Dublin sights: the attractions of Malahide Castle

photo by William Murphy

Like every other city and town in Ireland, Dublin has a long history, and there are many buildings, monuments and sites that stood witness to the passing of time. It’s enough to take a stroll through the old parts of the city, and you’ll that there is a story behind almost every building. Malahide Castle, nine miles north of Dublin, is the perfect excuse for a day trip outside of the city in order to indulge in so me fresh air, a lovely estate, and a majestic medieval building. It takes about half an hour to reach the small seaside town of Malahide, and the rest of your day will be occupied with exploring the attractions of Malahide Castle, just outside Dublin.

The Castle

photo by William Murphy

Malahide Castle was home to the Talbot family for eight centuries, ever since Henry II granted the lands of Malahide to Sir Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied the king to Ireland. Some parts of the castle date back to the 12th century, and parts have been added to it well into the 18th century. The castle is now open to the public, and can be visited for a fee (or if you can afford it, it’s even possible to book the Great Hall for banquets). The beautiful halls and rooms of the castle are reminiscent of the age of kings and queens, and the most striking highlight is the elegant Oak Room. As befitting a century old caste, it is said that there are several ghosts in residence too!

Fry Model Railway

If you visit the Malahide Estate, the castle is not the only attraction that awaits you. The thatched Casino House on the castle grounds hosts the Fry Model Railway, a unique collection of handmade Irish train models from the earliest days of railway travel until today. The trains are arranged in a lifelike manner, and the model landscape is completed by trams,  stations, barges, bridges and even a model of Dublin’s River Liffey.

Talbot Botanic Gardens

photo by William Murphy

Lord Milo Talbot of Malahide had a passion for collecting and cultivating exotic plants, and the Talbot Botanic Gardens are an offshoot of his efforts. The garden is located behind the castle, and it showcases several hectares of plants native to Chile, Australia, and other countries from the southern hemisphere. There are seven glasshouses in the garden, but history buff will appreciate the Victorian conservatory the most.The garden’s most prized possessions are the Australasian shrubs, the favorites of the late Lord Talbot.

 

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