Ireland day 0251. Monday 06 June 2022- Farmleigh2

Ireland day 0251. Monday 06 June 2022- Farmleigh2
Today’s summary A Bank Holiday in Ireland and Val not working.   So went into Dublin and walked round Phoenix Park and Farmleigh from Kilmainham and the memorial gardens – a recce for a possible DWC walk in the Autumn.  H2 bus back.   All in all a lovely day
Today’s weather Cool dry and bright.   Long sunny intervals in afternoon.   Light easterly wind.   About 15C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Phoenix Farmleigh recce walk

It’s been a Bank Holiday today here in Ireland and after yesterday’s washout, I think everyone was a bit apprehensive about what today might serve up, in case a repeat performance was in the offing.   So when we got up this morning, it was beautifully peaceful and quiet in Malahide as everyone evidently decided to take no chances and to stay in bed for an extra half hour.   Even the DART trains didn’t start until later today, so we were uninterrupted as we enjoyed our own extra half hour with a cup of tea in bed.   But it was a rare day – Val was off work, it wasn’t raining, and I wanted to pay a return visit to Phoenix Park, so eventually we had to stir ourselves and start the process of getting up.

Actually I don’t need much of an excuse to go back to Phoenix Park because it is lovely.  But today I did have an excuse, in case one were needed, because I am thinking of leading a “medium” length walk round the park for the Dublin Walking Club – possibly in the Autumn when shorter daylight makes getting up “big” mountains a bit of a challenge.   And today I wanted to do a recce.

So I dragged Val into Dublin once again to join my scouting expedition.   But in reality it was no hardship, because the sun came out around lunchtime and it turned into one of those wonderful days of blue and green, as it seems that only Ireland knows how to serve up.   So after the Luas had deposited us at Heuston station, we walked up to Kilmainham Hospital and through the debris of the concert venue, which was in the process of being dismantled and packed away.   From there, we repeated my walk of a week or two ago, and went down to the Memorial Gardens where, once again, we found a quiet seat in the sun to have our lunch in the rose garden.

Down on the Liffey, all was serene.   I keep expecting to see a kingfisher pop out of the overhanging trees in search of lunch.   But there was no such spark of turquoise today, just a few enthusiastic boatie types out sculling.   We were soon over Chapelizod bridge and on our way into Phoenix Park via the “hidden” back gate.   By the way, it is thought that Chapelizod gets its name from Iseult, the daughter of a queen of Ireland who also features in Arthurian legend as Isolde (as in Tristan and Isolde).   Why there was a chapel here named in her honour seems to be a bit obscure.

We headed on quickly through the park and up to Farmleigh – the magnificent ex-Guinness property tacked on to the western extremity of the park.   I like Farmleigh even more than Phoenix Park.  It’s a civilized, quiet spot with a nice lake, beautiful grounds, a couple of art galleries which are always nice to look around even if you aren’t a fan of the contents, and most important of all a good café.   So of course we had to stop for a cup of coffee before resuming our travels; an excellent opportunity to pause and enjoy the sunshine and greenery.

The trip back down to Heuston via the north side of the park was uneventful, even though the “Bloom” festival was in full swing, which made it a bit busier than normal.   We were soon back at Heuston and made a spur of the minute decision to get off the Luas at Abbey Street and catch the bus back to Malahide.

We’d enjoyed out trip on the no. 42 so much last week that we thought that today we’d try out the H2 instead (and I have no idea why some buses have numbers and some have names).  They both start from and end up in roughly the same places, but get there by slightly different routes.  The 42 goes to Malahide via the coast whereas the H2 goes slightly more inland, via Portmarnock.   Either way, the journey is great.   You get brilliant views if you can nab the front seats upstairs (which we did both times) and a really much more relaxed way to travel than hanging around on the invariably-freezing-cold Platform 6 at Connolly station waiting for the DART.

So looking back on the day – is it suitable for a Walking Club outing?   I’d say definitely yes.  There are no mountains or country wildernesses to enjoy, but as urban landscapes go, today’s route would take some beating.   It’s quite short, at only 16km / 10 miles, and almost completely flat, but nevertheless it took us an astonishing five and a half hours to complete it.   A reflection, perhaps, of how much we were enjoying the journey, and spending time to take it all in as we walked.   So, yes, I will definitely offer it as a possibility for the Autumn programme.   I hope the club will like it and that a few people will actually turn up and walk it with me!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Down on the Liffey towpath between Islandbridge and Chapelizod.   It’s a lovely walkway – though you have to dodge the bikes Curious plant growing outside the main entrance to Farmleigh House.   Looks very much like a miniature Agapanthus, though I’ve never seen one this colour before.   They are usually light blue or white.
Val has decided that she would like to live in Farmleigh House.   I could put up with that Paying a return visit to the Daniel O’Neill exhibition “Romanticism and Friendship” in the Farmleigh Gallery this afternoon.   I’d been before but it was Val’s first time.   The artwork is quite nice but didn’t really float my boat.   We were lucky to see it, as it happened, as today was the last day they collection was on show.
Phoenix Park was buzzing this afternoon.  The annual “Bloom” exhibition was back, after a 2 year pandemic pause.   It’s a flower show mainly, but there is lots of food, alcohol and music in evidence as well.   Around 17,000 visitors turn up – but Phoenix Park is so big that, apart from the extra traffic, it didn’t really affect our walk at all The view from the upper deck of the H2 bus – which runs straight from Abbey Street to Malahide – this afternoon.   It was a fabulous journey home – much more relaxing than the DART, even if it was a bit slower, – and with view like this, of Howth, all the way.   A great way to round off our outing.
What a contrast to yesterday!   But after the rain comes the sun and with it a huge spurt of vegetative growth.   Thuja Avenue in Farmleigh, where this photo was taken, was looking vividly green and sparkling this afternoon.   A real tonic to the eye.   And also a good reminder that saplings planted 145 years ago are just coming into their own now, as the planner intended.   That’s why planners in all disciplines – not just horticulture – need to have a long term vision, and not just a fixation on short term crowd-pleasing fixes!
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 15785 m
Max elevation: 72 m
Min elevation: 2 m
Total climbing: 265 m
Total descent: -264 m
Total time: 05:29:18
Download file: Phoenix Recce compressed corrected.gpx

You can read earlier and later days’ blogs below

Previous day’s blog
Next day’s blog
Ireland home page

 Save as PDF