Before moving to Ireland, many people who lived here warned us of the horrific weather and the expensive rent. We never in our wildest dreams expected to live in a village straight out of a children’s storybook. Malahide, a quintesential small village a 30-minute train ride from Dublin, is the perfect getaway from the bustling city center with a plethora of restaurants, shops, pubs, and even a beach and a 900-year-old castle. Not nearly as populated as the nearby Howth, it offers a similar refuge from the city and a more unique view of the countryside of Ireland.
How to get to Malahide:
What to wear:
I am by no means a fashionista, but have learned since moving here that Irish weather is 100% unpredictable. I finally bought a cinched London Fog waterproof coat with a hood and a chunky Irish scarf that when unbuttoned seconds as a mini-blanket. I realized while writing this post that I’m really bad at taking pictures by myself, so here is a picture of my daily outfit hanging on my door.
This day-trip can be done as cheap or as lavish as you would like. A round-trip train ticket costs €6.50 from Dublin Pearse and if you bring food with you there are plenty of places to have a nice picnic. A cup of coffee will cost around €3 and if you are interested in eating out there are a plethora of restaurants to choose from.
Take a stroll through a storybook
Malahide is the village for both beachgoers and history lovers. In this post I will take you through two different walks, but it is entirely possible to do both walks in the same day OR hire a bike at the Irish Centre for Cycling found at the entrance of Malahide Castle. Unlike most bike rentals, which terrify my husband because they are on open road, you can ride your bike through the castle grounds which is a car-free zone.
A walk through history
This route winds you through the woods of the castle grounds (if you brought a picnic this is a perfect spot!), up to Avoca Cafe and store, and into the heart of Malahide Castle and Gardens. The castle tour is €12 per person and lasts approximately 45 minutes. With this purchase, you also get to explore the castle’s private gardens. While we have not personally gone through the castle tour, the castle grounds and Avoca Cafe are well worth a visit.
For only €30 the hubby and I pigged out on two coffees, two full Irish breakfasts, and a cream and jam scone at Avoca Cafe. The atmosphere of this cafe is buzzing with energy and the attention to detail in the aesthetics is breathtaking.
The castle grounds are massive (260 acres) and leave plenty of space for exploring through either expansive meadows or hidden enclaves of wooded areas. Dating back to 1175, Malahide castle was once home to the Talbot family until 1975 when the family sold the castle to the Irish State to pay for inheritance taxes. The castle and surrounding grounds are well kept and I have no doubt will delight your deepest imaginations of living the Royal life.
**Caveat**: For some reason Google doesn’t know that there is a nice walking path right along the marina and coastline. This map walks along the road so follow this same general path, but right along the coast on the coastal path.
Every morning the hubby, pup, and I roll out of bed, open up the balcony door, listen to the seagulls while getting dressed, and go on a quick stroll along the marina and Malahide beach. Six months ago if you would have asked me if we would ever live within a 5-minute walk to the beach I would have laughed at you. We are by no means rich and were gifted with the “Luck of the Irish” and struck gold on a rental property in this beautiful coastal town.
Along this walk you will stumble across Gibney’s, a traditional Irish pub, the Greedy Goose, a tapas-style resaurant, Donnybrook Fair, a good place to grab picnic food, and a number of other shops and restaurants. Rain or shine this stroll along the rocks and sand of the Irish sea is sure to impress.
If you are feeling brave, head down to Portmarnock along the coastal path. This 4 km walk will give you a bird’s eye view of Ireland’s eye and the 2.5 km stretch of Portmarnock beach. If you have a bike, this is a ride you will want to write home about.
Malahide is the perfect getaway from Dubin city and even a good home base while visiting Ireland. If you’re ready for beaches, castles, and shops galore hop on the train and head up to Malahide today.