Ireland day 0245. Tuesday 31 May 2022- Estates

Ireland day 0245. Tuesday 31 May 2022- Estates
Today’s summary Spent the morning cleaning the flat then walked down to Clare Hall to get some cheap dishwasher tablets and biscuits.   Went via the various estates and parks to the east of Portmarnock and Clongriffin.   Treated myself to a haircut when I got there.
Today’s weather Cool, overcast and dry in the morning.   Rain later in the afternoon.  Blustery westerly wind.   About 14C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Clare hall eastern estates

There are many good things about Ireland but public access to the countryside isn’t one of them.   I have already described the various problems related to rights of way, and the absence of a network of paths through the countryside on anything like the scale that you can find in the UK.   But as I do like to be outside, exploring, I have come to see the absence of the type of paths that normally like, as something of a challenge.

One of the good things about living by the coast is that you can usually get down onto the shoreline and walk along the water’s edge.   This is particularly the case where we live on the east coast where there are big flat beaches which, although a bit monotonous, offer the opportunity to walk in solitude and unfettered by landowners, for hours at a time.

But if you want to walk inland, the options are more limited.   Again, we are fortunate to be living in Malahide in that there are mountains within an hour’s dive, both to the north and the south of us.   If you know where to look, or take the trouble to do some research, there’s a reasonable network of paths both in the Wicklow/Dublin hills, and also in the Cooleys.   And closer to home, there are some pretty decent demesnes which allow you to pretend you are in the “real” country for a few minutes.   Malahide castle, Newbridge and Ardgillan, to name but three.   Plus, of course, Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

Still, if you want to walk from “A” to “B”, you have to accept that the best way to do it is going to be along public roads.   So this is where the challenge comes in.   I hate walking on tarmac, so I’ve been trying to find ways of getting from “A” to “B”, even if I’m following a series of roads, by incorporating as much “green” walking as possible.   Even if it just means finding roads where there are grassy verges at the sides where the road isn’t too busy and the grass isn’t too deep, so you can comfortably walk along it.

Today’s challenge was precipitated by the twin imperatives of buying cheap dishwasher tablets and own-brand plain chocolate digestive biscuits.   Neither is available in Malahide, so that meant that while Val was out at work, I needed to get down to the big Tesco at Clare Hall, where I hoped they would be in stock.   There is a route there via the Castle demesne and the R107 but more than half is on tarmac so I wanted to try and find a better way of getting there, without having to drive or use the bus.

Between us and Clare Hall is a labyrinth of housing estates, but in the end, with a combination of map-reading and google-streetviewing, I was able to pick out a route through them which minimised the amount of road- and pavement- walking I’d have to do.   You can see the detail of my route in the map at the bottom of this blog, but basically it went via the castle demesne, Paddy’s Hill at Robswall, the Baldoyle Greenway, and the various parks and green spaces of the new developments around Clongriffin and Donaghmede.   In all, I think I managed to reduce the amount of tarmac to about 25% of the route, which wasn’t too bad.

On arriving at Clare Hall, I didn’t immediately embark on the dishwasher quest, but decided to get a haircut first.   As we are approaching the “warmer” months (spoken as an optimist) I thought a no 4 + no 2 would be in order as it would be both cooler and longer-lasting.   With any luck I shouldn’t need to get shorn again until at least September which I think is suitably practical and economical.   €20 well spent in my view.   You can see the results in the banner image at the top and I am sure you will agree that it looks splendid.

Once unnecessary keratin had been removed, I ventured into Tesco and discovered to my horror that the own-brand dishwasher tablets – which used to cost less than a third as much as the next cheapest alternatives – had been completely removed from the shelves.  There was no sign that they had ever even existed.   I was forced to buy some branded ones instead – which weren’t too bad if you bought them by the hundred – but I am still smarting a bit at this invidious bit of price inflation being caused by the removal of own-brand substitutes.   Still, much to my relief, own-brand plain chocolate digestive biscuits were still on the shelves, so I bought ten packets, just in case they too should fall victim to the pressures of retail profitmaking.

After this shocking disappointment I retired to a nearby café to lick my wounds over a cup of tea and a scone (I could write an entire blog about Irish scones, by the way – they are ubiquitous, excellent and relatively cheap.   Possibly – wash my mouth out – even better than Devon ones).  I felt better after some carbs – and by the way in case you were worried, talking about wounds,  my devastatingly injured toe was more or less pain free last night, although it is still spectacularly purple.   It is quite interesting looking at it and wondering what it is going to do next.   Anyway what I did next was to walk over to the bus stop and catch the no. 42 back to the flat.

So now I’m in Malahide and Val’s returned from work.   I’m sure she doesn’t want to sit listening to me hammering away at the keyboard for much longer so I’ll stop now and go and make the tea.   More Bolognaise awaits!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Impressive cable laying machinery doing something clearly very important this afternoon, up on the Robswall estate Roses are a bit of a thing here, it seems.   Apart from February, I have seen them in flower every month since we arrived.   This semi-wild specimen was growing in a hedgerow near Paddy’s Hill, above Portmarnock
Pretty wildflower displays seem very popular in this part of Ireland.   I hope the tradition lasts, as they really do brighten the place up.   This one, featuring poppies and cornflowers, was decorating the central reservation of a road in the brand new Red Arches estate, Baldoyle Interesting equine sculpture at the entrance to Myrtle Park – a green space in a brand new housing estate just to the east of Clongriffin
According to the Clongriffin town website:
these sculptures depict King Diarmuid MacMurrough and the Priory of All Hallows in one panel,…
…and the priory monks going about their duties in the other
Diarmuid MacMurrough was the King of Leinster, and he is said to have founded a priory on this site 1166
And this is the ruin of the old Grange Priory where the sculptures are sited. It’s a mediaeval chapel next to the Grange Abbey roundabout on the R 809.   The first records of the chapel date back to 1369 although there has probably been a building on this site since 1166.   It was disused in about 1630 and partly restored only 350 years later – in the mid 1980s.   Today it sits in a field by a busy road junction close to the M50.   There us good public access and it’s interesting to wander over and have a look around
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 12685 m
Max elevation: 50 m
Min elevation: -1 m
Total climbing: 147 m
Total descent: -129 m
Total time: 03:11:43
Download file: Clare Hall Eastern Route compressed corrected.gpx

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