Officially, spring in Ireland starts on the 20th of March, but according to the Celtic calendar - which many Irish people follow - spring has started in the first week of February. The truth is: May and April are the warmer months, when you really start to feel and see the season in the country. Now the days are brighter and warmer all the way until summer, which makes it the perfect time to visit Dublin and enjoy what the city has to offer during this season. Here’s a list of 6 things to do and see if you are visiting Dublin in Spring:
Cherry Blossoms in Herbert Park
Cherry blossoms - also called Sakura in Japanese - can be spotted in many parts of Dublin during the beginning of April / end of March. The amazing cherry trees bloom in different shades of pink and white, making it look even more like spring in the capital. The Herbert Park, in Ballsbridge, has one of the biggest populations of Sakuras in the city, and every year its pathways get covered with cherry flowers as soon as spring quicks out. Make sure you get some time to check it yourself since the park is located just a few minutes from the city center by getting the Dublin Bus number 4 at O'Connell Street.
Sunset in Howth
Spring is the perfect time to catch some amazing sunsets in Dublin, the days are lasting longer, and with the end of winter, everyone is seeking some time outside. Howth, on the north coast, is a great place to be if you want to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in the city.
Start your journey by getting the DART to Howth (it takes around 40 minutes from Connolly Station), then go visit the Howth Market for some treats. You can walk to the village, visit the Balscadden Bay Beach, check one of the loops at Howth Cliff Walks, or grab fish and chips from Beshoff - a local favorite. There is plenty to do in the area around the day. By the end of the afternoon, head to Howth’s pier, where you can get a perfect view of the sky changing its colors as the sun goes down behind the lighthouse and the ocean.
Swimming in Dún Laoghaire
With spring bringing higher temperatures to Dublin, it’s a good time to try a new challenge: swimming in the Irish Sea. I have to be completely honest with you here: it will be cold, very cold. But there are some nice benefits to your body too, such as boosting your immune system, activating endorphins, and improving your circulation, just to mention a few. If you are not sure it’s worth it, just ask one of the locals: Irish people love going for a dip, and it's something they do regularly throughout spring and summer, some even keep the habit during autumn and winter.
The Forty Foot and the Seapoint, in Dún Laoghaire, are two very popular spots that also have amazing views of Dublin and space to leave your stuff while you swim. To get there, just get a Southbound DART from Connolly Station to Bray, stopping at the Seapoint or Dun Laoghaire stations - only 40 minutes from the city center.
Canola fields in Greystones
Every year around the end of April / beginning of May, the fields around Greystones get a whole new look, with beautiful Canola flowers covering it all as spring starts to really kick in.
The blooming of the cute yellow flower only lasts for a few weeks every year, so if you are lucky enough to be in Dublin around this time make sure to go check it! The plantation is totally free to visit, try going during the week when there are fewer people around and you get to enjoy the place and the views.
From Dublin City Center you can get the DART from Connolly or Tara Station going straight to Greystones, from there it will take you around 15 minutes walking to get to the fields. There are signs pointing to the cliff walks that you can follow to find the Canola plantation. Another option is to get out of the DART at Bray station, just one before Greystones, and stroll through the cliff walks - the views are more than worth it and it only takes around 30 minutes to go from one point to the other, and the Canola fields are located at the very end of the trail.
Farmers Market at St Anne’s Park
Dublin has some amazing parks to explore, like St Anne’s Park, in Clontarf, with around 240 acres of land and a lot of space for picnicking, meeting friends, strolling around pure nature, or just getting some treats from the Farmer’s Market. Every Saturday the local food market happens in the park from 10 am to 4 pm, you can find good chocolates, cheeses, meats, loaves of bread, and more - all made locally -, as well as some food trucks with a lot of variety to choose from.
The 130 Dublin Bus will bring you directly to the gate of the park, it leaves every 15 minutes from Abbey Street Lower, in the city center.
Amazing views at Blessington Lakes
Located right at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains (and a bit outside the city!), the Blessington Lakes are the perfect escape from the city on a good spring day. Even though you can’t swim in the lakes, there is a lot to do in its surroundings.
While there, you can try one of the best pizzas in Dublin at The Big Blue Bus. The restaurant is set up - obviously - in a big Dublin Bus turned into a pizzeria, in the Avon Food Village. They have options of seats inside the bus or around the picnic tables. It’s open from Thursday to Sunday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The down point is that it might take too long to get there by public transport - around an hour and a half. If you don’t mind the long ride, just take the Dublin Bus number 65 at College Green in Dame Street - it will leave you 15 min away from the food village and the lakes. If you are renting a car, you can get there in one hour; just remember to rent an electric one if possible & carpool - the environment appreciates it & you get extra stars on your “thoughtful traveller” loyalty card! ;)
Which of these activities are you most excited to try?
In case of any doubts just ask one of the staff in the reception for some directions and suggestions, we are always here to help :)