Season’s Greetings all!
So here we are at the end of our journey through Ireland’s 32 counties. We started last Spring in county Wicklow and here we are in our final county, Dublin. Being the home of our capital city, it’s usually the first port of call on any trip to Ireland and you could spend your whole trip right here. There’ s so much to do and see with it’s wealth of museums, galleries and heritage sites. Then there’s the delights of the wider county with plenty of mountain walks and all that Dublin bay has to offer from Howth to Killiney.
Dublin also has a very special place in my heart because it’s my home town and it’s where The Irish Store lives too! And with Christmas nearly upon us I thought it would be nice to take a festive trip around the capital. The city looks so gorgeous at this time of the year and the atmosphere is really something. So let’s get started.
Christmastime In Dublin
1. Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch Cathedral is set in the heart of medieval Dublin. The first cathedral was built on this site sometime around 1028 on elevated ground above the Viking settlement at Wood Quay. Extensive renovations took place in the 19th century restoring much of it’s medieval Gothic design. Inside you can visit the fantastic Dublinia exhibition charting Dublin’s medieval past. Then here’s the intriguing 12th century crypt. As well as being the oldest crypt in Ireland, it is also the city’s oldest surviving structure. There you can see priceless relics and treasures and the mummified cat and rat, know locally as Tom and Gerry! At this time of year the crypt also hosts a wonderful Christmas market.
2. The GPO
The GPO is one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings and is most famous for being the the focal point of the 1916 Easter Rising. It dominates Dublin’s O Connell Street (which also happens to be the widest street in Europe!) and is situated on the corner of Dublin’s bustling Henry Street which really comes alive at this time of year. I always make sure I go to the GPO to post my Christmas cards every year just to soak up the atmosphere. They always put on a great festive display that the kids just love and in December there’s lunchtime carols to really get you in the mood!
3. Trinity College
Time to go over to the south side of the city and visit Dublin’s Trinity College. Founded in 1592, it covers 47 acres in the heart of the city. Notable attendees include Oscar Wilde, Johnathon Swift and Samuel Beckett. It’s lovely to wander around it’s cobbled grounds and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially at this time of year. Taking a stroll through Parliament Square and around College Park is a great way to take some time out. A visit to the Old Library to see the iconic Book of Kells is an absolute must.
4. Grafton Street
Let’s join the hustle and bustle again as we step out of Trinity College and onto Grafton Street. If you’re looking for festive atmosphere then there’s nothing like Dublin’s most famous shopping street. Apart from the great stores, the lights are enchanting and the wonderful assortment of buskers and carol singers are sure to get you into the holiday spirit!
5. Powerscourt Center
Stepping off Grafton street now for a visit to the nearby Powerscourt Center. This one of the shining examples of Dublin’s Georgian architectural heritage. It was built in the 18th century as a townhouse for Richard Wingfield 3rd Viscount Powerscourt and his wife Lady Amelia. There they entertained guest during parliament season when Richard was a member of the Irish House of Lords. It has been beautifully preserved and now houses restaurants, bars and gorgeous designer stores. This stunning building was just made for Christmas and is decorated beautifully during the festive season.
6. Carols at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
I’m going to end with one of my favorite things to do in Dublin in December. For me there’s nothing quite like a carol service at Dublin’s St.Patrick’s Cathedral. Their choir school is the oldest in Ireland and is still going strong today. To me, it doesn’t matter what your religion is or isn’t. The sound of a choir of angelic voices with the stunning acoustic of this stunning building makes for truly spiritual experience.
Well that’s all from me for 2017. I just want to thank you all so much for reading and keeping me company on the journey and for your continued support of The Irish Store.
I’ll be back next week to give you my top picks from our not to be missed January sale!
In the meantime, I just want to wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Nollaig shona dhuit,
Slán go fóill!