Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:31 PM
Packed with great places to visit, Dublin is a city teeming with cultural attractions. Part of what makes this destination so exciting is that it's a real hive of activity, but it's also worth seeking out some of its scenic, tranquil green spaces. Read our guide to discover the top five.
These gardens are all within or just outside of the city's boundaries, but if you're keen to explore further afield, you'll easily find plenty more. If you decide to do so, it is worth considering car hire in Dublin to make it simpler to get from one destination to the next.
The National Botanic Gardens
The first place to visit is the National Botanic Gardens, which you'll find in Glasnevin, Dublin. Founded by the Royal Dublin Society in 1795, the 19.15 hectare green space has a wonderful variety of plants to see - particularly as it is known for growing blooms from all over the world.
It's free to enter - but you do need to pay for parking - and you can explore the rock garden, arboretum and sensory garden, to name but a few.
Dubh Linn Gardens
Tucked away behind Dublin Castle, these gardens are a lovely quiet spot that remain relatively tourist-free, despite their location, so they are a good choice if you are looking for somewhere relaxing to rest for a few moments while you explore the city. This is also where the 'dubh linn' or 'dark pool' the city is named after originally lay.
St Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green is a lovely Victorian public park - and probably one of the best known in Dublin. Situated at the top of Grafton Street, it is full of brightly-coloured flowers, rockeries and tree-lined walks. What's more, if you're visiting during the summer, you might be able to see some of the concerts that often take place at lunchtimes.
Located just a short walk from St Stephen's Green, Iveagh Gardens is among the most beautiful spots in Dublin. Despite that, it's remarkably little known and, although it is centrally located, it is shielded from city noise. Dating back to 1863, the garden is well worth taking a stroll around to discover the gorgeous grottoes, a maze, fountains, woodland and even wilderness areas.
Blessington Street Basin
A former city reservoir, Blessington Street Basin is often referred to as Dublin's Secret Garden - a name it has earned by remaining virtually unknown for tourists. It is situated at the end of Blessington Street, providing a tranquil spot where you can admire the scenery and wildlife.
Somewhat unusually, this park is 80 per cent water - left over from its days as a reservoir - and it has a little artificial island situated in the middle. This is home to many of the park's birds and other wildlife, which you can watch while you're here.
The reserve is hemmed in by high stone walls and, despite its high volume of water, there are still plenty of places to sit. This also serves to make it seem miles away from the busy city centre, when in reality it is part of it. So, it's a great place to come if you're keen to have a break from the hustle and bustle, and get back to nature.