On your summer break in Dublin, make the most of its compact centre with walks around graceful Georgian landmarks. Around Merrion Square, brightly-painted doorways shine out in neat, flat-fronted terraces. A blue plaque marks the Duke of Wellington’s former home. Stroll past the colonnaded front of Leinster House, home to the Irish Parliament, and peek inside the Shelbourne Hotel where the Irish Constitution was drafted in 1922.
On Dublin’s east side, the Irish Sea beckons the brave with refreshingly chilly waters and gentle surf. Take a dip at beaches along Dun Laoghaire and Sandymount in the shadow of the sturdy Martello Tower, or at the bracing Forty Foot bathing point. On Howth’s rocky headland, feel the breeze in your hair with a bracing walk over Howth Head.
Green oases of lawns cluster in the city centre. With Irish bread and cheese from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers picnickers sit out in St Stephen’s Green. Locals soak up the rays among manicured flowerbeds while jazz and folk music ring out from the Victorian bandstand over the summer. For more formal alfresco dining, choose fresh pasta and a glass of wine in the tiny cobbled Italian quarter, Quartier Bloom. At hidden Iveagh Gardens, it’s easy to find solitude among the rose garden and statue-dotted lawns. The peaceful Grand Canal has century-old locks cloaked in reeds and rushes.
You don’t have to be a Tiger Woods to enjoy Dublin’s vast array of golf courses. Blue skies and summer evenings are the best time to tackle the manicured greens and craggy links courses with dramatic sea views. At the rhododendron-shrouded Deer Park Golf Course in Howth there are two 18-hole and two nine-hole courses overlooking the peninsula. This historic Royal Dublin Golf Club has been going strong since 1885. It is Ireland’s second oldest and is set among the dunes of Bull Island. Grange Castle Golf Club, a newer course, is framed against a backdrop of the Dublin Mountains.
A summer break in Dublin is a good opportunity to devour some the city’s literary heritage. The Dublin Writers Festival has illuminating talks and readings by some of Ireland’s most prolific wordsmiths. James Joyce Centre comes alive on Bloomsday, an annual event when his epic novel Ulysses is celebrated with actors and Joyce enthusiasts dressing in Edwardian attire to recite the tome.
Buskers provide a musical backdrop to Dublin’s busiest shopping street, the pedestrianised Grafton Street with its boutiques and high-street fashions. Georgian antique furniture and contemporary art are the draw along Francis Street in the heart of the Liberties area, marked by it red terraced housing. Make the most of warmer days to find your perfect local creation by local designers at the outdoor Designer Mart at Cow’s Lane.
Enjoy Dublin’s compact city centre on your Dublin summer break. From your Dublin summer hotel, it’s easy to walk around the city, from the revived Docklands in the east to the Guinness Brewery and Kilmainham Gaol in the west. A boardwalk along the River Liffey takes you to the verdant Gardens of Remembrance. For more high-octane exercise, rent a bicycle at the entrance to Phoenix Park.