid 18th century and a visit costs a fiver which is probably among the best value for a castle tour in Ireland. The main thing to remember is to relax and spend plenty of time enjoying the grounds and/or the tea rooms.

Malahide Castle

The vast grounds of Malahide Castle are free to the public so you can sit and admire your surroundings or have a picnic with your friends any day of the week, weather permitting of course.

There are over two-hundred and fifty acres here so there are plenty of walks to choose from. If you’re an au pair there is a massive children’s playground that will keep the kids entertained for hours. Foodies will love the huge selection of food at Avoca – though it is a little expensive for students. And if you love your history then a trip inside the castle itself is well worth it. The castle dates back to the 12th century. That’s pretty old.

Just keep your ears and eyes peeled for the resident ghosts.

Howth Castle 

The first castle built on this site was in the late 12th century. It is unlikely that any of the original still exists and over the centuries additions were made to this fine structure. Like all castles it is full of myths and legends. One of the most famous involves a pirate queen named Grace O’Malley.

Tradition has it that sometime around 1575, this Irish queen was returning from a visit to Queen Elizabeth of England and landed at Howth. When she docked and disembarked she and her entourage made their to the castle hoping to be admitted to dine with Lord Howth and to top up supplies for her voyage back to Mayo. On arriving at the front gates, she found them closed against her. This, she felt, was a breach of the ancient Irish traditions of hospitality.

Annoyed by this apparent affront, the pirate kidnapped Lord Howth’s son. He was returned on the promise that the gates would never be closed at the dinner hour and a place be laid at the table for any unexpected guest. To this day the extra place is there.

City Language School in the Heart of Dublin

City Language School is right in the heart of Dublin City Centre. Dublin is the proud and vibrant capital of Ireland and with its cosmopolitan and modern feel, it has repeatedly been voted Europe’s friendliest city by Trip Advisor. Dublin boasts strong links with literature, music, dance and storytelling. As you walk through the streets of Temple Bar, you can absorb the musical tradition which spills onto the streets from the many bars and restaurants; truly a city of enormous beauty! Dublin is surrounded by breath-taking natural scenery that will leave you with lifelong memories. It is perfectly located on the eastern coastline of Ireland and is a convenient gateway to the rest of Europe.