A Guide to Herbert Park in Dublin

herbert park dublin
Photos via Shutterstock

The stunning Herbert Park is one of our favourite parks in Dublin.

Home to a fine cafe, a lively market and some beautiful trails to ramble along, this place is a joy to saunter around regardless of time of year.

Especially after a feed in one of the many restaurants in Ballsbridge (or before you nip into one the the countless pubs in Ballsbridge!).

Below, you’ll find info on everything from parking at Herbert Park and when it’s open to what to see and do nearby.

Some quick need-to-knows about Herbert Park

Although a visit to Herbert Park in Dublin is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Herbert Park is in Ballsbridge in the southeastern suburbs of Dublin. Bordered to the east by the River Dodder, it’s about 4km from the city centre. The park is in an affluent area which includes several embassies, the Aviva Stadium and the RDS Arena.

2. Opening hours

Opening hours at Herbert Park vary seasonally. The park opens daily at 10am and generally closes around dusk. It is free to visit.

  • December/January: 10:00 to 17:00
  • February: 10:00 to 17:30
  • March (before clocks go forward): 10:00 to 18:30
  • March (after clocks go forward): 10:00 to 19:30
  • April: 10:00 to 20:30
  • May: 10:00 to 21:30
  • June / July: 10:00 to 22:00
  • August: 10:00 to 21:30
  • September: 10:00 to 20:30
  • October (before clocks go back): 10:00 to 19:30
  • October (after clocks go back): 10:00 to 18:30
  • November: 10:00 to 17:30

3. Parking

There is some on-street parking nearby but all parking near Herbert Park attracts a fee. There are 135 spaces at Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road, costing €3 per hour. A little further away, APCOA Parking at RDS Simmonscourt Road is €7 for 2 hours.

4. Walks and kids activities

It’s great to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and green space, and Herbert Park is just the place to do it. The park has formal flower gardens, benches, football pitches, tennis courts, boules, a bowling green and croquet pitch. For young visitors there’s a duck pond and a playground. 

About Herbert Park

walking in herbert park
Photo by Istvan Bedo (Shutterstock)

The land now known as Herbert Park was once a marshy patch known as Forty Acres. History traces ownership of the land back to the 13th century when it belonged to the Augustine Priory of All Hallows. It became part of the extensive Fitzwilliam Estate until the 11th Earl of Pembroke inherited it in 1816.

Dublin Trade Exhibition

In 1903, the Earl of Pembroke donated 32 acres to Pembroke Urban District Council to develop a pubic park and area of conservation.

It was named after the Earl’s father, Sidney Herbert. The park was well-used, housing exhibits as part of the Dublin International Trade Exhibition in 1907.

It attracted displays from across the world, including a complete Somalian village! Apart from the bandstand, most original building are no longer in existence, but check out the duck pond. It was excavated for the Canadian Waterchute exhibit and has since served as a carp pond.

Things to see and do at Herbert Park

herbert park dublin
Photos via Shutterstock

There’s plenty to see and do in Herbert Park in Dublin, from coffee and walks to the brilliant Herbert Park Food Market.

1. Grab a coffee to go…     

Whatever the weather you can grab a hot coffee or cold drinks and snacks to-go from Lolly and Cooks. This family-run business has several locations including a lovely cafe in Herbert Park. It’s open daily from 9am to 7pm. 

They use locally sourced ingredients in their salads, cakes and soups, many grown on their own sustainable farm in Tipperary. And do try their famous “Savage Roll”! 

2. And then explore the grounds   

Herbert Park is divided by Herbert Park Road. The south side, closest to the River Dodder, has gardens, sports pitches and a playground. The northern sector has tennis courts, a bowling green and another playground.

The park is good for walking and jogging with exercise stations. The perimeter measures one mile, so it’s a useful way for runners to measure their distance in laps. 

3. Treat yourself to a post-walk feed from the Herbert Park Food Market

Herbert Park is home to the Sunday Food Market which operates from 11am to 4pm. Tents and stalls house a host of chef, cooks and caterers and it’s always popular with visitors.

The stalls have a full range of homemade baked goods, fresh organic produce and artisan breads. Sample pickles, dips and preserves in this foodie paradise. It’s also a great place to source delicious falafel, kebabs, freshly cooked crepes, Korean food, Italian pasta, cupcakes and even homemade ice cream. 

Things to do near Herbert Park

One of the reasons that a trip out to Herbert Park is one of our favourite day trips from Dublin City is due to the endless nearby walks.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Herbert Park (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk (20-minute walk)

poolbeg lighthouse walk
Photo left: Peter Krocka. Right: ShotByMaguire (Shutterstock)

Reputedly one of the best walks in Dublin, the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk is an invigorating 4km walk to the lighthouse. Also known as the Great South Wall Walk, the landmark red lighthouse has been guiding ships in Dublin Bay since 1768. The walk along the Great South Wall can be windy and exposed! It takes about 40 minutes out and back. 

2. Sandymount Strand (35-minute walk)   

Sandymount strand
Photo by Arnieby (Shutterstock)

Another lovely coastal walk goes along nearby Sandymount Strand with views of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve. Halfway along is a Martello Tower. The end of the strand is marked by a metal sculpture “Awaiting the Mariner”.

3. Endless attractions in the city 

Custom House dublin
Photo by SAKhanPhotography (Shutterstock)

Pop into Dublin and you’ll find endless things to see and do. There’s the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells, the National Museum of Ireland, the Science Gallery in Trinity College and several noteworthy art galleries. Huge Phoenix Park is great for a stroll with gardens and a herd of deer. Or how about touring medieval Dublin Castle and the outdoor market and pubs in Temple Bar?

FAQs about Herbert Park in Dublin

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where in Dublin is Herbert Park?’ (it’s in Ballsbridge) to ‘How many km is Herbert Park?’ (it’s just over 1.5km).

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the opening hours for Herbert Park?

Jan: 10-17:00. Feb: 10-17:30. Mar: 10-18:30. Apr: 10-20:30. May 10-21:30. Jun and Jul: 10-22. Aug: 10-21:30. Sept: 10-20:30. Oct: 10-19:30. Nov: 10-17:30. Dec: 10-17:00.

Is there a toilet in Herbert park?

Yes, according to the Dublin City Council website, there’s public toilets in the Herbert Park Tearooms.

Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.

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