Kitesurfing, book-shopping and a dip in the deep blue sea – photographer Ben McDonald spends a day zipping down the south Dublin coastline and takes some stunning snaps on the way.
11.00 am - Breakfast - Hatch & Sons
We started off our day with breakfast in Hatch & Sons, located on St. Stephen’s Green in the city centre, just below the Little Musuem of Dublin. Hatch specialises in all day dining of an informal and easy nature with a contemporary twist on classic Irish food. Lovely ambience and great coffee.
12.30 pm – Open Air Art Exhibition - St. Stephens Green
After breakfast we walked across the road to have a gander through the art on display in a public exhibition taking place on the railings surrounding the public park of St. Stephen’s Green. The art exhibit normally takes place in Merrion Square, but features in Stephen’s Green four times a year. We got talking to Bernie, the husband of local artist Simone Walsh who comes to sell her work here weekly as well as stocking retailers such as the Kilkenny Store.
1.30 pm - Kitesurfing Lesson - Poolbeg
After a quick walk around the green we headed down to Pearse Street train station on our way to our next appointment - a kite surfing lesson with local kitesurfing instructor Kris Goodbody. Kris runs a small surfing school, Big Style Kite, that gives lessons around south Dublin bay, mainly based out of Poolbeg. Due to weather conditions Poolbeg was the best spot for learning on the day. We took the train a couple of stops down to Sandymount where Kris was there to collect us in his Big Style van and brought us 5 minutes up the beach road to his launch spot at the foot of Dublin’s iconic Pigeon House Towers in Poolbeg. I couldn’t believe a spot this close to the city centre was so perfect for kiting.
4.00 pm - Late Lunch - The Purty Kitchen - Monkstown
After working up a good appetite in action we continued our journey on the train to Monkstown for a late lunch in the Purty Kitchen. Dating back to 1728 this is one of the oldest pubs in Dublin city, with a strong focus on food and craft beers – there’s a good reason it was recently awarded Dublin's Best Gastro Pub 2013 - 2014.
5.00 pm – People’s Park Market - Dun Laoghaire
After lunch we continued by foot on up through the village of Dun Laoghaire and made our way to People’s Park Market. The Market is located on the edge of Dún Laoghaire town centre in the historic People’s Park. The Park has been open to the public since 1890 and features great examples of Victorian architecture with the Gate Lodge and the Tea Rooms, a bandstand featuring the original gaslight standards and a playground. Over 50 vendors trade each Sunday selling a wide range of products including hot food, baked goods, art and crafts, artisan food products and seasonal produce. We got chatting to Brendan Foreman (pictured below), who has been selling books at the market with his wife Alice for years as well as in Temple Bar Market on Saturdays. Recently they have just opened a bookshop in Terenure.
7.00 pm - Ice Cream - Teddys - Sandycove
After the market we strolled down to Teddy’s ice cream parlour. The place was packed with a line down the street of people waiting for one of the famous Teddy’s 99 ice cream cones.
7.30 pm - Swimming - Fortyfoot - Sandycove
After the ice cream we walked down the coast along Sandycove green to the Forty Foot swimming spot. We arrived just in time to get a quick dip in before sunset in the surprisingly refreshing September water before our last train jaunt homewards.
If kite surfing isn’t your thing and you’d prefer to check out what Dublin has to offer in terms of shopping, have a look at our Dublin Fashion Guide for Dublin’s best hidden boutiques.
Map of the day's journey