Ireland day 0248. Friday 03 June 2022- Sandymount
|Today’s summary||Decided to explore the Sandymount / Ballsbridge area, to the south of the city, while Val did some shopping in Dublin. Came across Herbert Park, which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Met Val in O’Connell St afterwards and got the no 42 bus back to Malahide rather than the DART|
|Today’s weather||Rain in the morning but dry by mid morning. Sunny evening. Variable moderate wind. About 15C|
|Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
(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):
Sandymount Ballsbridge and Herbert Park
After yesterday’s somewhat draining excursion, we both felt the need for something a bit lighter today. As it happened, Val needed to do some shopping in Dublin and as that isn’t really my thing, I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a nosey round the suburbs of south Dublin while she was in the shops.
So that was how things played out. We went into town together and Val got off the DART at Pearse station to head off to the retail bright lights of Grafton St, while I stayed on for a couple more stops, as far as Sandymount. As soon as you get off the train, you can tell that this is a prosperous area. The streets are green, leafy and well kept. The houses are large and impressive, and there are a couple of big international hotels. Just over a km / one mile to the east is Sandymount Strand – best known as the setting for two chapters of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (and before anybody asks how well my project to read this book is getting on, the answer is not very. Well, not at all really. I think it’s a winter project).
I headed through the greenery to the west of Sandymount and ended up in Ballsbridge, the adjacent suburb. Like Sandymount, it feels prosperous (and by all accounts it is) and lies close to the River Dodder (it gets its name from the bridge over the river Dodder, which was owned by the Balls family in the 1500s). It also hosts Herbert Park – a relatively large green space that features a big duckpond and bandstand as well as lots of grassy playing fields. It lies on land formerly owned by the Earl of Pembroke (family name Herbert) who gave the land to the city of Dublin in 1907 after the Irish International Exhibition, which was held on the site, closed.
Ballsbridge is also home to the Royal Dublin Society, which was founded in 1731 as a philanthropic organisation aimed at promoting Irish culture and the economy. It has retained its “Royal” epithet even since Independence – I’m not quite sure why. Its main asset is the “RDS” venue on Merrion Road, which was acquired in 1879. Today, as well as a Members’ Club, there is a large exhibition hall, concert venue, and sports facilities. It’s a nice looking building.
After that quick look round, I discovered that Val had finished her shopping so I DARTed back into town and met her in Grafton St. We dropped in to Bewleys for a quick cup of tea then walked across the bridge to O’Connell Street to look in a bookshop. From there, we decided to make a break from tradition and took the bus home, rather than trudging over to Connolly station for the train. It turned out to be a very pleasant change, especially as we were able to enjoy the commanding view from our prime seats on the front row of the upper deck.
Anyway on that note I’ll close. If you’re reading this in the UK, enjoy your extra Jubilee Bank Holiday day off, and have a good long weekend break.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(Elevations corrected at GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )
Max elevation: 16 m
Min elevation: 4 m
Total climbing: 40 m
Total descent: -38 m
Total time: 00:28:21