Things To Do

Things to do in Dun Laoghaire

We are only 15 minutes from Dublin city centre and we are located in Dun Laoghaire, a busy sea port town in South Dublin. Whether you are
looking to sail, windsurf, mountain climb, hill walk, go shopping, pub crawl, eat good sea food, go to the theatre or simply relax by a warm
cosy fireplace, Marina House is the place for you!

Here are complete list of things to do:

National Maritime Museum

The Mariners’ Church in which the museum operates is located within a few minutes walk from Dún Laoghaire Dart station, ferry terminal, and town centre. It is also close to the Royal Marine hotel.
The Museum is operated by volunteers. All donations are welcomed. Payable to the Maritime Institute of Ireland.

The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is located in the former Mariners’ Church in Haigh Terrace, Dún Laoghaire. This historic Church was built in 1837. The Church was designed to meet the needs of the seafarers whose vessels sought shelter in the asylum harbour of Kingstown. The church could accommodate 1400 people and the Deed of Trust stated that one third of the seating was to accommodate the families of those in the seafaring, coastguard and revenue services.

Although today the seating has been removed a reminder of the Church’s history can still be seen in the west gallery . On either side of the gallery’s stained glass windows can be seen the Prisoner’s docks were those under punishment aboard ship could be kept under guard while still attending Sunday service.

In 1971 the Mariners’ Church closed as its congregation had dwindled. In 1974 an agreement was drawn up between the Representative Church Body of the Church of Ireland and the Maritime Institute of Ireland and following some renovation the Church was reopened as the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in 1978. the buildings character is still preserved through the fine stained glass windows and plaques commemorating past rectors.

Most Popular Exhibits

Bantry Boat This 38’ long officers barge was captured during the failed French invasion of 1796. It was landed on Bere island from the Frigate Resloue on 24th Dec. . Despite being over 200 years old, this boat is in excellent condition and still has the original Blue, White and Red paint of the new French Republic. This boat is the only vessel to have survived from the invasion. Please note: this exhibit has now been moved to Collins Barracks.

Baily Optic This working Optic is the light from Baily lighthouse in Howth, North Dublin. It was installed in 1902 and removed in 1972 when the lighthouse was modernised. Originally gas, then oil powered, the light was equivalent to 2,000,000 candle power. the optic now shines a lesser light over the museum.

Great Eastern This was the largest ship in the world when it was built in 1857. Its commander Capt.,. Halpin was an Irishman from Tinakeely House , Wicklow. During her life she was used first as a passenger ship, then a cable layer and finally as a showboat. The display contains documents and items of Captain Halpin’s and a clockwork model of the ship over one hundred years old.

Naval Display Tracing the history of the Irish naval service from before Independence to the present day. The display includes models, photos, documents, and uniforms connected with the history of the Naval Force.

Kerlogue An Irish merchant vessel active during the Second World War. on 29th Dec. 1943, she went to the rescue of the crews from two stricken German Naval vessels in the Bay of Biscay, a warzone at the time, and rescued 168 crew from the sinking ships. Ireland maintained her neutrality throughout the conflict and rescued seamen from both sides.

James Joyce Tower

The James Joyce Tower was one of a series of Martello towers built to withstand an invasion by Napoleon and now holds a museum devoted to the life and works of James Joyce, who made the tower the setting for the first chapter of his masterpiece, Ulysses.
Beautifully located eight miles south of Dublin on the coast road, this tower is the perfect setting for a museum dedicated to Joyce, a writer of international renown who remains, world-wide, the writer most associated with Dublin.

Joyce’s brief stay here inspired the opening of his great novel Ulysses. The gun platform with its panoramic view, and the living room inside the tower are much as he described them in his book.

The museum’s collection includes letters, photographs, first and rare editions and personal possessions of Joyce, as well as items associated with the Dublin of Ulysses.

Ulysses was set on 16th June 1904. On Bloomsday, 16th June, the museum will be open from 8am-6pm for readings and celebrations.

Opening Times:

April to end of August

Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm (Closed 1pm-2pm)
Sunday: 2pm-6pm
Closed on Mondays
Other Months: Open by prior arrangement
Admission Prices:

Adults: €6.00
Student/Seniors: €5.00
Children: €4.00
Family: €15

Group Admission Prices:

Adults: €5.25
Student/Seniors: €4.25
Children: €3.25
Minimum group number is 20

For further information please call or fax to 280 9265

How to Get There:

Eight miles south of Dublin City Centre on the coast.
By train: DART to Sandycove
By bus: 59 from Dun Laoghaire
The James Joyce Tower and Museum is owned and managed by Dublin Tourism Enterprises.

Dalkey Castle

Visit the historic heritage town of Dalkey! Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre is situated in the 14th Century Castle/Town House just less than 5 minutes from train (DART) and bus stations.
All year we have actors from Deilg Inis Living History Theatre Company on site to enlighten, entertain and engage you in a Live Performance every half hour in ‘The Tudors are Back…’.

Depending on the season you can encounter the Ghost, The Merchant and Rupert the Archer.

What you can see and do

The Tudors are back! They are alive and well and living at Dalkey Castle. Living History Live Performances daily.

Henry V111′s pressure to father a male heir forces a confrontation with Rome, which ends with the establishment of the Church of England, with Henry V111 as its head.

It was the infamous Henry who combined the trades of Barber and Surgeon in 1540. In the Living History presentation The Tudor Barber Surgeon of Dalkey follows suit, with gruesome and often hilarious consequences. The Tudor Archer defends the loyal Castle at Dalkey with his longbow. Hear all the terms of archery such as: ‘keep it under your hat’, ‘another string to your bow’, and of course the origins of the infamous V sign!

See the Dalkey Tudors as they go about their daily lives in Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. There is a Living History Live Performance every half hour daily. Larger groups can book for one hour.

After the performance
You can climb to the battlements for panoramic views of surrounding sea and mountains.

Later you can wander downstairs to the peace and tranquillity of the early Christian Church & Graveyard.

In the Heritage Centre you can examine the scaled models dealing with the Victorian transport story: Funicular and Atmospheric railways and horse drawn and electric trams.

There is more information on wall panels. James Joyce’s Dalkey connections are chronicled and you can browse in the Writer’s Gallery or view an Art Exhibition in season.


Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Catch: Dab, Conger, Bass, Plaice, Whiting, Codling, Pouting, Coalfish, Mackerel & Pollack.
Location: Walk to the end of either pier.
Description: The harbour provides pier fishing for most of the year, but from the west pier fishing is for Dab, Conger, Bass and Plaice, with Whiting ,Codling, Pouting and Coalfish being taken in the autumn. From the seaward side of the west pier spinning over rough ground is or Mackerel and Pollack form July to September.
Season: All year around, although the best time of year is between May to September.
Cost: No cost for offshore fishing. Boat charter will cost between €130 – €200 per boat suitable for 4-8 people.
Methods: Spinning and bottom fishing with Mackerel strips.

Killiney Bay

Catch: Plaice, Dogfish, Codling & Bass.
Location: Killiney Bay can be found south of Sorrento Point.
Description: This picturesque area has shore fishing for Plaice, Dogfish and the odd Bass. Over recent times good runs of Codling have been taken with the evening tide proving to be the most productive time.
Season: All year around, although the best time of year is between May to September.
Cost: No cost for offshore fishing. Boat charter will cost between €130 – €200 per boat suitable for 4-8 people.
Methods: Spinning and bottom fishing with Mackerel strips. Beachcasting from this location is very popular.

Sandycove Harbour & The 40 Foot

Catch: Plaice, Dogfish, Codling & Bass.
Location: The 40 Foot is a bathing area behind Sandycove Harbour, these are located beside the Joyce Tower.
Description: Beware of the bathers.
Season: All year around, although the best time of year is between May to September.
Cost: No cost for offshore fishing.
Methods: Spinning and bottom fishing with Mackerel strips.

Coliemore And Bulloch Harbour

Catch: Plaice, Dogfish, Codling & Bass.
Location: Coliemore Harbour is located directly across from Dalkey Island and can be accessed by driving through Dalkey Village.
Description: A small harbour overlooking Dalkey Island. The tide runs through Dalkey Sound and is quite strong. Don’t fall in.
Season: All year around, although the best time of year is between May to September.
Cost: No cost for offshore fishing.
Methods: Spinning and bottom fishing with Mackerel strips.

Sea Fishing Tips:

Sea fishing is successful from shore, pier or boat. For most sorts of shore fishing your pike gear will suffice. Fishing from sandy beaches however may require a beachcaster rod. Offshore fishing is always free of charge and will provide a full pan any day. Fishing from a chartered boat will cost between €130.00 – €200.00 per day for the boat and will accommodate between 6 – 8 fishermen. You can arrange with your skipper whether you want “normal” deep sea fishing or shark fishing since they are carried out in different fishing grounds. If you are afraid of getting seasick don’t choose shark fishing since it involves bigger distances from the shore. If you feel queasy keep your eye on the shore to calm yourself, keep a full stomach. Eat little but steady. Don’t drink alcohol. If you get an attack, lie down flat in the center of the boat and close your eyes. It usually gets better within minutes.

Rock Climbing

Dalkey Quarry is a disused granite quarry located in the Dublin suburb of Dalkey. It was used for quarrying during the 19th century, and is now part of Killiney Hill Park, a public park. It is one of Ireland’s most significant rock-climbing crags to Dubliners.
The quarry was connected to Dún Laoghaire by a light railway, part of whose alignment was used to build the Dalkey Atmospheric Railway. The remaining part of the route is now a public footpath known as The Metals, and much of the original granite paving survives. Many of the current houses on nearby Ardbrugh Road may have been originally built as quarry staff cottages, though most quarrymen originally squatted or lived in primitive tents. Quarrying continued sporadically thereafter, finally ending in 1917.



Lifeguards on duty (June-August)
Mon – Fri 12.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Sat & Sun 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Ladies, Gents & Disabled public conveniences located on beach


Lifeguards on duty (June-August)
Mon – Fri 12.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Sat & Sun 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Ladies, Gents & Disabled public conveniences located on beach


Lifeguards on duty (June-August)
Mon – Fri 12.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Sat & Sun 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Ladies, Gents & Disabled public conveniences located in car park adjoining beach

Irish Water Safety, the statutory body established to promote water safety has the following advice for people taking to beaches, lakes and rivers over the Summer:

Avoid places that are dangerous for swimming – if in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Do not drink alcohol before swimming, do not swim soon after eating and be mindful of local hazards such as strong currents.

Parents should take care to monitor their children in and around the water at all times.

Other advice available from one of three new posters recently launched by IWS to increase public awareness in and around our waterways includes:

Swim with others – never alone
Air mattresses should not be used in open water
Stay within your depth and swim parallel to shore
Beware of sandbanks – an incoming tide could cut you off from shore
Do not swim out after anything drifting
Pay attention to signs on the beach and obey the flags .


STOP 1 Our walk starts here Hartley’s restaurant. It was originally the ticket office of the train station and is considered to be one of the finest buildings in Dún Laoghaire. Hartley’s is a lovely restaurant where you can still see some of the original decoration from its time as a ticket office.
Opposite us, on the corner of Marine Road, is the Town Hall, built in 1880 by JL Robinson. Robinson was the towns principal architect in the 19th century. He also designed St Michaels hospital, the Peoples Park and the spire of St Michaels Church – all of which we will come to later. The Town Hall is a fine example of Venetian-style architecture with its arched windows, circular pierced balconies and coloured stonework. The splendid clock tower is a local landmark. The building also used to serve as the court house.

On the other corner of Marine Road is the site of the Old Pavilion. This had been an impressive structure constructed largely of timber and glass, but sadly it was burnt down in 1915. The idea for this pavilion (built in1903) came from the English seaside pier-pavilions, and was the venue for parties, concerts and balls.

Walk down Crofton Road, past Mallin railway station. The Dublin to Dún Laoghaire line was the first railway in Ireland. Opened in 1834 it was the worlds first suburban railway line. The original purpose was to have a freight connection between the harbour and Dublin. Improvements in the Liffeys channels made it easier for large vessels to navigate the waters and the system turned out to be a very profitable commuter line. In the early 1980s the line was electrified, replacing the old diesel trains. It runs the full length of the bay – from Bray to Howth.

On the other side of the road is the entrance to the Harbour Commissioners House, tucked neatly between two rows of cottages. It was built in 1820 for a mere £330! A short distance beyond is St Michaels Nursing Home. On your right is the Royal Irish Yacht Club, the first purpose-built yacht club in Ireland. Farther on is Crofton Terrace, commanding an unobstructed view of the bay; it is one of the earliest Victorian terraces built in town.

STOP 2 We have reached the bridge that leads to the harbour. This is the site of the ancient Dún (or ring fort) from which the town derives its name: the Irish translation of Dún Laoghaire means ‘The Fort of Laoghaire’. Laoghaire is believed to have lived here in the Fifth century AD and is said to have been the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, who brought St Patrick to Ireland.

In the early nineteenth century a Martello tower was within the ring fort. It was one of many built arpund the coast of Ireland in 1804 as a defense against a possible Napoleonic invasion. Eventually the tower and the ring fort were demolished to accommodate the railway.

Cross the road to the BIM offices and then take the first left after Crawfords Garage. This will lead us to Callaghans Lane.

STOP 3 At the corner of Callaghans Lane ond Lr. Georges St. is Smyths Pub, which retains an old-world atmosphere. It is the only pub in Dún Laoghaire that still has a snug. A snug was a small room off the main bar where women drank and lovers met.

We are now on George’s Street, called after King George IV, who visited Dún Laoghaire in 1821. Many of the other street names indicate the anglicised nature of the town: Wllington Street, Mulgrave Street, Queens Road etc. To commemorate the king’s visit, the town’s name was changed to Kingstown, only reverting back to the original after Independence in 1921.

Cross the street at this point.

STOP 4 Up a short distance on the other side is the workmen’s Club founded by Professor W.F. Barret as a Temperance Club, a place where working men could meet and play billiards or read the newspaper – without being tempted by the demon drink!

Beside the club is Dún Laoghaire Public Library, a Carnegie Library built in 1912. The library is named after Andrew Carnegie, the American philanthropist, who donated generously to the cost of building it. He gave funds for 2,800 free public libraries world-wide.

STOP 5 St Michael’s Hospital is our next stop. It was opened in 1860 and was known as the Kingstown Lying-in Institute. An extension was added in 1938. As you can see it conflicts with the rusticated granite of the original.

Just beyond the hospital (on this side) is Dunphy’s Pub, beautifully refurbished in the traditional style. This style is becoming very fashionable today. Some of the most interesting architectural details on George’s Street can be seen on the upper parts of buildings. As you stroll towards Stop 6 cast your eyes along the upper storeys.

STOP 6 We are now at the junction of Marine Road and George’s Street. From here we can see St Michael’s Church. We now cross over to that side of the street. The church was burnt down in1966. All that remains of the original church is the spire, which deserves closer examination, being one of the town’s most elegant landmarks. The granite blocks of the old church were used in the building of the new one.

On the other side of Marine Road is the shopping centre, built in the mid-70s. Before its construction there was a pub called Downey’s on part of the site. This pub was quite famous; in fact it’s in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest strike ever. Apparently it lasted for fourteen years ! Facing the centre on George’s Street (beside Eason’s) is a pharmacy ,O’Mahony & Ennis, an example of an old-style shopfront which has been retained over the years. The premises date back to the 1880s.

Now let’s continue our walk along Georges Street. It’s worth mentioning at this point the street lamps, many of which have extended brackets, the reason being that the poles once carried overhead wires for the trams that were running until the late 40s.

STOP 7 Adelaide house, on the corner of Adelaide Street, has been in continuous occupation by the same family for generations. It is the only house in Dún Laoghaire with two front doors. The first is on George’s Street, the other on the Adelaide Street side. Note the paving on the road at the junction of Georges Street and Adelaide Street. The paving acted as a pathway in the when the roads were unsurfaced and frequently muddy.

STOP 8 A short distance on, on the other side, is the Kinstown Men’s Institute, established in 1888. It provided recreational and sporting facilities for its members. Take a closer look, the elaborate brickwork on the façade is particularly beautiful.

STOP 9 We are now at he People’s Park. Of particular note are the elegant granite pillars and the KTC gate (Kingstown Town Commissioners). The stone troughs in front of the gate lodge were originally pig troughs; they are now being put to more aesthetic use, as flower pots.

The park is beautifully laid out with magnificently coloured flowerbeds. Among the sights to see are two very fine fountains, dating back to about 1890. Take a stroll through – it is a serene haven from the bustle of the town.

STOP 10 The walk now takes you out of the park. From here you can get an excellent view of the east pier. The laneway to the right of the gates is called The Metals, it used to be the old rail line that brought the granite from Dalkey Quarry to Dún Laoghaire for the construction of the harbour. On the other side of the Metals are the public baths, which were once famous for their seaweed bath.

STOP 11 Now we walk along Marine Terrace and cross Mellifont Avenue, go up the steps by the side of the hotel Pierre and on to Adelaide Street. We now come to St Nicholas’, the Montessori school, just beside the office block. St Nicholas’ used to be the Old Mariners school. It was founded to provide an education for the children of sailors. Note the buildings interesting Tudor-style front and the ironwork of the gate

STOP 12 The next stop is the Mariners’ Church, now the National Maritime Museum. It was opened in 1974 and is run on a voluntary basis. It is well worth a visit, having a large collection of maritime models, pictures, documents, photographs, charts, stamps, postcards, flags and badges, celebrating Ireland’s maritime tradition.

Next is the statue of Christ the King. This is a very impressive piece of sculpture, commanding a scenic view of the harbour and bay.

STOP 13 As we continue our walk we will pass Moran Park House on the left. It was to this building that Guglielmo Marconi radioed the very first account of a sporting event, a yacht race, from a tug in Dublin Bay.

STOP 14 Turn right at gates of the Royal Marine Hotel. Cross the road to the George IV monument. The monument commemorates the laying of the first stone of the harbour in 1817, and the visit of King George in 1821. Behind that is the Carlisle pier or Mail Packet Terminal as it was called. Below us is the National Yacht Club, erected in 1870 and designed by William Stirling. Over to the left is the Royal St George Yacht Club. It is interesting to note that all the buildings along the waterfront had to be one-storey. The harbour commissioners would not allow the view of the harbour to be blocked. For this reason, when they were extending the railway they had to sink the line below ground level. The pleasant tree-lined path where we are standing will bring us back to where we started, for a well-deserved rest.

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