A Guide To The People’s Park In Dún Laoghaire

people's park Dun Laoghaire
Photo via Shutterstock

The People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire is my favourite of the many parks in Dublin.

Just south of Dublin, the People’s Park is a beautifully maintained public park close to the waterfront in Dún Laoghaire and a plethora of cafes and restaurants.

Opened in 1890, it is free to visit and is open daily from 8am. Features include the Victorian gatehouse, tea rooms and weekend market.

In the guide below, you’ll find info on where to get parking, a fine cup of coffee and what to see while you’re in the area.

Some quick need-to-knows about the People’s Park

parking at the People’s Park
Photo via Google Maps

Although a visit to the People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

You’ll find The People’s Park between Glasthule and the seafront in the coastal town of Dún Laoghaire. It’s a 10-minute walk from Dún Laoghaire harbour and a 15-minute walk to Sandycove Beach and the Forty Foot.

2. Parking

Dún Laoghaire has plenty of street parking in the area around the People’s Park, like this one. It costs around €1.70 per hour and payments can be made on the parkingtag.ie app (note: prices may change).

3. Toilets

Yes, there’s toilets here! You’ll find the toilets in the People’s Park next to Fallon and Byrne. Here’s the location on Google maps.

4. A fine spot for a ramble

The People’s Park is a lovely little park for a stroll with seasonal flowers filling the beds. There are plenty of cafés nearby and the harbour and beach are just a short walk away. 

About People’s Park in Dublin

 

The People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire is a beautifully landscaped public space covering 2 hectares (4.9 acres). Opened in 1890, it has several Victorian buildings including the attractive Gate Lodge, once the residence of the Head Gardener.

There are also Tea Rooms (a former shelter/pavilion) with an outdoor terrace, toilets and bandstand. The latter still has the original gas light fittings. 

Originally there was a Martello Tower on the site and the land was later used as a quarry. The land was purchased by the Town Commission in 1889 and the park layout was designed by J.L. Robinson. 

As well as lawns, there are winding footpaths and formal flower beds that are changed seasonally. The park also has a fragrant garden for the blind with a safe walking trail. Two cast iron fountains continue to create an attractive focal point.

Things to do at People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire

If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin, a visit to the People’s Park combined with a visit to the many other nearby attractions is a fine way to spend a day.

Below, you’ll find info on everything from where to grab a coffee to what to see when you get there.

1. Grab a coffee and head for a ramble

People’s Park cafe
Photos via Fallon & Byrne, People’s Park (Facebook & Instagram)

Housed in the former pavilion within The People’s Park, there’s a café and takeaway grocery store. Grab a hot drink and a homemade cookie or snack and head out to explore the area. Just along Marine Terrace you’ll reach Dún Laoghaire harbour where you can watch the boats and ferries coming and going.   

2. Visit the market

 

The Sunday Market in The People’s Park is a popular place to browse the stalls from 11am to 4pm. Admire local crafts and artworks and pick up a souvenir of your visit. The majority of the market is given over to food, vegetables and local produce. Whether you’re searching for handmade cupcakes or tasty tomatoes, this is the place to find them!

3. Admire the Victorian features

People’s Park history
Photo via Google Maps

Built in 1890, at the height of the Victorian era, the park has several noteworthy buildings depicting typical architecture of that era. Architect J.L. Robinson designed several building in the town and he also designed the layout and buildings in the park. These include the Gate Lodge with its red tile roof and tall chimneys, the Victorian bandstand with its gas lamps, and the ornamental fountains. 

Things to do near the People’s Park

One of the beauties of the People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other things to see and do.

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

1. Dublin Bay Cruises (5-minute walk)

 

How about a breezy boat trip around the bay? Dublin Bay Cruises offers 75-minute trips across Dublin Bay with a commentary and drinks available. Head south to see the James Joyce Martello Tower at Sandycove and Dalkey Island with its grey seal colony. To the north you will pass by Clontarf, Bull Island Nature Reserve, Baily Lighthouse, Ireland’s Eye Island and pretty Howth Harbour.

2. Ice cream at Dun Laoghaire Harbour (10-minute walk)

ice cream
Photo by Branislav Nenin (Shutterstock)

There are several places to pick up an ice cream on the waterfront as you stroll along the harbour. It’s a fine place for watching the fishing boats and ferries sailing to and from Holyhead. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

3. Sandycove Beach + Forty Foot (15-minute walk)

sandycove beach
Photos via Shutterstock

Just up the road from Dún Laoghaire, Sandycove Beach is a sandy beach popular with families. There’s an historic Martello Tower at one end, featured by James Joyce in his classic novel Ulysses. The nearby Forty Foot is also worth visiting.

4. Dún Laoghaire for food (5-minute walk)

food nearby
Photos via Purty Kitchen on Instagram

Dún Laoghaire has plenty of places offering food and refreshment from cafés and pubs to bistros and upscale restaurants. The award-winning Purty Kitchen has won Best Gastropub on numerous occasions while Ragazzi is the ideal place to find authentic pizza and Italian cuisine. Hartley’s Restaurant on Harbour Road is perfect for upscale dining or impressing someone special!

FAQs about the People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where do you park near the People’s Park to what to see nearby.

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.

Is there parking at the People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire?

No. But there’s plenty nearby. If you have a look at the top of this guide, you’ll find the exact location of the parking on Google Maps.

What is there to do at the People’s Park?

Grab a coffee and head for a ramble. Admire the Victorian features. Visit the market. And just kick back and 

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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