VT-member Anne Marie took me to Phoenix Park, a place I had never been to before in Dublin. She told me we would probably see some deer and we did. There is a herd of 400 – 450 deer in the park, and they are the descendants of a herd introduced already when the park was established in the 1660s.
Phoenix Park is a very large park, it is 709 hectares. Here you find a visitor centre, gardens, Dublin Zoo, many monuments and large areas to play in or spread your blanket for a picnic and rest. You can also rent bikes in the park.
Farmleigh House, which is situated on the northwestern side of Phoenix Park, was bought by the Irish State from the Guinness family. The house is used for government meetings and to accommodate guests from other countries. When Farmleigh House is not used by the government it is open to the public. Even when the house is used by the government you can still visit the grounds, the walled garden and the gallery.
Find your way into the park and beside the Presidents House is the visitors centre. Every Saturday from 9.30 to 15.30 in the winter and 10.30 to 16.30 in the summer the visitors centre arranges tours of the President's House. (Aras an Uachtarain).The tour is free and includes a film, free transport to the House, tour of the exhibition centre, the main state room and gardens. The tickets are issued at the visitors centre. No cameras, no mobile phones are allowed on the tour. When you enter the house you pass a security checkpoint and then you have the police following the tour. The centre provides lockers for your belongings. Booking is not possible, just turn up on the day. It's great because it's free and its also very interesting...
Phoenix Park is one of the world’s largest parks within a city. As many other parks in the British islands, it began as hunting grounds and was cut to its present size through the centuries. But unlike Hyde Park or some other of the better known parks, it retained much of its original size and variety in nature, including some wild deer. Its name does not come from the fabulous bird, but from Irish “fionn uisce” which means clear water.
Although most of the area is covered by grass and wood, some beautiful gardens can be found within the park as well as Dublin zoo. Phoenix Park is rich in monuments and if you like to look for small oddities and commemorative plaques, you will find many of them along the major paths. Larger monuments include the Victory monument of the Duke of Wellington (which fortunately didn’t suffer the same fate as the one of its contra-napoleonic fellow at O’Connell street) and the Papal Cross. Some buildings worth to mention are the US embassy, the residence of the Irish president, a couple of government buildings an even an official visitor center.
Phoenix park is located around 3 km west of the city centre. This does not seem to be a lot, but add the size of the park to it and the distance you’ll have to walk will multiply. That said, if you are not really crazy for walking, you should consider the bus. And please keep in mind that the park is walled. That means that you will have to look for an entrance to get into the park. The most convenient entrance for me was at Infirmary Road/Conyngham Road, close to River Liffey. For further information or at least alternative entrances, you should consider a map. Some can be downloaded on the homepage of Phoenix Park.
The Phoenix Park is huge. It contains Dublin Zoo, Aras an Uachtaran (Residence of the Irish President), the American Ambassador's residence, Office of Irish Ordinance Surveys, Irish Police HQ, Ashtown Castle, Farmleigh House (where prominent foreign politicians stay, when hosted by the Irish Govt), playing fields, the Papal Cross and St. Mary's hospital.
It's also the place where I learned to drive :)
Up towards the north-west end of the park, you will see lots of squirrels and deer running around freely, so be careful if you're driving up around that way. The deer are relatively tame and it is easy to take pics of them, but keep your distance from them.
Not recommended you go in there at night, as the park has an unsavoury reputation for dogging, gay cruising, and knacker-drinking.
When you make use of the hop on bus, you can easily get to Phoenix Park (Irish: Páirc an Fhionnuisce) . The park lies 2–4 km west of the city centre, north of the River Liffey. Its 16 km perimeter wall encloses 707 hectares (1,750 acres), one of the largest walled city parks in Europe. It includes large areas of grassland and tree-lined avenues, and since the seventeenth century has been home to a herd of wild Fallow deer. The English name comes from the Irish fionn uisce meaning "clear water".
After accidentally visiting the War Memorial Garden, I asked someone how to get to Phoenix Park and headed there on foot, by the time I got there I was tired of walking as I had to walk the length of the park to find an entrance into the park. I did walk up to where the zoo was but I didn't get much further as I finally spotted the Dublin Bus and hopped back on. The stop for the Dublin Bus here isn't marked at all because of a park restriction against bus pickups or some such silliness, I presume they think you are going to get off and get back on and you would know where it was, not walk from the Kilmainham Gaol.
Phoenix Park is Europe's largest walled garden at 1,750 acres, it was originally intended as a deer park for Charles II. The park gets it's name from Phoenix House, the original residence of the British viceroys, which appears to no longer exist. At the entrance on the east side of the garden, there's the People's Garden with some lovely flower beds and in the same general area there's a large obelisk which is a monument to the Duke of Wellington, who was born in Dublin, commemorating his victories including that over Napoleon at Waterloo.
This map is actually easier to look at than the ones on the official Phoenix Park website, you can see that there is a lot of the park that is just open space and that most of the things to see are on the east side near the People's Garden.
Phoenix Park is located just outside Dublin. Its area of 712 hectares make it the largest park of the city and the largest enclosed urban public park in Europe. Its name could come from Fionn Uisce, "Clear water", referring to an ancient source.
The 60-metre obelisk where I am portrayed with some course mates is the Wellington Testimonial, erected by Sir Robert Smirke in 1817 to honour the Dubliner Sir Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), better known as the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon in Waterloo.
With an area of around 707 hectares, Phoenix Park in Dublin is one of the largest parks of any European city. The park is not named, as some may think, in favour of the legendary bird but is a corruption of "fionn usige", which is Gaelic for "clear waters". I remember being here all the time when I was younger with family when we used to go over and visit for 4-6 weeks every year. We would ALWAYS find ourselves back here at this spot - after a daily pub crawl, quite naturally, not that I was drinking back then!! Here you can visit the third oldest zoo in the world, Dublin Zoo (see tips) or can just relax on the grass, its not like you could not find a spot. The park is about 11 km in circumference and includes part of the Liffey valley.
My main piece of advice about Pheonix Park would be: if you are staying in the city centre GET THE BUS! Seriously, it didn't look that far on the map but it seemed to take me hours to walk there on my first visit and by the time I arrived I was far too fed up and knackered to be bothered walking round the park very far!! So it was kind of a waste of time! I did however return [by bus!] on my most recent trip to Dublin and had a much more pleasant time here!
I knew the park was big but it seemed even bigger than I imagined and very spread out with roads through the middle etc.. In fact its the biggest enclosed city park in Europe. It was originally a Royal Hunting Park but was opened to the public back in 1745 and made a National Historic Park in 1986.
There is a zoo, Papal cross and various other sites within the park boundaries.. And sports such as Gaelic football, hurling and horseracing all take place here..
The main photo is of the Wellington Memorial, the tallest Obelisk in Europe.
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