Ireland day 0730. Thursday 28 September 2023- Botanics + Drogheda *

Ireland day 0730. Thursday 28 September 2023- Botanics + Drogheda
Today’s summary Val was at work and I had a day out in Dublin to look at the botanic gardens.   The Royal Canal towpath route from Connolly to the gardens was closed but the alternative via Tolka Park was good.   The gardens were excellent.   To Drogheda in the evening to renew phone contracts
Today’s weather Overcast with no sun but dry practically all day.   Moderate southerly wind.   Appx 16c
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The black 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):
Connolly to the Botanic Gardens

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

I feel like I have been running flat out to stand still lately.   A flying visit to the UK, visitors, webinars, and a mountain of paperwork.   So with Val being out at work today, and having for once a little time on my hands, I decided to give myself a bit of a break, and go into Dublin to take a look at the Botanic Gardens.

I do like the gardens, especially when the weather is cooler and greyer, as the colours and, especially, the greenhouses remind me of sunnier climes and warmer weather.   Also, I’m a bit of a fan of plants, and there’s always something interesting to see.

I took the first DART that came into Malahide, and once I got into Dublin, decided to walk to the gardens from Connolly station.   I usually follow the Royal Canal towpath as far as Phibsborough Road, and then just follow the main road a few hundred meters up to the gardens.   But today I discovered when I got there that the towpath was closed, as it is in the process being upgraded to a cycle-able “greenway”.   A bit inconvenient but with some “on the fly” re-planning, I was able to find a route through Tolka Park which was perhaps even more pleasant – I’m not really a fan of canal towpaths, to be honest.

As soon as I arrived at the garden, I headed for the café (it was mobbed) and treated myself to a strong coffee.   Then I had the rest of my lunch, and had a good look round the gardens themselves.   As usual, they were immaculate – although one of the gardeners said that they had lost nine major trees in the recent storms.   But I wasn’t aware of any serious storm damage, so whatever there was, must have been sorted out quite quickly.

By mid afternoon I felt I needed to drag myself away from the Strelitzias and the Bougainvilleas and rejoin the real world of a grey Dublin afternoon.   So I hopped on a 155 bus round to D’Olier Street, then got the DART back to Malahide from Tara Street.   Now I’m back in the flat and just waiting for Val to finish work.   Then we’re going to jump in the Trusty Yaris and head up the M1 to Drogheda.   It’s time to renew our mobile phone contracts.   What a joy!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The path I normally take – alongside the Royal Canal as far as the Phibsborough Road, and which passes almost right underneath Croke Park stadium , was closed today.   The towpath is being upgraded to make it safer for cycling (and walking too, I hope).   I found an alternative route via Tolka Park which was, possibly, even better Croke Park – the home of GAA Irish Football, Hurling and Camogie
Overlooking the Tolke river as it flows through the park.   In full spate today, following yesterday’s downpours The early bird gets the worm (at the bottom of the picture)
Sadly, I think at least one of the magnificent redwoods in the clump which impressively greets you when you arrive in the garden is dying.   I suspect it has got the same Phytophthera infection that killed off one of the other redwoods in the garden last year.   I really hope it doesn’t spread more widely, as ireland has hundreds of magnificent redwoods.   A vain hope, I fear Talking of dead and dying trees, this made me sad and angry.   What kind of person would do this?
We were fortunate enough to visit the tree ten years ago, in October 2013.   See:
22 Oct 2013: Holmhead to Haydon Bridge | Land’s End to John O’Groats 2014 (
In the “curvilinear” house.   I like to daydream that I am in the Mediterranean
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 5335 m
Max elevation: 19 m
Min elevation: 2 m
Total climbing: 70 m
Total descent: -58 m
Total time: 01:09:49
Download file: Connolly to Glasnevin compressed corrected.gpx

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