Europe, Ireland, Travel and Tea

Visit the top sights of beautiful Fingal

While I love exploring cities and everything that comes with bustling destinations, I also enjoy being in the great outdoors. I’ve been to Dublin a couple of times, so when I next go again, I want to do something different and I think Fingal’s the answer.

The county is just a short drive away from Dublin Airport (around 30 minutes), so if you want to check out the different available hire car deals, you can find more information here.

So, what exactly is there to do in Fingal? Learn more about its top sights by reading my guide below.

Irish Seal Sanctuary

I like discovering the wildlife of the places I visit, so I’ll definitely make a trip to the Irish Seal Sanctuary when I get the chance to visit Fingal. The sanctuary has been running since 1986 and strives to protect and rehabilitate stranded or injured marine life, with a focus on seals in particular.

When I’m here, I’ll try and donate a little bit of my spending money, as the attraction deals with more than 2,000 distressed animal cases every year, such as helping with the consequences of an oil spill.

Newbridge Traditional Farm

While on the subject of animals, the Newbridge Traditional Farm in Newbridge Demesne is another top attraction in Fingal, although it’s also a museum, rather than just a place full of cows and sheep. It details what rural life here was like in the 19th century – think old-fashioned farming techniques, traditional animal breeds and machinery.

If you’ve got little ones in tow, they’ll probably much rather head outside than walk around the museum, as here they can see donkeys, ducks, Shetland ponies and horses. It really is a lovely place to while away a few hours, so make sure you also visit Newbridge House and the tearooms.

Relax on the beach

I’m not saying indulge in a spot of sunbathing (unless it’s really hot and you want to, of course!), but rather enjoy a pleasant stroll along it as you soak up the sight of the beautiful Fingal surroundings. The county is home to lots of beaches, including a spectacular Blue Flag one. Portmarnock Velvet Beach is perfect for families due to this accolade, which means mums and dads can rest assured the sand and water meet high cleanliness standards.

Stretching for 5 km, the beach has everything you need within easy reach, from golf courses and restaurants to public toilets and hotels.

Visit its castles

It’s hard to single out one castle, as Fingal is home to so many. Castles are attractions that appeal to both kids and grownups. Youngsters love exploring the dungeons, dark corners and climbing the steps to the top of towers, while adults appreciate the history of the former fortresses.

Malahide Castle is nestled within 100 hectares and boasts an impressive portrait collection from the National Gallery of Ireland, as well as period furniture. At present, the oldest part of the structure dates back to the 14th century, although the castle was first built in the 12th century.

Swords Castle is another historical site in the county and took around 400 years to build. In fact, it’s currently undergoing restoration work, making it a long construction project!

Top tip: You’ve got to make an appointment if you want to take a tour of the castle, so don’t forget to do so before you arrive.

Photo by molinarius on Flickr.

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3 Responses to “Visit the top sights of beautiful Fingal”

  1. On November 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm