Phoenix Park - Dublin
The name of the Phoenix Park is not derived from the mythical bird but the gaelic Fionn Uisce (which means clear water) and is the largest (1752 acres) enclosed park in Europe. In fact, it is bigger than all the parks in London put together and twice the size of Central Park in New York. Dating back to megalithic times there is a tumulus near the Furry Glen, where the deer still roam (although protected) as they once did when it was a royal hunting ground. At the time Ireland was governed by England whose Lord Lieutenants built and occupied the vice regal lodge which is now Aras an Uachtaran, the official residence of the President of Ireland, currently Michael D Higgins and his family. Other buildings within the Phoenix Park that are open to the public include Farmleigh House, a former home of the Guinnesses, Ashtown Castle and the Visitor Centre, with plenty of free events throughout the year.
Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park is the oldest in Europe established in 1832 is also within the grounds and is constantly being updated to comply with modern standards of animal management and welfare. A popular haunt of generations of Dubliners it continues to thrive and expand. Just as familiar are the Peoples Garden, a more formal park with the park and the ‘hollow’ with the bandstand (free concerts during the summer) and the Victorian tearooms where you can get a nice cup of tea or an icecream for the kiddies.
10 Other Things To Do and See in the area are....
1 Phoenix Park Visitor Centre tells you all about the park and it is where you will get tickets to visit Aras an Uachtaran on saturday mornings.
2 Victorian Kitchen Garden adjacent is relatively new and proving to be very popular with the renewed interest in vegetable growing, you can meet and greet the gardeners on the 2nd saturday of every month.
3 Dublin Zoo the oldest in Europe established in 1831, which is constantly being revamped to meet modern standards and practices in animal management and welfare.
4 The Furry Glen where some 450 deer roam, also the Wellington Monument and the Popes Cross all very familiar landmarks to Dubliners.
5 The Victorian Tearooms (beside the Zoo) overlooking the bandstand (free concerts in the summer) in 'The Hollow’ with a playground.
6 The People’s Garden a park within the park and a homage to the Victorian style of planting with lots of formal bedding arrangements, old fashioned but charming.
7 Polo and Cricket (we are big into cricket with our recent victory over England) can be watched during the summer months.
8 Farmleigh House another official building used for entertaining visiting dignitaries and royalty which you can tour for most days for free, nice boat house cafe, garden and gallery.
9 Aras an Uachtaran a limited amount of free tickets are available for a tour of the staterooms of the President of Irelands home each saturday.
10 Hire Bicycles at the Park Gates and follow any of the 15kms of safe cycle ways / family / nature trails within the Park.