Dalkey, from the Irish “Deilginis” meaning Thorn Island, is a popular and attractive heritage town located in the south of Dublin. It originally began as a Viking settlement and during the Middle Ages, Coliemore Harbour was Dublin’s most important port.
It sits on the coast and provides stunning views of Dublin Bay and Dalkey Island, whilst Dalkey Quarry (which provided the granite for the piers in Dun Laoghaire) provides a stunning backdrop, with a range of both new and old houses climbing up the hillside from the sea to the base of the quarry.
There is a wide range of shops for such a small town. SuperValu is a reasonable large supermarket and there are a range of smaller shops, such as Roberts Fish Shop, Select Stores, The Golden Apple, Hick’s of Dalkey and Doyles Butchers. There are also a range of additional shops including three chemists, Dalkey post office, Crisp Dry Cleaners, O’Brien’s Off-licence, Handworks gift shop, two newsagents, a Fuji photo shop, a cobbler, a credit union, and 3 banks.
Eating and Drinking
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to coffee shops, pubs and restaurants!
The Country Bake serves homemade food and cakes which is all cooked in-house, The Corner Note serves a wide selection of breakfasts and lunch 6 days a week, Mugs (which is popular with workers due to its excellent wifi!) and Idlewilde which has an attractive courtyard for those sunny days. There is also Thyme Out, a takeaway only delicatessen.
The Guinea Pig is Dalkey’s is Dalkey’s oldest restaurant and has been popular with celebrities over the past 40 years. Ouzo’s serves a selection of steak and seafood, which is caught on their own trawler, and regularly features art from local artists.
For Italian there is Ragazzi’s and and the oddly named Benito’s. If you want a taste of the East, you can visit The Thai House, Tropica, Kathmandu and Jaipur. Other restaurants include the French style Bistro, DeVille’s, the newly opened restaurants, Wanderlust and 1909. The pubs also serve lunch and in some cases, dinner too. For dessert, Bel Gelato, makes delicious Italian ice cream.
Many of the restaurants also do takeaway, while Gary’s Gourmet Pizza (which has a wide variety of unique and wonderful combinations), Lee’s Kitchen and Borza’s do takeaway only.
Dalkey also hosts a wide range of pubs, including Finnegan’s, where Michelle Obama and her daughters enjoyed lunch with Bono and his family, The Club, The Magpie Inn, The Kings Inn, The Queens and finally McDonaghs.
If you want to take a break from the pub but fancy a tipple, The Grapevine, which recently relocated to the main street, has a wide range of wine, which customers can enjoy with plates of cheese and sitting at barrels whilst admiring the art by local artists.
Schools and Colleges
In Dalkey itself there is Loreto Abbey, a junior and senior school for girls, St. Harold’s Boys School, Castlepark and St. Patrick’s National School.
Glenageary Killiney National School is just past the entrance to Killiney Hill, Dalkey School Project in Glenageary is the local Educate Together and The Harold School in Glasthule are all open to both boys and girls. Rathdown Junior and Senior Schools and St. Joseph of Cluny are both girls schools. All of the above can be easily reached on foot or by car.
Some additional school, which can be easily reached on the Dart include Holy Child School, Killiney, Blackrock College, St, Andrew’s in Booterstown and Dominican College Sion Hill in Blackrock.
Cuala, the home to GAA and Dalkey United are just past the end of the town and also hosts a children’s playground. Dalkey Rowing Club is based in Coliemore Harbour whilst kayaking tours are available from Bulloch Harbour. Yoga, pilates and meditation classes are available in the Yoga Village.
There are a range of walks with stunning views. Killiney Hill (which has a children’s playground) is a popular walking spot with views of the entire city, Killiney Bay and the Dublin Mountains. The adjoining Dalkey Quarry is popular with hang-gliders and rock climbers. Sorrento Park also has stunning views of both bays, while Dillon Park stretches right down to the sea and is a popular local fishing spot.
A boat service is available to Dalkey Island during the summer months. Both Bulloch and Coliemore Harbours are popular with kids during the warm summer days, whilst more experienced swimmers can often be seen at the Vico bathing spot off Vico Road. There is a beach at Whiterock which joins Killiney beach.
One of the 15th century Norman castles is home to the Dalkey Heritage Castle which holds interactive tours year round.
Biddy’s Cottage has storytelling telling for visitors in front of an open fire, along with a glass or two of prosecco and lots of fun!
Dalkey Library caters to both adults and children, with events for the adults, toddler time for the youngest and storytelling for the older kids. There is also study space for teenagers upstairs and internet access.
The internationally-acclaimed Dalkey Book Festival, hosts a wide range of both local and international writers, who descend on the town in June every year. Past speakers have included Salman Rushdie, Brian Eno, Elif Shafak, Amanda Palmer and many more whilst Irish speakers have included well-known luminaries such as Maeve Binchy, Roddy Doyle, Seamus Heaney and Edna O’Brien.
In August, jazz and lobster fans descend on the town for the weekend to enjoy, not only lobster but a wide range of seafood from the local businesses whilst enjoying local jazz musicians.
In October, Dalkey Creates, hosts a range of speakers and workshops to encourage, inspire and nurture developing and wannabe writers.
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