History of Malahide
The final Baron de Malahide, Lord Milo Talbot, lived in the castle until his death in 1973. The beautiful estate was sold to the Irish State in 1975 by the sister of Lord Milo Talbot. Malahide Castle has had a significant impact in showcasing Ireland’s political and social landscape, hosting international leaders and summits, and welcoming thousands of local and international visitors each year.
What to do in the Castle
Malahide Castle is so unique that it’s one of few locations in Fingal that has all the amenities you need and want. From beautiful walking trails to beautiful gardens and castle tours, there is no better place to spend one of your very few days off.
Malahide Castle Gardens
In today’s world, builders aren’t as generous as they once were with the space dedicated as your garden, especially if you’re in the market for a new build like me. Gardens are a great space to destress and relax and soak in all the natural beauty that the world has to offer. The gardens of Malahide all have something different to offer.
The West Lawn Garden in Malahide castle covers a span of 20 acres that once was known for being the site of deep moat that protected this fortress during the medieval times.
The garden consists of beautiful green spaces filled with trees, ornamental wooden sculptures and plays host to the magical Fairy Trail.
The quite photogenic garden is home to very rare trees that sparks the interest of many nature lovers, with the famous Cedar of Lebanon, Tasmanian pencil pines and Chinese Ginkgo trees.
If you are looking to visit this beautiful place, please do check Malahide castle social media platforms to ensure there is no private events that causes the garden to be closed on the odd occasion.
Summer opening hours are 9.30am – 4.30pm (April to October)
Winter opening hours are 9.30am – 3.00pm (November to March)
The walled garden, the home of exotic flora, started its journey as a kitchen garden to cultivate fruit and vegetables over 200 years ago.
The passionate botanist, Lord Milo Talbot, dedicated his time and effort to create this exceptional and beautiful looking garden.
Whether it be Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer, all four seasons offers something beautiful. As you pace down the winding stone paths of the garden, you are met with Isobel Talbots Pond, the blooming Rose Garden, and the famous Victorian Conservatory. Don’t miss the grass parterre; an eye-catching maze of gravel and grass inspired by the extreme attention to detail carvings on the Oak Room wood paneling.
Another visitor attraction to the garden is that its home to the only Butterfly House in the Republic of Ireland.
Opening hours 9.30am – 4.30pm (Last Entry) all year round!
If you enjoy the beautiful composition of colours of butterflies like me, go visit the Cambridge Glasshouse of the walled garden in Malahide Castle.
Enjoy the freedom associated with these beautiful creatures as they fly across the beautiful tropical plants.
If you are an amateur enthusiast, experienced lepidopterists or someone who just enjoys watching butterflies, then this is the place for you. There are over 20 species of butterflies living in Malahide with all having slightly different traits and markings.
Learn more about these amazing pollinators that exist in our world by visually seeing and interacting with them rather than seeing them on a page in a book. If you are a visual and interactive learner like me then go visit the only butterfly house in the Republic of Ireland.
The gardens of Malahide are free and look magnificent all year round. Get on down to Malahide Castle during your free time and enjoy everything that makes this Island unique and special!
Embrace the power of your imagination through the fun and magic in Malahide’s fantasy Fairy trail catered for children of all ages.
Taking place within the beautiful west lawn gardens, the fairy trail takes you through the enchanting woodlands using an interactive booklet to guide you with all the answers you will need to complete the trail.
If under time pressure it is worth knowing that the trail is 1.8km and will approximately take 1 hour 15 minutes to enjoy the stardust of the fairies along your way.
Tickets for the Fairy Trail can be booked online in advance or bought at the visitor centre on arrival.
Summer opening hours are 9.30am – 4.30pm (April to October)
Winter opening hours 9.30am – 3.00pm (November to March)
FYI – If you purchase the tickets online, please collect Fairy Trail booklet from visitor centre prior to starting trail.
Furniture and Paintings
Centuries of curation, renovation and modifications has culminated in the amazing collection of artwork, personal effects and furniture that can be seen now in this phenomenal castle.
Each piece of furniture or painting has its own story, whether it be the Malahide orange paintwork or the exceptionally detailed carved wooden panels.
Understand and learn how the courting couples got to know each other on the beautiful confidante sofa. See with your own eyes the hand-woven rug delivered to Malahide from the 1950s and the distinct souvenir Isabelle Talbot brought back from King George V’s coronation in Westminster Abbey.
Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind copies of Raphael’s Vatican Frescoes and the beautiful work currently on loan from the National Gallery of Ireland.
Understand what the style of the residents by visiting the Master and ladies private bedrooms on the second floor and the vintage toys used to entertain their children in an Edwardian style nursery.
The Great Hall
Home to 30 beautiful paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland, The Great Wall built back in 1475 has been known as the hub of the medieval castle.
With an annual visitor attendance of 100,000 visitors, The Great Wall has played a vital role in Irish History, surviving The Battle of the Boyne and penal laws. Once a mooring base for airships during World War one, The Great Wall plays hosts to feasts and banquets for Lords and dignitaries.
Displayed in this beautiful hall is the amazing work of artist Jacobite, displayed in their original setting encapsulating the history of this great castle.
Located on the wing of the castle is the library wing that dates to the 17th century. It holds the historic manuscripts of the Talbot family and the Botanic library of the plant collector the 7th Baron, Lord Milo.
Those that are Halloween lovers will enjoy the tails of spooky sightings associated with Malahide Castle. Over the past 800 years, ghosts have been connected to historical figures that resided within the walls of the castle. One of the most famous tales is that of Jester Puck, who lives in the turret with a broken heart. Come and explore the castle for yourself so you can see these historical figures too.
Take yourself back in time and explore 800 years of history, learn all there is about the Talbot family and the historical events that has had a lasting impact on their lives. Visit the private rooms with their beautiful and unique furniture and art collections and listen to the historical tales of the battles and banquets by Malahide’s finest guides.
Tours roughly run for a 45 minute duration and are given in English but are available on audio in Irish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Mandarin.
Bookings should be made in advanced for these amazing insightful tours that are opened all year round. Tour times are subject to availability when tickets are purchased on the day.
Visitor Centre & Avoca
If you are picking up tickets, planning the itinerary for your trip or finding out all the information that you need, make sure to visit Malahide castle visitor centre.
The visitor centre is the hub for the Walled Garden and beautiful Butterfly House.
Looking to do some retail therapy or present stockpile on your holidays, the visitor centre stocks a wide range of wonderful handmade Irish products along with an outdoors store.
Known as one of Ireland’s highly rated retail stores, there are Avoca clothing, perfumes and more from their own design studio.
Avoca at Malahide Castle has a remarkable retail store, 170-seater café that overlooks the beautiful walled gardens and a delicious food market.
At the very least, get a coffee and scone and explore the beautiful lands that Malahide castle has to offer.
Casino Model Railway and Museum
Just minutes from Malahide castle, Dublin’s only model railway museum, offers a close-up look at the brilliant workmanship of Cyril Fry’s hand-crafted models. Interactive displays casting light about the Irish rolling stock and the history of the Irish railways. Train lovers can come and see the amazing railway layout and a selection of trains running through renown Irish towns and Villages.
The castle has public transport options, a public car park and bicylce lock ups.
How to get to Malahide Castle
There are many transport options for getting to Malahide castle, including car, bus, and train.
By Car: Malahide castle is a 10-minute drive from Dublin Airport and a 25-minute journey from Dublin city Centre.
By Public Transport: Take either Dublin bus routes 32 or 42 to Malahide Castle. Travelling from the airport, there is a direct bus to Malahide village on route number 102.
By Train: Train services operate daily from the city centre to Malahide with the station being approximately a 10-minute walk to the castle.
Where to eat nearby
Located in the visitor centre of Malahide castle, there are delicious pastries, sandwiches, and hot drinks of your choice to choose from before or after your visit to the castle.
If you want more choice of food, you can take a stroll to the village of Malahide, where you are spoilt for choice with pizza restaurants, pub grub and renowned fish and chips.
Where to stay near Malahide Castle
Northern Fingal has several hotels and B&Bs. The closest hotel is the 4* Grand hotel, it is centrally located and accessible by train and bus.
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