A Guide to Skerries Mills: History, Tour + What To Excpect

skerries mills
Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re in search of things to do in Skerries, get yourself to Skerries Mills.

The town of Skerries has a long tradition when it comes to milling and, in fact, stone ground milling has been taking place in the area since the 12th century.

Although you’ll rarely see the Skerries Mills featuring in guides to tourist attractions in Dublin, they’re well worth visiting, and the tours are run by passionate guides.

Below, you’ll find info on everything from the Skerries Mills tours and when they run to what to expect from a visit.

Some quick need-to-knows about Skerries Mills

Although a visit to Skerries Mills is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Skerries Mills is located on the northern coast of County Dublin in Skerries village. It’s just a 40-to-50-minute drive from Dublin City, via the M1.

2. Opening hours

Skerries Mill is open all year round, except for Christmas and New Year. They’re opening hours are from 10am until 5.30pm from April to September, and until 4.30pm from October to March. The last tours are run an hour before closing time.

3. Admission

Ticket prices are €9 per adult, €8 for a student or senior citizen, €22.50 for a family with 2 adults and 2 kids or €4.50 per child under 16. 

4. A 10-year restoration

The mill and bakery were producing baked goods until the 1980s when they fell into disrepair. The buildings underwent a ten-year restoration project to open the place back up to the public. This included restoring the original buildings along with the pond and wetlands.

5. The tour

Guided tours are provided throughout the day running for around 50 minutes. The guide takes you through the history of the milling at Skerries and allows you inside the windmills that dominant the skyline. It’s great for both kids and adults alike. More info below.

6. The farmers market

If you visit on Saturday, make sure to check out the Skerries Mills Farmers Market, which kicks off at 10:00 and runs until 15:00. Here you’ll find everything from vegetables and books to toys, cakes and plenty more. Keep in mind that, if the weather’s bad, they’ll close earlier than 15:00.

About Skerries Mills

skerries mills tour
Photo by Aitormmfoto (Shutterstock)

The history of stone ground milling in the town of Skerries in North Dublin can be traced all the way back to the 12th century.

At this time, the land was owned by the Priory of Holmpatrick, an Augustinian monastic foundation. It’s believed that the older windmill on the site could date back to this era as well.

Restored structures on the property

Milling continued until the 20th century with an additional windmill built in the 17th century. A bakery continued to operate until the 1980s producing bread and sweets.

Skerries Mills has three National Monuments that have been restored to their former glory, the four-sail windmill, five-sail windmill and water wheel. You’ll also find the bakery onsite which operated until the 1980s. 

Other highlights of a visit

The mills are surrounded by a pond and wetlands which also offer incredible views across the coast and islands out to sea and are worth exploring on foot.

There is also a Watermill Café, craft and gift shop and exhibition gallery which can be visited independently of the mills. 

The café bakes fresh sweet and savoury goods daily, and the shop has award winning Irish crafts and gifts and is worth a browse.

What to expect on the Skerries Mills tour

skerries mills
Photos via Shutterstock

The tours are run by very passionate guides who are descendants of early workers at the mills. They take you around the property for almost an hour, giving you all the history and information on the farm and milling process. 

You even get to try stone grinding flour yourself, before seeing how the water wheel works in turning the sheives, shakers and blowers inside the mill.

The tour then takes you across the crop fields and inside the big windmills, so you get an idea of how it all works. After the tour, you’re welcome to enjoy refreshments at the Watermill Café.

Things to do near Skerrries Mills

On of the reasons that Skerries is one of the most popular day trips from Dublin is due to the volume of places there are to visit nearby.

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

1. Skerries village

skerries dublin
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Skerries village is a small seaside town with a long history of being an active fishing port and major commerce centre. You’ll find a beach and lovely coastal walks here. There’s also some excellent restaurants in Skerries if you’re hungry.

2. Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle
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Just to the north of Skerries along the coast, you can find the large 18th century Ardgillan Castle open to the public. The castle and gardens overlook the sea and Mourne Mountains. The beautiful spot can be visited with a range of activities, including castle tours, garden tours, afternoon tea and theatre events.

3. Donabate and Portrane

donabate to portrane coast walk
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You’ll find the villages of Donabate and Portrane a short spin from Skerries Mills. In the former, there’s Donabate Beach and the brilliant Newbridge House. In the latter, there’s Portrane Beach (there’s 2, actually!).

FAQs about the Skerries Mills tours

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘When is the Skerries Mills Farmers Market on?’ (Saturday) to ‘Is it free to enter?’ (it isn’t).

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 Skerries Mills worth visiting?

Yes! The Skerries Mills tour is well worth doing. The tours are run by passionate guides and they give you an insight into the history of milling in the area.

How much is it to visit Skerries Mills?

Ticket prices are €9 per adult, €8 for a student or senior citizen, €22.50 for a family with 2 adults and 2 kids or €4.50 per child under 16.

Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.

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