Dublin is full of stunning surprises – and not only in the city centre! Fingal offers a remarkably wide-ranging selection of activities and attractions, from its sandy beaches and heritage properties, to its vibrant villages and towns…
1. Head To The Beach Clocking up 88km of coastline, Fingal is home to three protected estuaries, salt marsh habitats and 13 major beaches – so you’ll have no trouble finding a location that suits everyone in the family. In addition to famed swimming spots in Portmarnock and the Malahide area, there’s brilliant sandy beaches in Portrane, Donabate, Skerries, Loughshinny and Balbriggan too!
2. Take in the Views on a Cliff Walk Get your steps in, while also taking in unforgettable views of Dublin Bay. The Howth Cliff path continues to attract hillwalkers of various skill and experience levels, with four loop routes offering a range of distance options. If you’re looking for a slightly quieter route, check out the coastline from Rush to Skerries.
3. Explore By Bike From sea level to hilltops, there’s an impressive range of cycling options throughout Fingal – including recently opened routes as part of Fingal County Council’s ambitious greenway development programme. For the more experienced cyclists, Howth Head provides the perfect challenge, along with spectacular views. There’s also fantastic inland routes, like the Royal Canal path through Dublin 15.
4. Step into the Past at a Castle You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to castles and historical houses in Fingal. For an informative day out with the family, Malahide Castle, Newbridge House and Ardgillan Castle all provide guided tours – while the magnificent Swords Castle offers over 800 years of history to explore. Be sure to take in the remarkable exteriors of both Bremore Castle and Howth Castle too.
5. Treat Yourself while Shopping No matter what you’re in the market for, Fingal offers a huge range of shopping options – including large, action-packed shopping centres like Swords Pavilions or the Blanchardstown Centre. The villages and towns in Fingal also offer a great selection of traditional food and drink stores, clothes shops, and more – many of which have been run by the same families for generations. Malahide Village, with its beloved boutiques, is particularly famed as a top shopping destination.
6. Get Adventurous with Watersports There’s few better ways to enjoy the coastline than through watersports, and there’s a thrilling range of activities available to enthusiasts of all ages in Fingal – including sailing clubs in Howth, Malahide and Skerries; sea kayaking with views of the Baily Lighthouse and Skerries Islands; windsurfing on the Broadmeadow Estuary; and stand-up paddle boarding tours at sunset.
7. Embrace The History and Heritage History lovers flock to the Fingal area for a reason! In addition to the fantastic selection of castles, you can explore Ireland’s ancient past at Aideen’s Grave, a portal tomb situated in Howth Castle Demesne. There’s also heritage trails of both Balbriggan and Castleknock, charting the intriguing history of the areas. You can embrace the area’s cultural heritage at its renowned arts centres, including the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre in Naul, and Draíocht in Blanchardstown.
8. Get Back To Nature On The Farm Despite its close proximity to the city centre, Fingal is home to some of the best agricultural land in the country, with many vegetables and cereals grown in the area. Why not pay a visit to a working farm, Newbridge House and Farm in Donabate – home to cows, goats, pigs, ducks, sheep and horses.
9. Visit Ireland’s First Model Railway Museum Model railways enthusiasts will adore a day out at the Casino Model Railway Museum in Malahide. Explore the iconic collection crafted by Cyril Fry, housed in the beautifully restored Casino cottage – considered one of the finest thatched cottages in the country.
10. Stroll Along The Waterways of the Blanchardstown/ Castleknock Area The Blanchardstown/ Castleknock area is home to three waterways: the Tolka, the Royal Canal, and the Liffey – which is beautifully contained between wooded hills. You should also take a look at the nearby buildings of historic interest, such as Luttrellstown Castle and the Shackleton Mills.
For more insights into the area, visit fingal.ie/visitor