Dún Laoghaire is a beautiful town on Ireland’s east coast, and is only seven miles away from the capital of Dublin. It is a gorgeous port town, famed for the beautiful harbour, and is surrounded by incredible landscapes. It has even been known to be referred to as the Riviera of Dublin. It’s a wonderful place to visit on the ferry, as Dún Laoghaire is filled with great hostels and hotels, and is a great base to explore the area, particularly if you want to stay somewhere quieter than Dublin. Drive your car onto the ferry at Holyhead and explore Ireland in style.
Although it’s not as famous as the capital, Dún Laoghaire has a rich history of its own.  Literally meaning the Fort of Laoghaire, the name was settled in 1921, just before Ireland became independent.  To this day, visitors still spell the name wrong!

Once you’ve settled in, one of the great places to visit is the local maritime museum. There are some excellent exhibitions, including the Bailey Lighthouse’s Optic, the Bantry Longboat, and a Spanish Armada cannon.  It’s also worth a wander to the James Joyce Tower, dating back to the Napoleonic war.

To really get a feel for the harbour, take a walk around, particularly the granite piers. Here, you’ll see some great views. In the harbour  is a sculpture which stands as a memorial to the lifeboats and their crews.  As it’s a harbour town, Dún Laoghaire is incredibly popular for sailing. There are six yachting clubs in the area. And just north of the west pier is a great place for windsurfing.

If you’re a keep golfer, Dún Laoghaire is definitely the place for you. Pack your nine irons in the boot and drive over to the local Golf Club. This twenty-seven hole course is of champion level, and is one of the best in the area. There’s even an indoor putting area, swing studio, and a five-star clubhouse to relax in after the game.

For a bit of relaxation, you can head to Dún Laoghaire’s two parks. However, there are plenty of places of outstanding natural beauty in the surrounding areas, which can be accessed either by local public transport or simply by hopping in the car and going for a drive. Just a short drive away in the town of Cabinteely you can visit the ruins of Tully church, most of which dates back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. From the graveyard, there is an incredible view of the rest of Dún Laoghaire, which is definitely worth the drive down. There’s also an excellent park here, which has a number of play areas, so it’s great place to take the kids.

If you’re just stopping over for a short stay before heading onwards into Ireland, it’s quite easy to find your way out of Dún Laoghaire. The N11 will take you away from the town. Bray is only five miles away, Tullamore is fifty-six miles, and Dundrum is ninety-four miles.