Make a move to Sutton: a family-friendly idyll by the sea

You will need deep pockets to settle in this affluent north Dublin suburb

What’s so good about it?

Along with Clontarf and Howth, Sutton ranks as one of the pricier neighbourhoods on Dublin's northside, but there's definitely much to love here. The neighbourhood is tranquil and safe, with no shortage of amenities. It's a great spot to sample seafront living, without the hectic weekend vibe – or the throng of tourists at that – of Howth and Malahide. In fact, Sutton would probably be considered more residential and classically affluent than many of its surrounding neighbourhoods. The Burrow Beach (or the Hole In The Wall, as it's known locally) is a gorgeous expanse of beach, while Portmarnock is also within easy reach.

What’s not so good?

There are no two ways about it: you will need deep pockets to set up home as a family here (and we mean in Sutton proper, not Baldoyle or Bayside or Kilbarrack, neighbourhoods that estate agents are likely to describe as Sutton). And as anyone who has sat in traffic in the Cross will easily attest, it's one of the most frustrating spots in the city to approach by car. Also, you need to travel a little outside the area to find a decent, dyed-in-the-wool Dublin pub (see below).

Where and what to buy?

About half of Sutton’s housing stock is ’60s/’70s build houses – new builds, meanwhile, are few and far between, with only 3 per cent of local housing built after 2000. Even now, houses in the area sell quickly irrespective of condition, and often sell for more than the asking price.

At €325,000,thisa ground-floor apartment at 106 Sutton Park (via JB Kelly, Tel: 01-8393402) provides a rare opportunity to snare a three-bed property at this price point.


Meanwhile, 7 Beach View (€380,000, via Sherry FitzGerald Sutton, Tel: 01-8394022) is a three-bed terraced house that's new to market and not likely to hang about for long.

4 Binn Eadair View (€850,000, via JB Kelly, Tel: 01-8393402) is a five-bed family home close to Sutton Cross, the Dart station and the coastal cycle path.

Of, if you really feel like breaking the bank, there's always Moy Ire on the Dublin Road (€2.95 million, Tel: 01-8183000), a five-bed, six-bath slice of interiors heaven with enviable coastal views.

Where and what to rent?

Expect to have to work fast, as property rentals are few and far between. At the time of going to press, one two-bedroom apartment was available on a short-term let at €2,500 a month, while a house in nearby Bayside was on offer at €2,600 a month.

Where to eat and drink?

The Marine Hotel at 13 Sutton Cross is your best bet for a drink and meal (try the Meridian Restaurant there). As an added bonus, its back garden boasts great views of Dublin Bay. However, if you want a proper pub, you'll be better off heading towards the bounty of hostelries in Howth, or The Elphin (36 Baldoyle Road) and White House in Baldoyle (12-13 Main Street).

On the restaurant front, you could also give the Golden Elephant (Sutton Cross Shopping Centre) a whirl. Meanwhile, Minetta Deli (1A Sutton Road) promises to bring a slice of NYC to Dublin 13.

Who lives there?

According to research, about one-third of Sutton’s populace is made up of families seeking out the good life by the seaside, while 28 per cent of residents are couples without children, and 22 per cent are lone dwellers. While almost 40 per cent of Sutton denizens are under 34, it’s thought that about a fifth of the local population is aged 65 and over – well above the national average of 12 per cent in that age bracket.

Good for families?

Absolutely. As a more mature neighbourhood, there are several family-friendly cul-de-sacs to live in, and the pre-school options, from the Little Rainbows creche to the Little People creche, are plentiful. In terms of primary schools, choose from St Fintan's (Catholic, mixed) or Burrow School (Church of Ireland, mixed), or nearby Howth Primary School (Catholic, mixed). There are three secondary  schools in the area: St Fintan's High School (Catholic, boys), Santa Sabina Dominican College (Catholic, girls), and Sutton Park (Church of Ireland, mixed).

If your kids are sporty types, there will be plenty to keep them occupied, including the Sutton Dinghy Club at Sutton Creek, footgolf at Deerpark, and Sutton Tennis Club, which has 12 outdoor courts and is the biggest club in the country for junior squash.

Getting there and getting about

Apart from the Dart service, which will get you into the city within a half-hour comfortably, Dublin Bus has an extensive service in and out of Sutton (31, 31A, 31B, 32, 31N). The 102 bus connects Sutton to Dublin Airport, too. A cycleway connects Sutton to Fairview and Clontarf, which is handy for energetic commuters. However, Sutton can sometimes expect heavy traffic on the main Dublin to Howth road on weekends.

What do locals say?

“I’d grown up on the Dart line and always wanted to raise my kids near the sea, and at the height of the recession I managed to do that. I’m not sure I could afford to buy there in the current climate. But there are tons of great activities there for my family, and the road we are on is extremely settled. It’s as close to the idyll of my own ’80s childhood as it’s possible to get.” Lisa McNamara, lab technician.