South Dublin is home to many inland, cosy villages and towns including Rathmines, Terenure and Dundrum. Other interesting locations include Sandyford and UCD.
Rathmines & Terenure
These two leafy suburbs are nestled in South County Dublin surrounded by parks, tennis courts, cricket grounds and many schools. While Terenure is a quiet enclave; Rathmines has experienced a renaissance of late following the redevelopment of the iconic Art Deco cinema, The Stella, which reopened in 2017. Visitors and locals enjoy an eclectic range of multicultural restaurants, unique bars, entertainment and many pop-up shops keeping the area fresh and interesting.
This familiar destination is home to two very diverse attractions. The first is Dundrum Town Centre, Ireland’s largest shopping centre with over 169 tenants, almost 140,000 m² square metres of floor space, and over 3,400 car parking spaces. With cinemas, a theatre, plethora of restaurants and bars to visit, it continually attracts thousands of people through its doors annually.
Less than half a kilometre away is the beautiful Airfield Estate, the only working farm in Dublin, open to the public. Although now a charitable organisation it has a long and interesting history. The Overends were a comfortable middle-class Dublin family. Trevor Overend a solicitor, brought Airfield as a summer house in 1894 but decided to make it his family’s permanent home several years later.
Both his daughters Letitia and Naomi grew up and remained there until they died. They both were actively involved in the farm and their extensive gardens as well as their many charitable pursuits. As a family they had always been concerned with the welfare of others and as far back as the early 1900s. Naomi, then aged eight, organised a fund-raising fete at Airfield in aid of the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
At the turn of the century Dublin had the worst death rate in the British Isles with problems arising from overcrowded tenements, poor sanitation and a lack of nutritious food. In response to this the Overend family provided pasteurised milk for the first “clean milk” depot which supplied inner city families with a safe milk supply.
During the war the Overends also extended the capacity of their food gardens to help combat food poverty.
The Overends were instrumental in establishing the Children’s Sunshine Home in 1924 (now the Laura Lynn Foundation) which was then a convalescent home for children suffering from rickets and other diseases caused by malnutrition and poor housing.
The farm, gardens, kitchen and heritage experience in the Overend family home, offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and learn about food, farming and the natural work in a unique and relaxed urban environment.
Throughout the year, Airfield hosts many events in its grounds celebrating Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
At the heart of Sandyford is the Industrial Estate – not particularly synonymous with visitor attractions – but while the focus may be more work than play, it does nonetheless boast many pretty cool things to do.
Skills Zone helps you hone your rugby, football, tennis, basketball, baseball, shooting & Gaelic all in the comfort of a massive and well-equipped building. Jump Zone is jam packed with trampolines which appeals to kids, teenagers and adults.
For the smaller children, Imaginosity – Dublin’s Museum for Children – has been keeping minds entertained since 2007. With a simple philosophy, ‘Children learn best when they're having fun’ Imaginosity champions the 'hands-on, minds-on' approach that encourages all visitors to get involved and have fun while learning and create positive and lasting memories. There is a myriad of rich interactive experiences to engage in; from meeting the Eco Badger up on the roof garden and learning about how the unique 'green' building works, to making your way up the Climber past the Wizard's Lair and the Rocket Ship to Rapunzel's Castle.
Imaginosity offers a wide variety of workshops and classes in arts and crafts, computers, music and theatre every day in the Art Studio, in the Children's Theatre Space and in the Cyber Room.
University College Dublin (UCD)
University College Dublin has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century under the leadership of the renowned educationalist John Henry Cardinal Newman. Since its foundation in 1854, the University has flourished and made a unique and substantial contribution to the creation of modern Ireland, based on successful engagement with Irish society on every level and across every sphere of activity. Today it is the country’s largest university, has 30,000 students coming from over 120 countries. The facilities occupy an extensive parkland estate of more than 130 hectares. From September, Go Ahead Ireland will run the 175 from UCD to Citywest and back so it’s never been a better time to explore this heart of learning.