Clarion Hotel Dublin Liffey Valley
Liffey Valley Complex
Phone: (353) 1 6258000
Fax: (353) 1 6258010
The official residence of the Irish Prime Minister, Steward's Lodge is one of the most important buildings of Dublin. Located in the Phoenix Park area, it was built in the land of the Farmleigh House. Most Prime Ministers of the country do not use the premises, choosing to work from their own homes, however, Prime Minister Mr. Enda Kenny does use it occasionally.
Deerfield Residence is the official accommodation of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland. It is also called the Chief Secretary's Lodge. It was constructed in the 18th Century by Sir John Blaquiere. There are many deer that can be found grazing near the house. The huge accommodation has orchards, lawns, three cottages and a security office apart from the Ambassador's residence. US President Bill Clinton and John F Kennedy have all stayed here on their visits.
Measuring just under 1,800 acres, Phoenix Park is the largest city park in Europe. The great green expanse in the west of the city is a mixture of wilderness and formal landscape gardens. It offers a variety of recreational activities such as Gaelic football, polo and cricket. A towering Papal Cross marks the visit of Pope John Paul II, back in 1979. Also enclosed within the park's boundaries are a Visitors' Centre, Ashtown Castle, Dublin Zoo, Aras an Uachtarain (the official residence of the President of Ireland) and the Residence of the United States' Ambassador. Phoenix Park also has a bird sanctuary and a herd of fallow deer as well as boasting an impressive diversity of plantlife.
Aras an Uachtaráin is the official residence of the President of Ireland and has the Phoenix Park—the largest city park in Europe as its garden. Built in 1751 as a rather luxurious home for the park ranger, the house became the residence of successive viceroys, who oversaw British rule in Ireland. In 1938 it became home to the president of the newly-independent Ireland and today welcomes some 15,000 visitors each year. There is no provision for pre-bookings and tickets—which are free of charge—are dispensed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre.
Originally part of Trinity College, the Dunsink Observatory houses the astronomical section of the School of Cosmic Physics, which is now a part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. The observatory regularly hosts public stargazing nights where admission is free, although tickets are required. Open nights are held on the first and third Wednesday nights of the dark winter months. Prospective visitors must write for tickets enclosing a stamped self addressed envelope.
This spectacular feudal stronghold is the only remaining castle in Ireland to be surrounded by a flooded moat, which is now teeming with fish. The castle consists of a restored Great Hall, a battlement tower commanding impressive views of the area, look-out posts, a stable, a coach house and folly tower. Visitors may also find the castle's 17th century formal gardens of interest, they feature mop head laurels, box hedges and yew trees.
Designed by Edwin Lutyens (one of the most significant architects of the twentieth century), these simple but dignified gardens commemorate the 49,000 Irish soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. The central garden consists of a lawn enclosed by a high limestone wall with granite piers. At either end are two book rooms (also done out in granite) which hold the names of all the dead soldiers. Visitors can view the shrine upon application to the administration. A pair of sunken rose gardens flanks this central lawn and the park slopes down to a tranquil stretch of the River Liffey. This stretch of the river is used by rowers from the local universities and is a calm and pretty spot on a bright day. Call for timings. Admission is free.
Kilmainham Gaol is one of Ireland's most important buildings. It was designed in an attempt to improve the quality of the penal system, and in the belief that prisons should be hygienic and well-ventilated. It is also, however, a 'panopticon', emphasizing the importance of surveillance at all times, and as a result the Gaol earned itself a notorious reputation. Inmates included rebels from the Easter Rising in 1916; most notably Eamon de Valera, the last prisoner to be freed under the Free State, who went on to become President of Ireland. Now the place has been converted into a museum. Guided tours provide the only access to the prison. An exhibition in the main hall and a video also outline the history of this controversial building.
The Grangegorman Military Cemetery is found on Blackhorse Avenue adjacent to Pheonix Park in the Irish city of Dublin. Opened in 1876, it is the largest war cemetery in Ireland and contains the graves of soldiers and their families from those killed in the Marlborough barracks and Crimea to soldiers of World War I as well as soldiers of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence between 1919 and 1921. Graves of Dublin Fusiliers are of the highest number and many Sherwood Foresters and South Staffs are also found here. The Irish National War Memorial Gardens that commemorates the 49,400 Irish soldiers killed in World War I is found only a kilometer (half a mile) away.
Bully's Acre is located beside the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, hence the name Hospital Fields. It an ancient cemetery that dates back to 900 CE and regarded as the oldest in the city. Many hospital inmates, war veterans and dignitaries lie buried here. Burials are no longer held here, though one can walk around the existing graves.
More than 235 species of wild animals and exotic birds inhabit Dublin Zoo, a vast expanse within Phoenix Park. Created in 1830 and recently restored and extended, this zoo is the third-oldest in the world, with London and Paris as "big siblings". The thirty acres provide lots of treats for the family, including a pet's corner and new attractions such as City Farm, Monkey Island and Fringes of the Arctic. The train ride around the zoo is also fun and a welcome rest for weary legs! Refreshments are available in the restaurant and coffee shop, while a variety of cuddly toys can be found in the gift shop.
This little-known park makes a handy short cut from Phibsborough to the city centre. Formerly an extension of the Royal Canal, the linear stretch was drained in the 18th century to facilitate a traditional Victorian park. Now the locals use it for dog- walking and on sunny days you'll find a mass of pink bodies stretched out here, catching the rays. The area feels a little isolated, however, so it's probably best to avoid the park at night.