It's great to get out of the traffic and bustle of our busy neighborhood in Dublin. Going to a park in City Centre can be relaxing, but their prime location makes them busy and sometimes noisy. This noise is usually that of traffic and passing tourists, but sometimes that of street drunks screaming obscenities at each other. The Gardai (Irish police officers) usually can't be bothered with screaming drunks in the park, often preferring to keep walking the beat and enjoying the sunshine with the rest of the tourists.
Away from City Centre, south of our neighborhood and up the steep hill of Mount Merrion is Deer Park. The park is a nice suburban oasis in a quiet and affluent neighborhood, the perfect getaway from the noise of the city.
The park is divided into two halves and crisscrossed with walking paths. The east half is a traditional city park with a playground, greenspace, and a very dense mini forest in which to really feel out of the city. The western half of the park is playing fields for organized sports like tennis, soccer, Gaelic Football, Hurling, and rugby.
As mentioned earlier, the park is at the top of a steep hill on the south side of Dublin. This elevation affords a great view of Dublin city in a few little windows between buildings. Dublin sadly has very few prominent skyline features, but I enjoy a bird's-eye view of any city. In the photo below, look carefully in the center of the frame for the white obelisk Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park, several miles away.
|View of Western Dublin and Phoenix Park|
In the middle of the mini forest, it is easy to believe you've been transported to a temperate rainforest in the summertime. Every tree is covered with creeping ivy and vines, giving the illusion that the forest is much more dense than it really is. Seeing this brought me back to camping in the Redwoods of California last summer.
|It's a Jungle Out There|
If You Go
To be very honest, Deer Park shouldn't really be part of the tourist agenda. It is several miles from City Centre in a residential neighborhood. The local southside residents should definitely get out and enjoy this great resource. It is smaller and less busy than Donnybrook's Herbert Park.
Wherever you are, get out and enjoy a public park this summer.