Sandycove, coming from the Irish, Cuas an Ghainimh, gets its name from a small sandy cove in front of the Martello Tower and is an idyllic area on the coast, and borders Dun Laoghaire to the south.  While Glasthule, coming from Glas Tuathail, borders Sandycove and Dun Laoghaire.  The Martello Tower itself, in which James Joyce lived (and for a short period of time with Oliver St. John Gogarty) was the opening scene in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

One of the immediately identifiable features of Sandycove is the White House, built by the renowned Irish architect Michael Scott, who lived there for a little while.  At the time it was considered to be pushing the bounds of architecture, while its aim was to blend in with its seaside surroundings, and includes decks, surroundings and portholes to resemble an ocean liner from some angles.  He also founded the James Joyce Museum with financial assistance from the director John Huston.

Sandycove has been home to many famous Irish men and women, including Roger Casement, Bernard Farrell, James Joyce, Imogen Stuart and Maureen Toal, among others.  The picturesque seafront is a popular walking spot, in both rain and shine!

Many younger people don’t actually know that Sandycove train station was bombed by the Luftwaffe in December 1940 and 3 people were injured.

Shopping
In Sandycove there are a few small shops including The Butlers Pantry which serves up a variety of delicacies for lunch, dinner and dessert, Spar, The Wine Buff, Sandycove Vintage, Choice Boutique and Eamonn’s Bookstore.

Less than 5 minutes down the road you will find a wider range of shops.  There are a number of popular boutique clothing stores in Glasthule including Rococo and Miss E. Other shops include interiors at The Cowshed, Mitchell and Son Wine Merchants, Cavistons Food Emporium cavistons.com, Mirella Gift Shop http://mirellaglasthule.com, Spar and the Punnet Healthstore.

Eating and Drinking
You’re spoilt for choice in terms of café’s and restaurants with some excellent dining available.  Juggy’s Well serves breakfast, lunch and a range of homemade cakes. 64 Wine has a delicatessen, large selection of wine and a café. While Hatch Coffee is a popular local café, not only because of their delicious coffee and interesting décor but also because of their unique offerings such as Maltester Hot Chocolate and amazing doughnuts.

Odells, a charming and intimate bistro which was opened in 1991, is in Sandycove.

Caviston’s Seafood Restaurant is the adjacent restaurant to Caviston’s shop.  It is extremely popular so booking is essential.  Menu’s are changed twice weekly, depending on what was caught!

Rasam Indian Restaurant, above the Eagle House, is home to possibly the best Indian food in Dublin. While Daniel’s Restaurant is a mainstay of the area after being run by the same family for over 25 years.

Cookbook Café was established by Audrey McDonald, who has cooked for both royalty, including King Hussein of Jordan and members of the British Royal family, and for stars such as Mick Jagger, Bono Angelica Huston and many more.

Additional restaurants in the area includes the very popular Italian, Carluccio’s, while around the corner on the seafront is the newly opened Fish Shack and also Toscana.

The two pubs in the area are the Eagle House in Glasthule and Fitzgerald’s of Sandycove, which was established in 1861 and has been in the same family since 1960.  One unique feature of Fitzgerald’s is that each chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses is immortalised in the stain glass windows throughout the pub.

The only takeaway in the area is Kingsland Chef Chinese but there are additional takeaways in both Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey which deliver to the area.

Transport
Sandycove and Glasthule Dart station provides quick access to the city centre.  The area is also served by the busses 59, 7 and 8, while additional bus services are available in Dun Laoghaire.  There is a regular service to the airport on the Aircoach.

Schools
The local school is The Harold School in Glasthule.  Other primary schools are within walking distance, including Castlepark, St. Harold Boy’s and Loreto in Dalkey and Rathdown Junior School in Glenageary.  In the other direction, towards Dun Laoghaire, you will find St. Nicholas’, Dominican Convent and St. Joseph’s.

Secondary schools within the area, include Loreto Abbey, Rathdown Senior School, St. Joseph’s of Cluny, while additional schools such as Blackrock College, St. Michael’s, and St. Andrew’s can all be reached on the Dart.

Local Amenities
Sandycove Beach, from which the area gets its name, is a very popular beach year round, but especially on sunny summer days due to its sheltered location.

Round the corner, is the infamous Forty Foot, which until the late 20th century was a popular gentlemen’s bathing spot.  It got its name from the Fortieth Foot, the army regiment that was station in the Martello Tower until 1904.  Every Christmas Day, hordes of people gather to take a quick but very cold dip in the sea in aid of charity.

Scotsman Bay is a popular spot with divers, while the bay itself is frequently used by Kayakers, sailors and other water sport enthusiasts.

Sandycove Tennis and Squash Club is one of Ireland’s oldest tennis clubs, having been established in 1886.  While there is no football or GAA clubs in the immediate area, Dalkey United and Cuala GAA are just down the road in Dalkey.

Cultural Amenities
On the border of Sandycove and Dun Laoghaire is the newly built Lexicon library which boasts over 80,000 items, 60 computers, 100 study spaces and parking.  There are also a number of events held year round.

The James Joyce Tower and Museum in the Martello Tower is open year round, run by volunteers and admission is free.  Tours not only provide you with the opportunity to view one of the most famous buildings in literary history, but also provide you with the opportunity to see inside a well-preserved Martello Tower.

Bloomsday commemorates James Joyce on the 16th June, the day on which the events of Ulysses occur, is celebrated each year around the world, including in Sandycove and Glasthule.  The James Joyce Tower and Museum hosts free events all day, while the local businesses and visitors dress up as characters from the book, listen to music and Joycean readings while enjoying food from the local businesses.   It’s certainly a site to behold!

 

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