Make a move to Malahide for bracing walks and good food

Seaside village has a lot to offer residents but the closer you get to the water, the more the prices climb

What’s so good about it?

If you're hankering after a life near the coast, Malahide is a seaside village with plenty on offer. In 2003, the CSO reported that more high earners lived in Malahide than any other town in the State, and there's still plenty of evidence that this is a neighbourhood of choice for the affluent. Most neighbourhoods in Malahide are peaceful and leafy, though you'll pay for the privilege. That said, there are bargains to be had if you don't mind rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into a refurbishment project.

Despite a population of near-20,000, Malahide locals note that the community spirit is thriving. With an active residents' association and Tidy Towns committee, Malahide certainly feels welcoming. And, if you're a foodie, Malahide is the east coast's gourmet capital, with a great selection of restaurants and cafes on offer. "Malahide Castle and the beach have provided good leisure facilities over the years and are great places to walk with my grandchildren," observes local resident Nigel Averill. "We also have one of the best libraries in the country.

"Malahide has a lot going for it in terms of location, transport with good bus and train services. All our children were able to commute to town for access to Trinity and Bolton Street college without having to leave home."

If you ever do feel like escaping it all though, Dublin Airport is a 15-minute drive away on a good day.

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What’s not so good?

For a town that’s expanding quickly, locals note that an improved road system would greatly benefit the area.

“Traffic volumes can be horrendous [and there is] limited parking,” admits Averill. “The town is taken over by taxis at night taking up half the available spaces most of the evening.” As is the case with most seaside villages, things can get particularly hectic when visitors come to enjoy Malahide during sunny summer days.

Where and what to buy?

House prices in the area are beyond the reach of many average earning families, but there are bargains to be had. The Waterside complex, on the Swords end of Malahide, is a good place to start looking, and this 3-bed duplex at 15 The Water Rill (€295,000, via Stanley) is well proportioned. 23 The Terrace at Robswall (€580,000, via Corry Estates) is a 3-bed, 3-bath detached house ready to twalk into, with a sea view from the master bedroom.

Money not an issue? Good for you: move in next to Cecelia Ahern, Nicky Byrne et al. at the famed Abington estate. Houses rarely come onto the market here, but No 35. (€2.5 million, via Sherry Fitzgerald Malahide) is sufficiently grand for the hefty price tag.

Where and what to rent?

Apartment living is your best bet; the closer you get to the water, the more the prices climb. A 3-bed, 2-bath luxury apartment in the Marina Village costs around €3,000-3,400 a month. Families can expect to spend upwards of €35,000 for a home with a garden (one 5-bedroom house was recently on the market for €8,950 a month).

Where to eat and drink?

Take your pick from a truly bewildering array of popular places.

Déjà Vu (19 Old Street) serves up French bistro-style fare, while That's Amore (12 Townyard Lane) is a gorgeous trattoria whose fabulous dishes belie its understated décor. Siam Thai (1 The Green) and Bon Appetit (9 James's Terrace) are fantastic harbourside spots, while Sale e Pepe (Main Street) and fine dining spot Nautilus (Marine Court Centre) are well worth a visit too. There are some fantastic neighbourhood pubs, too. Gibney's (6 New Street) is busy and with good reason, while Fowlers (12 New Street) and Duffy's (Main Street) are perfect for cosy pints. Gilbert & Wright/The Living Room (1 Ross Lane), meanwhile, draws a younger crowd.

Who lives there?

The population is mainly affluent and middle-class, although there’s a decent mix of ages. According to MyHome.ie’s research, 20 per cent of Malahide residents are under 16; 25 per cent fall into the 16-34 category; 22 per cent are aged between 35 and 49; 19 per cent are in the 50-64 bracket; while 14 per cent are aged over 65.

Good for families?

Great schools are easily accessible. There's St Oliver Plunkett's National School (Catholic, mixed), John Paul II (Catholic, mixed) St Sylvester's (Catholic, mixed), Malahide/Portmarnock Educate Together (interdenominational, mixed), St Helen's (Catholic, mixed) and St Andrews (Church Of Ireland, mixed). For second level, Malahide Community School (interdenominational, mixed) is excellent. Aside from that, there are plenty of great walks, activities and seaside excursions to help get any family active.

Getting there and getting around

Malahide is nearly 19km from Dublin's city centre, but a half-hour (in good traffic) up the M1 will get you there. Malahide is well served by the Dart, and it will get you into town in under a half-hour. Malahide is also connected by Dublin Bus routes like 32, 42, 102, 32X and 142, as well as the 102 to the airport.

What do locals say?

"What is not to like about living in Malahide? There's lot to see and do. There are walks along the coast to Portmarnock, Paddy's Hill, along the Broadmeadows Estuary and of course in the Malahide Castle grounds. Living in Malahide has so much to offer – like all communities what you put in is what you get. A beautiful inspirational mental health calendar is produced and designed by local man Nicky Cleere gives [people] a great feel for Malahide." Noelle O'Donoghue-McCaul, teacher

Do you live in Raheny? If so, please tell us what it’s like to live there. Do you have a favourite place or a pet peeve in the neighbourhood? Email: homeanddesign@irishtimes.com