By Kristin Fricke [Visiting Student Blogger]
Yes, I admit it: I am a country bumpkin. Somewhere deep inside me, buried beneath all the glamourous urbane pretence, there is a part of me longing for clean air and blissful silence that is only disturbed by the occasional mooing of a cow. Living in Dublin, constantly breathing the exhausts of an innumerable amount of cars, busses and taxis, this “culchie” (“In Hiberno-English and Ulster-Scots dialects, culchie is a term sometimes used to describe a person from rural Ireland” – thank you, Wikipedia) part of my personality grows more and more every day and desires a small break from city life- be it just for a day. Luckily, a short vacation from the city is only a DART ride away!
Starting off the trip along a Victorian seafront, wrapping it up with a dip in the Irish Sea and enjoying a walk along the cliffs in between: Bray and Greystones belong to the basics of every Dublin travel guide. The cliff walk offers beautiful scenery and, in my case, a surprising Mediterranean feeling brought about by the somewhat unexpected brightness of the sun and blueness of the sea (and abruptly ended by the darkness of the sky and the subsequent pouring rain – but before that it was great!).
With a castle and small town charm on the one hand and beautiful castle grounds and beach on the other, Malahide is for me the perfect mix of culture vulturing and relaxation. Located north of Dublin, the town can be easily reached by Bus or DART. Visiting the castle and gardens is a must and a stroll along the beach of Portmarnock gives the trip the finishing touch.
By far my favourite short trip destination is Howth! Even though I only just survived a vicious attack by a diabolical seagull (the physical scars might have healed, but eating chips on a pier will never be the same again), I always love returning to this wonderful place! 20 minutes by DART can make the difference between a busy European capitol and a seaside village with beautiful nature and stunning views. The cliff hike is perfect to unwind and take some pretty impressive photographs at the same time.
But even if you haven’t discovered your inner country bumpkin yet, Dublin’s vicinities are worth a visit for everybody who wants to have a good day out! And in the end, the excitement and hubbub of the city centre are only one DART ride away.