Ralph Smyth Tours

  • Cloudy days
Have you ever wondered where Dublin city got its name from, where the Vikings lived in Dublin, which is the oldest church in the city, where were the city walls? If so, why not enjoy a fascinating two hour walking tour of the ancient heart of Dublin with a professional tour guide.

The city of Dublin that stands today started life as a small settlement on the banks of the river Liffey. The Dublin of the past, some of which still lies buried beneath our feet, is brought to life on this new tour. Dublin has changed so much since the Vikings settled here in 841 that it’s hard for anybody to imagine what the city looked like. On this tour the story of the city of Dublin is explained by a professionally trained tour guide with a love of Irish history and a mission to share the history of the city with everybody.

The starting point is the entrance to Dublin Castle on Dame Street. The group will be brought to the picturesque gardens of the Castle, before walking up into the yard of the castle, which was founded in 1203; from there to City Hall, with an explanation of the origins of street names of the area; a short walk up Castle street to view the cathedral quarter and the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral. This is the oldest part of the city and formed the original city centre.

After a short refreshment break in one of the many artisan coffee shops in the area, the group continues to the Wood Quay area, exploring the Viking way of life and inspecting the layout of Wood Quay as a major Viking settlement; some of the archaeological finds from the site are also discussed.

From there the group takes a stroll down Fishamble Street, and follows the line of the original city wall across to Cook Street, where the largest surviving section of the city walls and the only surviving gateway into the city can be seen, while hearing about the history of the area and the walls. As the tour continues onto High Street, the beautiful facade of St. Audoen's Church comes into view and its rich history is discussed.

From there the group is brought back down to the starting point. The tour takes approximately two hours; it is a walking tour so please wear appropriate footwear, and bring rain coverage to suit the lovely Irish weather!

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