Being a strong supporter of the work hard, play hard attitude, I always like to make sure that my weekends are well spent. For this reason, I’m very much keen on planning day trips or weekend breaks within a two-hour radius from London. Dublin is the perfect getaway if you want to spend a casual day, with a little bit of culture blended in.
Our cheap return flight to Dublin took no longer than an hour and a half, which is less than your total commute on some particularly busy days in London. It was going to be quite chilly, but we decided we could brave the almost constant wind by interspersing our route with plenty of covered sites.
We went straight for the city’s crown jewel from a cultural point of view – Trinity College and the Old Library. The Long Room in the Old Library has been at the top of my Pinterest travel list for ages, and pictures definitely don’t do it justice.
We saw the Book of Kells, a 1200-year-old lavishly decorated manuscript. The pages are made of calf skin vellum, and the illustrations use numerous natural pigments to achieve this exquisite decorative effect. The book is considered to be Ireland’s biggest national treasure, so it’s definitely worth seeing.
After we had soaked up some culture, we thought it would be good to soak up some good old atmosphere too. We passed through a covered market, went out onto King’s Street and Wicklow street, and ducked back into a nice little pub, of which you would find plenty in Dublin city centre, especially around the Temple Bar area. While there, you could also wander over to the Ha’Penny Bridge, or if you’re feeling extra cold, you could stop by for a warming whiskey tour of the Old Jameson Distillery just across the Liffey River.
After a quick lunch we paid a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where we were amazed by the stained glass windows, the vaulted ceilings, and the vastness of the nave. It took us a while to go around the whole building, and there were plenty historical artefacts to explore, including the grave of Johnatan Swift.
When we left St Patrick’s, it was already time for tea. This was also suggested by the sun slanting in the sky, and the increasingly colder wind. We came across an incredible little tea room, Oolong Flower Power, with close to a hundred different types of tea, which also offered some great vegan cakes and light bites. If you like that type of place, I highly recommend it, even if it’s a little bit out of your way!
Finally, we indulged in some shopping in Stephen’s Green shopping centre, which had a really nice feel to it, with a light open interior. It was almost as though we were taking a walk out on the street, but in a much warmer, less windy fashion!
Here’s one last tip for your trip to Dublin. Make your way to Rustic Stone for some excellent nutritious food. All the ingredients they use are super fresh, and the taste of the meals is amazing. You can even watch them cook some of the food right by your table, and they are known for having a fabulous selection of cocktails to boot. So don’t be shy, go and say hi, and they’ll be happy to tell you about their latest speciality.
Let me know if you’ve been to an unmissable place in Dublin, as I’m still building my Pinterest list up. Hey, it’s just over an hour away!