Make a move to Harold’s Cross: from Bikram to bowling, there’s plenty on offer

Young neighbourhood with plenty of small period houses but you’ll need to travel for groceries

 

What’s so good about it?

Once upon a time, Harold’s Cross, for all its rich history, was the sleepy neighbourhood you went through to get to buzzy Rathmines, trendy Portobello or leafy Terenure. Yet it’s become a small, nicely textured oasis just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.

Next to the canal and boasting its own lively park, its commercial properties have been taken over by a number of casual dining spots and the odd vintage treasure trove. It’s one neighbourhood where small, personable businesses make up the fabric of the village, from organic beauty salon Virginie Claire and interiors shop Plush Atelier to artisan florist Les Fleurs. Rugs to Rhinos (289 Harold’s Cross Road) is a particularly good find: after a reported break-in and early-morning blaze in June, locals rallied around to offer plenty of support.

Active types will find plenty to do here too, from Bikram yoga (9 Greenmount Industrial Estate) and bowls (Kenilworth Bowling Club, Grosvenor Square) to martial arts (Kamikaze Fight Academy, 276 Harold’s Cross Road) and football (Harold’s Cross Youth Club, Rosary Park).

Harold’s Cross village in Dublin 6. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Harold’s Cross village in Dublin 6. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

What’s not so good?

You’ll need to travel to nearby Rathmines or Kimmage for a sizeable grocery shop. Commuting via public transport, if you need to pick up a Luas or Dart, could prove a headache too. It might be lacking the buzz of nearby neighbourhoods, but it’s very much getting there.

Where and what to buy?

As one of the more affordable parts of Dublin 6, Harold’s Cross also experiences a shortage of properties to the market. Several significant new developments are under way, or have received planning permission, at Mount Argus Church and St Clare’s Convent. One-third of the housing stock is still pre-1919, although is split pretty evenly between housing and apartments.

A four-bed, two-bath semi-detached home on Priory Road is on the market at €530,000 with Sherry Fitzgerald; while first-time buyers could well find the central location and modern finish of 22 Parkview Mansions appealing, also with Sherry Fitzgerald; 13 Larkfield Park is a three-bed, two-bath mid-terraced house in need of modernisation but is brimming with potential, and benefits from a sizeable back garden (going for €425,000 via DNG Terenure).

Where and what to rent?

Expect to pay top dollar for that desirable Dublin 6 postcode: well appointed one-bedroom properties have been known to rent at €1,800 a month (though it’s more usual to expect to pay in the region of €1,400-€1,500), while a two-bedroom house can set you back about €2,100-€2,200.

Where to eat and drink?

MVP (29 Clanbrassil Street Upper) ushered in a new energy into the neighbourhood, and there are plenty of spots worth the trek there, even if you’re not a local. Five Points cafe (288A Harold’s Cross Road) is a vibey spot with coffee that lives up to the hype, while Craft (208 Harold’s Cross Road) is an award-winning bistro serving up unfussy modern Irish food. Hx46 (46 Harold’s Cross Road) offers pan-Asian in a great urban-style room. Peggy Kelly’s (161 Harold’s Cross Road) and The Harold House (34-35 Harold’s Cross Road) are perfect for an unfussy pint.

Who lives there?

Harold’s Cross boasts a great mix of nationalities, professions and ages. Some 52 per cent of residents are aged 16-34, and one-fifth are aged 35-49.

Harold’s Cross Park is great for families. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Harold’s Cross Park is great for families. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Good for families?

The local park certainly is, and its playground acts as an epicentre for young families. Along with the myriad sports facilities on offer for locals, the area is serviced by a Gaelscoil, Scoil Mologa on Clareville Road, as well as three other nearby primary schools: St Clare’s (Harold’s Cross Road), St Louis Infant School (6 William’s Park) and Harold’s Cross National School (Harold’s Cross). St Louis High School (female, Catholic) and St Mary’s College (male, Catholic) are in nearby Rathmines. Leinster Park Montessori is a popular choice, too.

Getting there and getting around

The area may be without a Dart or Luas, but it’s served rather well by Dublin Bus (routes 9, 16, 49, 54A and 83). The 16 makes its way to the airport, and a Nitelink service, the 49N, serves the area. The M50 is nearby, too.

A window box in Harold’s Cross. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
A window box in Harold’s Cross. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

What do locals say?

“Harold’s Cross is a really charming village with an eclectic mix of coffee shops, curio shops and new places to eat. There’s a real sense of community here that manifests itself in local activities like festivals in the park, drama groups and the like. The mix of old ‘character’ houses and new builds creates an interesting mix. Both young and old generations help to create a neighbourhood with a unique character.” Aoife Duffy, tech company account manager

Next week: Ringsend.

Do you live in Ringsend? If so, let us know what it is like to live there by emailing homeanddesign@irishtimes.com

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