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“Not dog friendly at all... Not possible to sit on outdoor patio to have anything with a dog. Was 6 months pregnant and really ne”
Review of Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle
Ranked #135 of 650 things to do in County Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ardgillan Castle and Demesne is Ireland's hidden gem. Set in spectacular parklands overlooking the Irish Sea with a magnificent view of the Mourne Mountains. As well as the castle, the demesne features a walled and rose garden both of which present an orderly profusion of colour. Ardgillan Castle and Demesne is situated in North County Dublin on an elevated coastline between Balbriggan and Skerries,32 kilometers north of Dublin City. The demesne is well signposted off the M1. The park consists of 194 acres of rolling open grassland, mixed woodland and gardens, overlooking the Irish Sea with views of Mourne Mountains to the north and Lambay to the south-east. Ardgillan is a sanctuary for many species of animals, mammals and birds for which the wooded areas provide a safe retreat from surrounding agricultural land. Today the demesne is a stunning visitor attraction with a range of facilities the public can avail of, including castle tours, theatre events, afternoon tea, children's parties plus much more!
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed June 22, 2013

For a major park not dog friendly at all. Been to other places where outdoor tables and parasols provided. No excuse here just small thinking.

Thank tourismreviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 - 97 of 118 reviews

Reviewed May 23, 2013

I very seldom bother to review places like this but with this one I will make an exception.

One approaches through gates leading to a roundabout, straight in front is a road with an ‘Authorised Vehicles Only’ barrier and a large sign to a car park. The house is then down (and subsequently back up ) a sharpish hill of about a half mile, not too bad unless you have a knee with little cartilage. At the bottom of the hill is, would you believe it, a car park! On enquiring why there were no signs to it I was told ‘Oh, there are, just drive down the hill’. Yea right, straight through the barrier! To collect the wife I did just that and NO, there were no signs, I checked.

The house and café are both open until 6pm so arriving as we did at 4:15 we were looking forward to the guided tour, no such luck. Because they had ‘been rushed of our feet’ the guide(s?) decided to call it a day and all go home some time earlier, so no tour. I was told, ‘you can have a look around if you like, no charge’ which I thought would be second best unfortunately the ‘look around’ consisted of four empty rooms and on enquiring if that was it, I was told ‘oh you can’t go around the castle without a guide!’ So why bother to say ‘no charge’ for me to see empty rooms, I would have been even more hacked off had there actually been a charge!!

The setting is stunning and I am sure the house/castle would be well worth a visit, if you manage to get in, my advice would be to ring in-advance and check to see if the guide(s?) are not too exhausted to stay on duty until the place closes.

1  Thank FoodieOswestry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Great spot for a picnic, a walk or bringing the kids (there's a fantastic playground). Come in the back gate and walk down the path to a fantastic vista. The castle against a backdrop of the sea with the Mountains of Mourne in the distance.

The coffee shop is very basic, pity as it has potential to be a great spot.

Thank Amanito G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I love Ardgillian Castle for either a long walk or a cycle, the park is so big you can enjoy your own sense of space your not constantly bumping into people. The children's playground is very large and has loads of equipment, swings, climbing frames etc for all ages. The only down side is the up hill walk back up to the car park .....but it's worth it the view out over the bay is amazing!

1  Thank Suzy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

The demesne consists of the ancient townlands of Kilmainham, Ardgillan and Baltray. The district was originally controlled by the Gaelic O’Casey family and later the Earl of Tyrconnell. However, the period 1600 – 1700 saw great changes in the pattern of land ownership in Ireland due to the confiscation and redistribution of land after the Cromwellian and Williamite wars (1640’s and 1680’s respectively).
In 1658, the “Down Survey” records that Ardgillan was owned by a wine merchant, Robert Usher of Crumlin, Dublin and by 1737, the property had been acquired by the Reverend Robert Taylor, one of the Headfort Taylors, whose grand-father had collaborated with Sir William Petty on the mid 17th century “Down Survey of Ireland”.

Ardgillan remained the family home of the Taylors (later changed to Taylour) for more than two hundred years and until 1962 when the estate was sold to Heinrich Potts of Westphalia, Germany. In 1982, Dublin County Council purchased Ardgillan Demesne and it is now managed by Ardgillan Castle Ltd. under the auspices of Fingal County Council.
The Castle

Although referred to as a Castle, the residence at Ardgillan is a large country-styled house with castellated embellishments. Originally named “Prospect”, the central section was built in 1738 by Robert Taylor, with the west and east wings added in the late 1700’s.
Initially the site was heavily wooded, the name Ardgillan being derived from the Irish “Ard Choill” meaning High Wood. It was cleared out by service soldiers and itinerant workers in return for one penny a day, sleeping accommodation and one meal.
The house consists of two storeys over a basement which extends out under the lawns on the southern side of the building. When occupied, the ground and first floors were the living accommodations while the west and east wings were servant’s quarters and estate offices.
The basement was the service floor, the kitchen and stores. The Castle has now been restored and the ground floor rooms and kitchens are open to visitors for guided tours. Tea-rooms located off the main reception area and serving light snacks are open in conjunction with the castle opening times.
Upstairs, the former bedrooms are used for classes and exhibitions including a permanent and unique exhibition of the “Down Survey” colour maps and text. Rooms are available for small group meetings and workshops.

Thanks to Fingal County Council for reference!

Even knowing all this, it is still a place worth a visit, the tour is very well worth the money and it has a little surprise in store for you as well (you have to see for yourself). The tea room has good fair and you will not come out disappointed, unless your looking for the Ritz's. while it has central heating it is not modern and more like "Up Stairs Down Stairs" style about it and fits in well. It was really out of season for the herb and rose gardens, but I would like to go back at the right time of year to see it. The play area is a child's delight and as I seen also some adults, so if it was only for that, it is worth a visit.

Thank Critic1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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