The beautiful St. Anne’s Park is arguably one of the best parks in Dublin.
Located between of Clontarf and Raheny and a stone’s throw from the city centre (especially if you get the DART to Clontarf), this is a great spot for a saunter.
The park here is huge and it’s home to a number of different interesting features, from its stunning rose garden and the Follies to the St. Anne’s Market and more.
Below, you’ll find info on where to get parking near St. Anne’s Park (we’ve a great spot that’s rarely busy!) to the different walking trails.
Some quick need-to-knows about St. Anne’s Park in Dublin
Although a visit to St. Anne’s Park is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. Opening hours
St. Anne’s Park is open every day of the week, all year round from 9am until 9.30pm (note: opening hours may change – latest info here).
There are several different car parks at St. Anne’s. There’s this one on Clontarf Road. This one off Mount Propsect Avenue (usually hard to get a space here). There’s also on-street parking here (again, usually busy). We usually park nearby, here, as it’s never busy and it’s a short walk to the park.
You’ll find public toilets over near the cafe here. There was (when we last visited) portaloos just outside the cafe gate, but we can’t find info online to confirm that these are still in place.
About St. Anne’s Park
St. Anne’s Park is the second largest public park in Dublin. It covers just over 240 acres and is a very popular place for city dwellers to stretch their legs.
You’ll find plenty of walking trails, sport facilities, a golf course, a playground, café and old architectural features that still exist today.
History of St. Anne’s Park
Like many other city parks near Dublin, St. Anne’s was part of a larger estate of the Guinness family. And yes, I mean the descendants of Sir Arthur Guinness who founded the famous brewery.
After the family decided they could no longer maintain the gardens, it was sold and eventually became a public park area in the late 20th century.
Unique flora and fauna
The park contains some original features, including a walled garden, the grand avenue and a number of follies. In the last few decades, a rose garden, walking trails and the Millennium Arboretum have been added, which contain over 1000 varied trees.
You might be able to spot some unique wildlife in the park as well, including badgers, rabbits, grey squirrels, and a variety of birds.
Things to see and do at St. Anne’s Park
One of the reasons a visit to St. Anne’s Park is one of the most popular things to do in Dublin is due to the volume of stuff there is to see and do.
Below, you’ll find info on the walk, the farmers market, the rose garden and park’s quirkier features, like the Follies.
1. The Saint Anne’s Park Loop
The loop trail at St. Anne’s is one of my favourite walks in Dublin. It’s almost 6km long but is a perfect way to see the different parts of the park.
Along the way you can see many of the main features including the small river that runs through the centre, the rose garden, and some of the follies.
You can run or walk along this loop, and even bring your dog along too, although it must be kept on leash at all times. It begins and ends at the southern end of the park at the Mount Prospect Park entrance.
2. The Food Market
One of the highlights of the park is visiting on a Saturday when the Red Stables Marke is on. Every weekend from 10am to 5pm in the Red Stables Courtyard opposite the Olive’s Room cafe, you’ll find this great Food Market.
The stalls sell all sorts of delicious treats and produce, including homemade chocolate, artisan cheeses, organic meat, fresh bread, toasted nuts and handmade preserves. This is one of the more popular markets in Dublin for good reason.
3. The Rose Garden
Added in the last couple of decades, the popular rose garden at St. Anne’s Park is worth checking out not far from where the Red Stables Courtyard and Olive’s Room Café is located.
The roses are at their peak from June til September with the annual Rose Festival taking place in July. It’s easily one of the most beautiful parts of the park.
4. The Follies
The original estate had included a number of stone follies in the landscaped gardens. While some fell into disrepair, there are around 12 still scattered throughout the park today. You can easily explore them on the walking trails through the woodland.
Some of the most interesting follies include a Roman-style Tower on top of a hill, a Pompeian Water Temple on the duck pond which was formally a tearoom, and the Annie Lee Tower and Bridge. It’s worth spending some time finding many of these fairytale-like additions to the garden.
Things to do near St. Anne’s Park
One of the beauties of St. Anne’s Park is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Dublin.
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. Dollymount Strand (10-minute drive)
Dollymount Strand is just across from the park on Bull Island and is a great place to go for another long walk. The 5km long beach stretches the full length of the island and is popular amongst locals for being one of the closest beaches to Dublin city centre.
2. Bull Island (8-minute drive)
Bull Island is a long skinny stretch of land in Dublin Bay. It’s just 5km long and 800m wide and sits across from St. Anne’s Park. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, with plenty of birdwatching to do and walking along the long strand facing out to sea.
3. Howth (20-minute drive)
On the northern side of Dublin Bay, Howth is a beautiful village on Howth Head just not far from St. Anne’s Park. There are plenty of things to do there to keep you busy for a day, including the 15th century Howth Castle, 19th century Martello Tower and the stunning Howth Cliff Walk.
4. Food in Clontarf
The suburb of Clontarf is located to the south of St. Anne’s Park and is the perfect place to grab some lunch or dinner after a walk around the gardens. See our guide to the best restaurants in Clontarf for places to eat.
FAQs about visiting St. Anne’s in Dublin
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what’s on in St. Anne’s Park (concerts resume in 2022) to where to visit 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.
Where’s the most hassle-free place to park near St. Anne’s?
If you scroll back to the top of this guide, you’ll find a parking area near St. Gabriel’s Church. It’s never busy here and it’s a short walk away.
How long is the St. Anne’s walk?
The walks is around 6km long and it can take 1 to 1.5 hours to complete it in total, depending on pace (it’s a leisurely stroll).
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.