Friday, 12 January 2018

The things you can do/see/eat/enjoy along the DART line (part II)

Hi again - following from my last post about the DART line here, our next station southwards is Booterstown:

You would consider BOOTERSTOWN STATION  as convenient only for all the residents of this lovely and quiet  area... well, I would advise you to hop off the train here as well.

First of all because the views from the station are just perfect (even when the day is not so bright, as was the case when I took the pics below):

And then for two other important reasons:

- There is a nature reserve here, so if you or your kids like birds, I'm sure you would like to sit down here and take a break from the "city" for a few minutes. Just observe the birds.

I am not a bird expert myself, but the other day we were passing by and sat on the benches for some time, and I really enjoyed it.

Forgot our binoculars though, so we could not identify any of the species indicated on the sign from a distance :-( . We need to go back and we'll be equipped this time!

- Second reason is the beautiful park located between the DART stations of Booterstown and BLACKROCK: it is called Blackrock Park (difficult to remember, I know ;-)), and it is really worth a visit. Actually, it'll take you around half and hour to cross the park from one station to the other, so you could easily walk the distance with the kids and enjoy all the corners of the park.

To explore this green space, just go out of Booterstown station and head south, and you'll just see it there, impossible to miss! Actually the first thing you'll see is a lovely well maintained playground that will keep your kids entertained for as long as you want:

You can see how close the DART line is from the park... so convenient!

Once the kids are tired of running up and down, you only need to follow the well signed path (both for cyclists and pedestrians) that will take you to the other side of the park.

You will walk beside the DART line at all times, and you'll see how pleasant the park is:

The pond is really nice. Of course, kids love to sit there... and put their feet in the water!!!!! What can I say? Did not teach them that, for sure!

After the lake, just walk a little bit further and you'll arrive at Blackrock Station:

Blackrock is a lovely village, with lots of little shops (and also a couple of shopping centres) and many cafés, all of them worth exploring ;-)

I have to say I have a soft spot for The Mellow Fig to stop for lunch, or just a cup of tea/coffee and a pastry: I love the "vibes" of the place!

Actually I wrote a post about this café some time ago... you can read it here.

Back to the DART after a nice meal and a look around, next stop would be SEAPOINT STATION. Hop off if you would like to go for a swim (you can see people swimming here almost every day of the year)

Again, like in the rest of the stations going South on the DART, the views of Dublin Bay are just stunning...

Back on the DART, our next stop is SALTHILL & MONKSTOWN STATION, and once more, before you leave the station, turn around and enjoy the views....

Monkstown is a lovely little village, that we have always considered our favourite "breakfast stop" as it's full of cafés: from Avoca (who doesn't know/like Avoca??) to Cinnamon (same as in Ranelagh) or Café du Journal, to name but a few. List is long and good. It also has some very popular restaurants

Our next stop on the DART line is DUN LAOGHAIRE. Hop off and enjoy!

To start your visit: an ice cream - go to Scrumdiddly's. You only live once, so forget about calories for a day and treat yourselves...

With that perfect customised ice cream in your hand, you can think of planning your visit:

- If you like walking and you like the sea,  this is just the perfect place for you!

- You could also just take a stroll around the town with all its shops and cafés.

- A perfect alternative would be a visit to their brand new library: it will not deceive you, promise! It is a fantastic new building, with lots of natural light and super views. Once you're in, you feel like sitting down, taking a book and start reading!

- If your kids are asking you to look for a park / playground, then head to People's Park: a beautiful green space with a little but very complete playground and a Fallon & Byrne café-restaurant at the top with fantastic views of the whole park and the sea beyond. I love this place: going with the kids and a ball and watch them play while you enjoy a fresh cappuccino.

My advise would be at this point to walk towards the next stop which is SANDYCOVE STATION

Sandycove is very popular, mainly because of the James Joyce Tower and museum located in the Martello Tower by the sea. In this Martello Tower is where the first chapter of Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, takes place

But apart from being a must-stop for those who love literature - not only Irish, as Ulysses is considered one of the best novels of all times - I love Sandycove as it is always so nice (no matter the weather) so tidy and so full of good vibes that it is a pleasure to take a stroll and fill your body with positive energy ;-)

So here we are, stomachs full of lovely food, hearts full of fantastic memories, brains full of amazing facts... and the day is almost over - I know: only a few DART stops have filled our day: it's the "awesomeness" of Dublin: every corner is worth visiting! Stay tuned for our next DART post where we will talk about the end of the DART line (southside), and you'll fall in love with what you'll see1 

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