In a Nutshell:
A park not many people know about - hidden behind Dublin Castle, doubling as a helicopter landing site and rarely visited by tourists. But popular with the lunchtime crowd from the surrounding offices.
Where Do I Find the Dubh Linn Gardens?
Virtually hidden between Dublin Castle
and the Chester Beatty Library, just south of Dame Street. Easiest access is from Dame Street through the castle grounds.
How Do I Get to the Dubh Linn Gardens?
Many buses stop near Dublin Castle, as do most tour buses.
What are the Opening Times for the Dubh Linn Gardens?
Daylight hours - but occasionally closed to facilitate major events.
A Short History of the Park:
This is the original place of the dubh linn
, the dark pool. Where you stroll around the gardens today, in ancient times the river Dodder made a pool before flowing into the Liffey. Here the Vikings decided to settle. The Dodder today is a memory and has long been confined to a subterranean canal (or sewer). Only recently developed into formal gardens, the area is now a multi-purpose part of the castle grounds.
What to Expect at the Dubh Linn Gardens?
Most visitors are taken in with the colorful and bold artworks scattered around the garden - colorful ceramic tiles at the bird bath, a giant glass snake, the memorial to the 2003 Special Olympics. Take your time to walk around and explore. you will then also discover the bust of campaigning (and murdered) journalist Veronica Guerin, immortalised by Cate Blanchett in the film "Veronica Guerin"
. The central area of the gardens is surrounded by wooden benches sporting a low-key Ogham design (Ogham being the ancient Irish system of writing), while the grassy middle part is interrupted by a Celtic design formed by paving stones. This is only really visible from the air - and actually is used as a helicopter landing pad on occasion.
Are the Dubh Linn Gardens Secure?
Yes, a Garda station is right next to the park, casting a watchful eye over all the castle area.
Food and Drink in the Dubh Linn Gardens:
A good café can be found in the Chester Beatty Library just outside the gardens - otherwise bring your own from the numerous shops in Dame Street.