Wicklow Way Day 8 Enniskerry to Marlay Park

Jul 25, 2011 by

We felt quite sad when Jeff dropped us off the next morning, as this was to be our last day’s walking. It was another glorious day and we climbed up to the highest point of the day before descending all the way to Dublin. We did a short detour to a popular spot, Fairy Castle, from where you could see Dublin Bay.

Marlay Park is a great place to end the walk, meandering through woods and past lakes to end up by the courtyard where there was a variety of stalls selling food and crafts. Families were spread out across the grass, enjoying the unexpected sunshine. There is a courtyard cafe with a good selection of freshly cooked food and a regency walled garden.

It was lovely to finally meet Teresa from Wicklow Way Baggage in Marlay Park to hand over our cases. One walker had told us we were cheating by having our bags carried. We disagreed politely; we were not carrying out some kind of endurance challenge, just having a holiday! It was great to have the confidence that our clean clothes and books would be waiting for us each evening and we were able to bring more than we would have done had we been carrying it ourselves. An excellent service.

We felt we had earned a taxi ride into the centre and the driver Jack was very helpful, recommending O’Neills for our night out in Dublin and giving us advice about our time in Dublin.I had chosen our B and B in Dublin for convenience for the city centre and was delighted with my choice, the Portobello Guest House, South Circular Road. The area reminded me of Hackney, near where I work, so I felt quite at home there. It was on the bus route into town and to the airport. The house was decorated with the owners’ individual style which I loved; uncluttered, it seemed like every picture and artefact had a story.

We wandered around Dublin for a while in the evening and watched Ireland v Montenegro at O’Neills. The food there is very reasonable and popular; get there early. It’s very busy with locals and there is live Irish music which, unfortunately we could not stay for. Another time …We only had time for one visit so chose Kilmainham Gaol, a prison for 128 years up to 1924, housing many political prisoners and the site of executions, including the leaders of the 1916 uprisings. Tours are one hour long and we emerged into the sunlight shocked and disturbed by the Gaol’s history, brought to life by our guide. Volunteers helped renovate the prison as a museum and I would recommend it.

Paul had kindly allowed us to leave our bags at the guest house, so we just had to pick them up and catch the bus opposite to the airport. If you are pushed for time, you can change by Trinity College and catch the bus which goes direct to the airport from there.We had an amazing time in Ireland and felt very welcome. We will definitely be back before long.

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