You’ll find two of the most beautiful parks in Dublin hidden away in the leafy (and very affluent) town of Dalkey in South Dublin.
The first, and our favourite of the town, is the stunning Sorrento Park, while the second is the gorgeous Dillon’s Park.
Although we’re going to focus on Sorrento Park in this guide, Dillon’s Park is outstanding, as you’ll discover in a moment.
Below, you’ll find info on locating the entrance to Sorrento Park (it can be a bit tricky) to where to park nearby.
Some quick need-to-knows about Sorrento Park
Although a visit to Sorrento Park in Dalkey is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
1. Location (entrance easy to miss)
While it’s one of Dublin’s prettiest parks, it’s also one the smallest and the entrance isn’t the most obvious. Located around 16km south of the city centre, you’ll find Sorrento Park’s entrances on Coliemore Road (here) with one through a small blue gate and then the second larger one on the corner of the road.
Getting parking near Sorrento Park is a pain. Especially on the weekend. To avoid the stress, simply park up at Dalkey DART station and enjoy the leisurely walk to Sorrento Park through one of Dublin’s prettiest neighbourhoods.
3. Views for days
‘Hidden Gem’ is a phrase that gets casually tossed about on travel pages and blogs far more than it should, but it really does apply here! Few tourists will make the journey from Dublin’s lively centre down here, but those who do will be greeted with some absolutely wonderful views, with vistas stretching from the Howth peninsula in the north all the way to the Wicklow Mountains in the south.
About Sorrento Park
The formation of Sorrento Park dates back to the 19th century and a local cleric called Richard MacDonnell. In 1837, MacDonnell bought a plot of land down at Dalkey’s seafront and a little later in the 1840s, he devised a plan to turn that land into a row of 22 houses.
This is the land that would become the beautiful Sorrento Terrace, which later became known as Millionaire’s Row (for obvious reasons!).
MacDonnell died in 1867 and in 1894 his family handed over Sorrento Park to trustees who opened it to the public (although it had been used for many public events before that date). Since then, it’s been a peaceful spot famous for its beautiful views that anyone can come and enjoy.
Photographers should try and get here early in the morning for ‘golden hour’ and take advantage of capturing the stunning landscape in the best light possible (though a sunny blue morning isn’t always a guarantee in Ireland!).
Things to see and do at Sorrento Park
One of the reasons that a visit to Sorrento Park in Dalkey is one of our favourite things to do in Dublin is down to the views – they’re outstanding.
However, you can also combine a visit to Sorrento Park with a visit to the much larger Dillon’s Park. Here’s some things to do.
1. Grab a coffee from Dalkey village and soak up the views from the benches
Before making your way to the famous viewpoint, grab yourself a coffee from Dalkey Village first (if you’ve taken the train down or parked up in the train station then you’ll only be a stone’s throw away). Take your pick from either Idlewild Cafe or Pepper Laine and then make the easy 15-minute walk down Sorrento Road to the park.
Once you’re through the small gate on Coliemore Road, stroll up the meandering path to the summit and find a bench to relax on. The gorgeous views stretch all the way from Howth to Bray, so sit back and soak up some of Dublin’s finest vistas.
2. Combine a visit with a trip to the adjacent Dillon’s Park
Leafier and closer to Dalkey Island, Dillon’s Park is adjacent to Sorrento Park across Coliemore Road and has a charm all of its own. There are plenty of benches here to choose from and, when the weather’s good, the views over to Dalkey Island are superb.
On a slightly quirkier note, Dillon’s Park is also home to an ancient holy well that was once part of early Celtic Christian rituals. Amazingly, it was only uncovered in 2017! The holy well is located on the northern side of the park if you want to check it out.
Things to do near Sorrento Park
If you’re taking a day trip from Dublin to visit Sorrento Park, there’s plenty to do nearby after you’ve soaked up the views.
Below, you’ll find one of the best places to go swimming in Dublin to the brilliant Killiney Hill, Killiney Beach and more.
1. Vico Baths (5-minute walk)
Once you’re done soaking up the views from Sorrento Park, make the short walk down Vico Road and take a dip in the quirky (and immensely popular!) Vico Baths. Follow the signs and handrails down to a dreamy little perch where you can jump and plunge into the swirling pools below.
2. Killiney Hill (15-minute walk)
Want more views? Just a 15-minute walk from Sorrento Park, take the gentle ramble up Killiney Hill where you’ll be treated to some cracking vistas from a higher elevation. From the Obelisk, you’ll get aerial scenes of Dublin city and Howth while if you walk down to the Viewpoint you’ll get some deadly views of the ‘Irish Amalfi Coast’ in all its glory!
3. Killiney Beach (30-minute walk)
Relax after all that action at Killiney Beach. Yes, it’s a stony beach and a good 30-minute walk away but it’s a lovely spot and the water is some of the cleanest in Dublin. Also, how many beaches feature cafes as great as Fred and Nancy’s right on the beach itself?
4. Dalkey Island
Lying around 300 metres off the coastline just below Sorrento Park, Dalkey Island is an uninhabited but fascinating place with historical ruins dating back over 1000 years! It’s accessible by boat and kayak (if you’re feeling intrepid) and is well worth a visit.
FAQs about visiting Sorrento Park
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is there Sorrento Park parking facilities?’ to ‘Were’s worth visiting 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 Sorrento Park in Dalkey worth visiting?
Yes! Sorrento Park is arguably one of the most unique parks in Dublin and the views out over Dalkey Island from here are stunning.
Where can you park near Sorrento Park?
Sorrento Park parking is scarce at times. We’d recommend parking up at Dalkey DART station and enjoying the leisurely walk to Sorrento Park from there.