Ruined castles, beautiful views and the Dart: make a move to Shankill

With permission granted for nearly 700 new homes, this sleepy suburb is set to grow

Out for a walk on a bright spring morning on Shankill Beach in south Co Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Out for a walk on a bright spring morning on Shankill Beach in south Co Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton

 

What’s so good about it?

Much like its neighbours Killiney and Bray, the south Co Dublin coastal suburb of Shankill was developed in the 19th century as an out-of-town base for well-heeled Dubliners. Now, it’s a village with a gentle and settled pace of life, and a neat main street with shops, a library cafe and pubs. A Lidl and Costa coffee shop have made the area even more liveable. The village is by the beach and has transport links that link it to the city as well as neighbouring villages Bray and Killiney.

It is a historic area with ruined churches, standing stones and castles, and has seen rapid growth in recent years.

Growth isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. The green light was recently given to planners for 685 new homes near Shanganagh cemetery, thought to include 480 apartments, 207 houses and 48 duplexes. Public transport facilities are also planned for the area, including a new Dart station.

What’s not so good?

Like many areas on the coastline (and Dart line), property isn’t exactly cheap. The beach is stony and could do with being more accessible and buggy friendly. During peak time traffic can be ghastly, with a trip from Shankill to nearby Bray taking up to 30 minutes.

Locals worry that large-scale development may put pressure on existing resources. The BusConnects programme may also take a toll in the future, and is causing concern within the area. Changes to the bus corridors and surrounding roads could potentially mean the removal of many mature trees and hedges, which line most of the route.

Where and what to buy?

At 28 Maryland House, Beechfield Haven, downsizers over 55 can avail of an opportunity to buy a two-bed, two-bath apartment (€289,950, via Castle Estate Agents). The property, within a retirement complex, has the benefit of a direct line to Beechfield Manor nursing home, which is within the complex grounds, offering 24 hour assistance to independent dwellers.

Mill House at Mill Lane, Shankill, is a four-bed, one-bath double-fronted period house with almost 155 square metres of living space (€400,000, via Lisney Dalkey). The property needs total refurbishment but could be make for an interesting project.

Sherrington Cottage on the Dublin Road (€565,000 via Lisney Dalkey) is a three-bed, two-bath home boasting plenty of charm, quirk and privacy.

Young families, meanwhile, might like the sound of 88 Rathsallagh Park (€325,000, via Mitchell Douglas). The three-bed terraced house could use a refresh but is situated near Scoil Mhuire and a cluster of green spaces.

Houses on the Dublin Road in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Houses on the Dublin Road in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Shrewsbury Road in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Shrewsbury Road in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Aubrey apartments in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Aubrey apartments in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Shrewsbury Hall in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Shrewsbury Hall in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Where and what to rent?

As a settled area, rentals can sometimes be few and far between in this particular neighbourhood. Expect to pay about €1,800-€2,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, €2,000-€2,200 for a three-bed property or €2,200-€2,500 for a four-bedroom house.

Where to eat and drink?

Please note that some or all of these restaurants and cafes may be temporarily closed do to the coronavirus outbreak.

On the main drag, there are casual dining options galore. You can choose between Chinese restaurant Grace’s Garden, above Brady’s Pub (27 Dublin Road), takeaway Bernardo’s (Dublin Road), Andrew’s Chinese Takeaway (2 Main Street) or Camile Thai (Ashwood House, Main Street). Brady’s of Shankill is an award-winning local that serves up decent carvery fare close to the Dart. Cafe Gourmet at the BBQ Centre on Shankill Road offers great coffee and deli fare (and has a handy kids’ menu, too).

Who lives there?

According to myhome.ie’s research, 39 per cent of Shankill’s population comprises families. It has a pretty young population, too. The age breakdown: 23 per cent of locals are under 16; 26 per cent are in the 16-34 category; 23 per cent are aged 35-49; 17 per cent are 50-64; and 11 per cent are over 65.

Good for families?

It being south Co Dublin, you’re not short of good school options in the area. In Shankill itself, you’ll find Scoil Mhuire primary school (Catholic, mixed), Rathmichael Parish National School (Church of Ireland, mixed) and St Anne’s (Catholic, mixed). In nearby Loughlinstown, there’s Scoil Cholmcille Junior and Senior (Catholic, mixed). Ballybrack holds other primary school options: there’s St Columbanus (Catholic, mixed), St John’s (Catholic, mixed) and Gaelscoil Phádraig (Catholic mixed).

Signs on the Dublin Road in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton
Signs on the Dublin Road in Shankill. Photograph: Laura Hutton

On the second-level front, St Laurence College in Loughlinstown (Catholic, mixed), John Scottus (interdenominational, mixed), Woodbrook College in Woodbrook Glen (Catholic, mixed) and Holy Child (Catholic, girls) are popular with locals. A little farther afield lies St Gerard’s in Bray (Catholic, mixed).

Getting there and getting around

Taking a Dart from the city centre, you will reach Shankill station in just over half an hour. The Luas from St Stephen’s Green to Cherrywood is an option. Road-wise, the N11 and M50 are accessible.

What do locals say?

“We have lived in the village for 24 years and it really is a wonderful place. First of all it is set between the sea and the mountains, so there are spectacular views of the bay from Bray to Dalkey with Killiney Hill and Bray Head on either end. Then to the west there are the hills with the old lead mines and Sugar Loaf in the distance. We have many natural assets and there are lovely walks to be had.

“The community of Shankill is vibrant and buzzing, with a great mix of young and old. There are a number of schools, churches and shops, and there are many groups and organisations, which cater for a wide variety of interests. The Tidy Towns is very active and we have done very well in the competition in recent years. This is largely down to great community spirit and environmental awareness combined with many natural assets like the beach, Shanganagh Park and the tree-lined roads throughout the village and local estates.” Carol Scott.

Do you live in Wicklow town? 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

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