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Malahide

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Malahide (Mullach Íde) is a seaside town 18 km northeast of Dublin, with a population in 2016 of 16,550. Historically it's part of County Dublin, which was divided so nowadays Malahide is governed by County Fingal. The main reason to visit is the castle and gardens. The town continues south along the coast into Portmarnock.

Understand

Malahide is on the sheltered Broadmeadow estuary, so Vikings and other settlers could draw up in their boats. In the 12th century the Normans were the new power in the land, and from 1180 the Talbot family ruled this area from Malahide castle. The village remained a small port until Georgian times, then grew rapidly as a suburb and coast resort for Dublin, so town centre and the seafront acquired their attractive Georgian and Victorian buildings. Later development was further out (engulfing the industrial village of Yellow Walls) so many of the early houses survive.

Get in

By plane: Dublin Airport (DUB IATA) is 8 km west, and can be reached without going into the city. Dublin Bus 102 runs every 30 min from the airport to Swords and Malahide (40 min), then winds south to Portmarnock and Sutton.

By train: DART and commuter trains from Dublin Connolly run to Malahide every 15 min, taking 25 min, fare €3.30. Commuter trains continue north to Donabate and Drogheda, and southbound they make multiple city stops then head down the coast to Dún Laoghaire, Dalkey and  Bray. Trains from Belfast to Dublin don't stop in Malahide, change at Drogheda. 1 Malahide railway station is in town centre. There's a staffed ticket office and machines, no toilets.

By bus: Bus 42 runs from Dublin Talbot St and Connolly Station every 30 mins to Malahide (45 min) then Portmarnock. Bus 32 travels along the coast via Sutton and Portmarnock, 50 mins.

Get around

It's easy enough to walk to the castle. There's a longer coastal walk to Portmarnock, you might prefer to return on bus 102 or 32, see "Get in".

Bike hire is available from Irish Centre for Cycling on Dublin Rd 100 yards west of the railway station.

Toots, the Malahide road train runs every 40 mins between the railway station, village shops, Grand Hotel, sandy beach and Malahide Castle and gardens. Hop on hop off with a round trip of 40 minutes, adult fare €6, child €4. It's frankly a kiddy-treat but you could always ride it ironically.

See

  • 1 Malahide Castle, Malahide Demesne (Half a mile southwest of railway station), ☏ +353 1 816 9538. Daily 09:00-17:00. The oldest parts of the castle are 12th century, though most of what you see is 18th & 19th century, richly furnished. It's set in a great parkland, the Malahide Demesne. Visit by guided tour only. Behind the castle are Talbot Botanic Gardens. Adult €14. (updated May 2019)
  • Fry Model Railway, Casino Cottage (off Dublin Rd just west of railway station). M 13:00-18:00, Tu-Su 09:30-18:00, Nov-Mar to 17:00. This elaborate O-gauge system depicts Ireland in the 1920s / 30. It had been housed in the castle, but was closed for a decade before re-opening here in 2020. The Casino itself was a 2-story thatched shooting lodge built circa 1750. Adult €7.50, child €5. (updated Aug 2020)
  • St Sylvester's Well in its beehive housing is an ancient well outside St Sylvester's RC church, on Old St a block east of the railway station. It's named for Sylvester I, who was Pope from 314 to 335 AD during the adoption of the Nicene creed. Little is known of him, but he was sufficiently important to attract legends and forgeries in later centuries, such as the notion that the Pope was supreme ruler and that all secular kings ruled or fell merely at his say-so.
  • 2 The Green north end of New Street has views onto the estuary.
  • Portmarnock has the scrappy remains of 12th century St Marnock's church. Those in its graveyard include members of the Jameson whiskey family, Larry O’Neill a former Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the Plunkett family.
  • Newbridge Demesne is a stately mansion and gardens on the peninsula north of the estuary- see Swords for details and road access. By rail you could take the train to Donabate and walk.

Do

  • Walk to Portmarnock along the coast, about 40 minutes. It's exposed and windy, with no shelter if the rain comes on.
  • 1 Low Rock is a good area for paddling and swimming. There's a beach between rocky outcrops.
  • Watch cricket at 2 Malahide Cricket Club, Dublin Rd (200 m west of station). This ground, capacity 11,500, is the home of Leinster Cricket and the usual venue for Ireland's international matches. (updated Jun 2019)
  • Portmarnock Golf Club, Golf Links Rd, Stapolin, ☏ +353-1-8462968, ✉ info@portmarnockgolfclub.ie. This is a links course on a sandy peninsula. The championship course is 7463 yards (6824 m), par 72. Both sexes may play but only men may be members: the courts have to date upheld this. There's also a hotel here, B&B double from €150. (updated Aug 2019)
  • Sailing: Malahide Yacht Club is on Caves Strand, with Swords Sailing & Boating Club 500 m west on Estuary Rd, south shore of the Broadmeadow Estuary.

Buy

Town centre has the usual retailers including SuperValu and several ATMs.

Eat

Malahide's many eateries are concentrated in town centre just east of the railway station, with a couple more further along the coast.

  • Gibneys of Malahide, 6 New St. Bar to 23:30. Serves food M-F to 21:30, Sa Su to 20:00. Live music four days a week. (updated Jun 2019)
  • Cape Greko, New St (on first floor, corner of Strand St). M-F 17:00-22:00, Sa 12:30-00:00, Su 12:30-22:00. Greek & Cypriot restaurant. (updated Jun 2019)
  • Sale e Pepe, Main St. Daily 17:00-23:00. Posh dining on seafood and steaks. (updated Jun 2019)
  • Asian choices include Kajjal on Gas Yard Lane, Siam on The Green, Roseland Chinese at 3 New St, Orchid Chinese at 12 New St, and Jaipur at 5 St James Terrace.

Drink

Pubs in Malahide are open daily to 23:30, later at weekend. They include Gilbert and Wright on Ross Lane, Duffy's on Main St, Gibney's on New St (above), and Fowler's on New St.

Sleep

  • 1 Grand Hotel, Grove Rd, Malahide (400 m east of railway station), ☏ +353 1 845 0000, ✉ info@grandhotel.ie. Splendid old 4-star on the coast, often hosts weddings and other events. B&B double €300. (updated May 2019)
  • 2 White Sands Hotel, Coast Rd, Carrickhill, ☏ +353 1 866 6000. Simple but good value hotel with 58 rooms in Portmarnock. Decent food, live music in the bar. B&B double €100. (updated Aug 2019)

Connect

As of June 2021, Malahide has 4G with Three, and 5G with Eir and Vodafone.

Go next

  • Dublin city has attractions and amenities aplenty.
  • Drogheda to the north has the prehistoric stones and tombs of Brú na Bóinne, and the site of the Battle of the Boyne.
  • County Meath is suburban in its southern parts, but further out are the Hill of Tara, Trim castle, Kells priory, and Loughcrew Cairns near Oldcastle.



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