Ballsbridge / Sandymount
The area known as Ballsbridge today actually extends well beyond the original village of that name. Broc House is at the eastern end of the area, close to where the road and the railway open out onto the remarkable coastline of Dublin, on their way to Booterstown, Blackrock and beyond. Just a short walk from Broc House the railway crossing leads onto Merrion Strand, a large expanse of flat, sandy beach, stretching from the River Liffey to the port of Dunloaghaire.
The beach is very flat and, at low tide, the sea retreats a long way out. It’s important to heed the signs and not to walk out too far, as the returning tide comes very quickly. The views from Merrion Strand are breathtaking. Across Dublin Bay the peninsula of Howth guards the entrance to Dublin Port. Turning northward, or to your left, the skyline takes you to the Poolbeg Lighthouse, an orange building set against the skyline. This lighthouse, marking the entrance to Dublin Port, is part of significant engineering improvements to the harbour undertaken by William Bligh, captain of the famous HMS Bounty. On his return to Britain after the notorious mutiny, he was engaged by the British Admiralty to oversee the work.
Further to the left, the two chimneys of the former Poolbeg Power Station reach for the sky. Plans to demolish these disused chimneys are on hold as they are seen as a key landmark on Dublin’s skyline. Look further to your left as the Dublin Skyline traces the River Liffey inland.