Situated just a few miles to the south of Dublin city centre, Marlay Park is a vast 300 acre public park filled with serene woodlands, water features and some excellent walking trails. There are also some dedicated recreational spaces in the form of a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, football and cricket pitches, and even a miniature railway.
For anyone wanting to escape the city for a spot of relaxation and recreation, this is the place to come. With craft shops and a café, there’s something here for the whole family to enjoy.
The park was developed in the 1970s after Dublin County Council acquired the land. With great bus services from the city serving the park, it’s become a popular attraction for both residents and tourists throughout the year. In the summer months, it also transforms into a top festival venue, with a capacity of over 30,000, hosting the likes of Sting, Van Morrison and R.E.M. in recent years.
The park centres around Marlay House, built by Thomas Taylor and known locally as The Grange. The house is a fine example of Georgian architecture and a great focal point for the surrounding park space. Next to the house is an ornamental Regency kitchen garden, with daily tours available during the summer months.
Marlay Park is also the starting point for the 132-kilometre Wicklow Way walking trail, which winds its way from here towards the Dublin Hills and Wicklow Mountains.