Our first trip to Ireland was a frenetic long weekend in Dublin where we proceeded to run about the city in order to see and do as much as possible. We weren’t able to explore the Irish countryside like we had wanted, so we planned a brief day trip outside of Dublin to get a taste of the famed Irish countryside.
Malahide Castle sites on 250 acres of land just outside the seaside town of Malahide, which is less than ten miles from Dublin. As you approach the castle, it looks exactly like a castle should. In fact, it looked a little too much like a Disney version and I was worried that it was all a reproduction. Luckily, as I would learn through the tour, it was not.
The castle itself dates back to the 12th century and was in the Talbot family until the 1970s, when the building was sold to Ireland, thus ending 800 years of family ownership. Today many of the rooms in the castle have been restored and furniture added that give the visitor an idea of what it was like to live in this impressive building.
The tour lasted about thirty minutes or so and was a great primer not only on the castle and the Talbot family, but also of Irish history. After the tour we browsed around the gift shop before walking back to the train station.
We visited the castle in late November, but had we been there in the summer we also would have been able to visit the Fry Model Railway. The railway is apparently a huge working model railroad from the 1920s and frankly would have been really great to see, but alas, it was not to be. We’re not much into gardens and flowers and such, but if you are then the grounds surrounding the castle are a treat and include several hectares of plants and lawns.
While not the most impressive castle in Ireland, a visit to Malahide Castle is a great way to spend an afternoon and is a very easy trip to make from Dublin. The train ride out to the castle was almost as enjoyable for me as was the building itself.
Getting there: You can certainly drive to the castle, as it is only 10 miles from Dublin, but train is extremely convenient. We took the Dublin DART train from the Connolly Station to the Malahide stop, which cost a little over 4 Euro roundtrip, per person. After we arrived in Malahide, there were signs directing visitors to the castle, which included a lovely walk through the castle grounds.
Castle Tours: The Castle is open year round from 10:00AM – 5:00PM, with some exceptions. The tour fee for an adult is 7.50 Euro and 4.70 Euro for children. The castle is also part of the Dublin Pass program.