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The splendid harbour town of Dún Laoghaire in the heart of Dublin Bay is home to any of Ireland’s best seaside cultural and leisure activities. From boating, fishing and swimming in the clear blue harbour, and walking and cycling along the idyllic sea-front, to exploring historic monuments with colourful stories, Dublin Bay is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Only a short drive south of the capital city of Dublin, Dublin Bay is the picturesque jewel of Ireland’s east coast. The bay and its lively town combines the welcoming character and charm that makes Ireland so loved the world over with a modern and cosmopolitan flair that ranks it amongst the best harbours in Europe.
Exploring Dublin Bay
There’s a unique connection between old and new in Dublin Bay. The harbour town of Dún Laoghaire, long considered the ‘Gateway to Ireland’ and the focal point of this region, epitomises this relationship between a colourful and fascinating past and the vibrant, modern Dublin Bay of today.
Dún Laoghaire gets its name from the Irish translation Fort (Dún) of Laoghaire (Leary) and was once the seat of King Laoghaire, the ancient High King of Ireland.
The town and surrounding Dublin Bay has a long history with the sea. It is said that Saint Patrick, who faced the ancient king and destroyed his Druid order, landed in this area as a boy slave. Viking and Norman invaders alike stormed these shores. Fast forward hundreds of years to 1898, and Marconi, the bold young inventer, sent radio signals from his tug in Dublin Bay as he detailed the progress of the Kingstown Regatta to his assistant on shore in what was the first ever sports broadcast. And across the bay in Martello Tower in the early 20th century, Ireland’s greatest novellist, James Joyce, drew inspiration for the opening scenes of his most famous work, Ulysses, from the tower’s imposing structure.
Today, history still echoes along Dublin Bay’s pretty coastline. There’s the dramatic reconstructions of Tudor times held daily at the majestic Dalkey Castle. There’s guided tours of Joyce’s tower. And the harbour itself, made from over 600,000 tonnes of stone, dragged by horse along a railway line to build what was one of the largest harbours in the world, is today home to The Metals, a haven for walkers, cyclists and fishing enthusiasts.
The locals maintain this harbour and it is still a hub for incoming and outgoing vessels of all sizes. With its own fishing fleet, the town of Dún Laoghaire is also home to several fine yacht clubs, sailing schools and boating classes for experienced seafarers and beginners alike.
But Dublin Bay does more than celebrate its past. It celebrates the present by offering exciting activities around its harbour, like sailing, swimming, fishing and even scuba diving.
And of course the area is home to any great seafood restaurants, sea-front cafes and relaxed, welcoming pubs where a pint of Guinness is never far away.
Dublin Bay combines history with holiday fun for an unforgettable experience.
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