The Top Attractions & Activities in Ringsend Dublin
Ringsend is a stronghold of traditional Dubliners. It is tucked away to the south of Dublin’s River Liffey and right next to the Irish Sea. In recent years, it has grown quickly. People used to think of the area as mostly working-class, but that has changed now that Google, Facebook, and the improved national football stadium (the Aviva) have moved in just down the road.
This is still a unique community, though. The suburb is known as the place where Oliver Cromwell’s (hated by the locals) army invaded, and the Poolbeg Chimneys are seen by many as a sign of coming back to the city. Even though it’s in the middle of the city, it feels more like a suburb than a part of the city’s heart. However, there’s a lot to do in this suburb. Here’s what we think would work.
Walk along the Great South Wall, past Poolbeg.
This is definitely the symbol of Ringsend, and many Dubliners see it as a real symbol of the whole city. The Poolbeg Power Station is in Ringsend’s industrial estate. It has two famous chimneys that can be seen from the water as boats come into the city’s port. You can walk past them to get to windy beaches where kitesurfers like to hang out and then to the Great South Wall. The old port wall goes out into the Irish Sea for more than a kilometer, making a narrow, walkable sea road that’s best used when the weather is nice. At the end, you’ll see a distinctive red lighthouse, some rusty dock equipment, and a completely different view of Dublin. If you’re brave, there’s even a swimming club two-thirds of the way down.
The Poolbeg Lighthouse, South Wall, Poolbeg, Dublin, Ireland
Go to the Shelbourne Park greyhound races
Greyhound racing used to be a popular sport in Dublin, but it has been on the decline, and the recent closing of a major track in Dublin’s Harold’s Cross feels like a turning point. Shelbourne Park is still going strong, though. As well as dogs chasing (artificial) hares around a track at high speed, the track offers great deals on food and drinks to try to bring in punters. Of course, gambling is also a big part of the sport. If you’re staying in the city, there’s a free shuttle bus to the stadium on Friday and Saturday nights that leaves from Burgh Quay. You can also pick up a “how to bet” guide to learn how to risk a few euros to make the races more exciting.
Dublin 4, South Lotts Road, Ireland. +353 61448080
Take a look at the Irish Revolution through Boland’s Mill.
This mill on the edge of Ringsend, near where the modern Grand Canal Dock is, was an important part of the Easter Rising. Eamon De Valera, who later became one of Ireland’s most famous presidents, took part in the rebellion there in 1916. It was a big employer in the area until 2001. Some of the buildings are carefully protected by Irish planning law, but Boland’s Mill is going through a lot of changes to make it a modern commercial and residential space. The famous facade can still be seen (above the red houseboat in the picture below), and it will still be there when the new, shiny mini-skyscrapers are built in a few years. While this is going on, some of the graffiti can be very good.
Dublin 2, Boland’s Quay, Ireland.
Check out the sailing and rowing scene in your area.
Since Ringsend is almost completely surrounded by water (the River Liffey, its tributary the River Dodder, the Grand Canal Docks, and the Irish Sea), it’s not surprising that sailing and rowing are popular activities here. Rowing is becoming more popular. Rival clubs Stella Maris and St. Patrick’s hold smaller competitions throughout the summer, and the Ringsend Regatta is held every year as a big event. More than 75 years have passed since St. Patrick’s was built. Sailing is a relatively new sport, but the Poolbeg Yacht Club has an 18-race series going on all summer, so there’s a lot going on on the water to watch.
Walk around the Grand Canal Dock
This nice redevelopment around Dublin’s south city Docklands is so popular that it has attracted a number of big tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the Irish payment company Stripe (sure, the Irish corporate tax system might have played a small role, too). It’s also become a more upscale alternative to the city center. This business-heavy area still has cool art, a big theater (the Grand Canal Theatre, see below), lots of restaurants, bars, hotels, and a group of local kids who jump into the dock’s water for most of the summer. It’s a big change from when it was an industrial area. It’s a sign that Dublin is getting better.
Explore a film history that goes back a long way.
Colin Farrell lived in Ringsend for a long time, even though he is from Castleknock on the other side of Dublin. For movie fans, however, there is a much more important cinematic history to look into. Of course, Boland’s Mill is in a number of movies about the Irish Revolution. More surprising, the area is used as Rita’s home town in the 1983 movie Educating Rita, and several streets in the area are used as market scenes in the movie Agnes Brown (1999). Both “In the Name of the Father” (1993) and “The General” (1998) take place in the neighborhood, which seems to have been a popular setting for movies in the 1990s. It might not have been a coincidence, given how big U2 was at the time and that their studio was in Ringsend.
Visit one of the best Irish theaters.
The Grand Canal Theatre, which is now called the Bord Gais Energy Theatre after the company that sponsors it, is one of the largest theaters in Ireland that hasn’t been taken over by local music. It’s in a glass building with a slanted roof that looks out over the canal. There are a lot of musicals and plays there, as well as the occasional gig, performances for a few local stars, and shows for kids. You never really know what you’ll find here, but it has a good name for consistently good shows and is a nice place to spend time in general.
Docklands, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2, Ireland. +353 16777999
Topic: The Top Attractions & Activities in Ringsend Dublin
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By: Travel Pixy