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Iveagh Gardens

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If you fancy stepping off a busy street into an almost secret garden which is rarely visited by the masses of Dublin residents and tourists, the n step into the Iveagh Gardens.

Part of the reason it's generally so quiet in these Gardens is the difficulty in finding them; people generally walk by the entrance now knowing it's there. To access the Iveagh Gardens, let's starts from St Stephens Green shopping centre, go the Luas Tram station opposite. Walk in the same direction as the tram tracks (as it's the last stop there is only one direction); you will need to cross the road and leave the square entering onto Harcourt Street. Stay on the left side of the street and as you walk further up Harcourt Street, you will come to a left turn onto Clonmel Street which looks like a dead end; when you look down this turn there are only a few tall Georgian houses on each side and an old high stone wall at the end. This stone wall holds the entrance to the Iveagh Gardens.

There is a small gateway in the wall, nearly unnoticeable from Harcourt Street. Once you pass through the gate, one of the finest Dublin gardens awaits you. It was designed in 1865 as an intermediate between the 'French Formal' style and 'English landscape' style. The Gardens were restored in 1995 to their current state.

The Iveagh Gardens seem secret from the outside and mysterious on the inside. As you meander around the trails and pathways, every corner reveals a new surprise from the rustic grotto's and water cascade, long formal lawns with gushing central fountains, areas of flora wilderness which are allowed to take shape naturally, lush woodlands, a children's maze, an elegant rosarium filled with yellow, peach and classic red roses. Or you can wander round the American Garden, the archery Grounds, and plentiful rooteries and rockeries. If you just want to stretch out in the midday sun, then relax in peace on the endless lawn grass. Watch out for all the statues and sculptures, Greco Roman and bronze, that watch over all the passing guests of the Gardens.

There is no café in the Gardens, so bring a picnic or just of bottle of water, it's likely you will want to while away quite a few hours in this quiet and hidden oasis. You won't be totally alone there, dog walkers, parents with small children and lunchtime office workers will all be amongst the few you meet on your way.

The Iveagh Gardens is used as a popular venue for some spectacular events during the year, from Africa Day - a celebration of African culture, to the Taste of Dublin, where you can sample the delights of hoards of the city's restaurants and cafés. It's worth checking out in advance if there are any events on during the time of your visit. While the garden is free to enter the rest of the time, there may be a charge to enter when an event is being held. If there is an event on, make sure you arrive early, as the queues tend to snake down Harcourt Street on such days.

Entrance is free.
The Gardens are open:
Mon-Sat: 08.00am
Sunday and Bank Holidays: 10.00am

Gardens Close according to Daylight hours:
December - January: 15.30pm
February and November: 16.00pm
March - October: 18.00pm     

 

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