Local Knowledge: North County Dublin
David Bassett is director of Xtreme.ie , which is an adventure park in Balbriggan.
So, tell me why someone should visit north County Dublin?
North County Dublin is an area often overlooked as it has seen rapid residential growth in recent years. People need to look beyond the residential areas and see the wonderful seaside towns, coastlines and areas of national heritage that is north County Dublin. You’d be surprised how often people tell me towns like Rush and Skerries (below) were the destinations for annual family holidays when they were children.
Say I’m visiting with a bunch of kids and it’s lashing rain, what is there to do?
With the growth in population we have seen an increase in the number of family attractions for all weather. For something a bit different, Rush has the Fingal Arts Centre, which is a converted church that now houses a local library and arts centre. The Fingal Food Fair is hosted there on the last Sunday of every month.
Anywhere good locally for a swim that is maybe not on the tourist radar as much?
Loughshinny beach is frequently bypassed. It’s a small village and beach between Rush and Skerries and many people don’t even know it exists. The bay itself provides a lovely sheltered area for swimming. After a swim, visitors can take a stroll up to the Martello Tower and along the coastline over to Rush north beach and finish up in the Harbour Bar for a pint.
What hidden gems should people be aware of?
Some of the hidden gems include Ardgillan Castle and Demesne. Visitors can get a tour of the old castle and finish up with a stroll in the rose gardens and afternoon tea in the tearooms. Again, something off the beaten track is Skerries Mills, where you have two windmills and a watermill.
Tell me about your business and maybe one other activity locally people can do?
We provide tailor-made team-building events in Ireland. Our adventure centre includes a high-ropes course, power-turn buggies, paint ball, archery, giant adrenaline swing and climbing walls. Visitors can also experience clay pigeon shooting at Courtlough shooting grounds. Pricing starts from €25 for an adrenaline-filled afternoon.
I’d also recommend the Dublin Falconry Centre, recently opened in Courtlough, where adults and children get to experience birds of prey close up – admission from €8 per person.
Where is good for food and drink locally?
Blue Bar in Skerries is a great spot to get a pint and also offer a great selection of fresh seafood caught locally from the fishing boats. Sitting on the deck watching the sun setting over Skerries harbour is pure bliss.
John Weldon: South beach in Rush is one of the best kite-surfing areas in Ireland.
@RobMcDonnel1: Newbridge demesne has to be on the list, great for a family visit.