Dublin is known universally as an entertaining and culturally interesting city, to be visited for its great night life; but we usually have a different idea of Ireland, made up of vast green fields, sheep, cliff tops and amazing landscapes that you can’t find by visiting the capital city.
In actual fact, just a few miles from Dublin, and even in Dublin itself, there are some places that are truly worth a visit, places that few tourists know about and that allow you to take a break from the chaos of the city in discovery of the real Ireland. Today, I will tell you about 10 places around Dublin in which you can snap away without being surrounded by tourists and without having to move to far from the city centre; each place is marked on the map with a number so that you can locate it and plan your route easily and quickly. The places chosen are all in the South, the best area for photographs taken at dawn or at sundown.
1. Poolbeg Lighthouse
A red lighthouse in Dublin, right on the edge of the city, looking straight out to sea and unreachable during coastal storms. You can get there on foot from Sandymount or from Ringsend or you can take a taxi. Not to be missed at very first light or in the evening at sundown, especially in the long summer evenings, when the sun does down very slowly and very late.
2 + 8. Seapoint
Seapoint is Dublin’s beach and was a Blue Flag site for several years. Located near Dun Laoghaire, it can be reached by DART and, in the morning, which is the best time to photograph it, it is full of people swimming in the sea, both in summer and winter.
Another beach, and again close to Dún Laoghaire, Sandycove is famous for the Martello Tower, where James Joyce took refuge for a week as the guest of the Irish poet Oliver St John Gogarty and which is also the set for the opening scene of Ulysses. Whilst the tower is famous, the surrounding beaches are not well known and are the ideal location for taking some unique images, especially at sunrise. You can get to Sandycove by DART.
4. Howth Lighthouse
Despite the fact that it is in all the tourist guides on Dublin and Ireland, Howth remains a fascinating destination, especially if visited at dawn or at sundown, when you can get some truly spectacular photographs and from angles different from those chosen by the tourist masses. The lighthouse is an excellent source of inspiration and, with the right light, the shots you take home will be really incredible. Howth can be reached by DART and by bus from the city centre.
5. Hawk Cliff
In the Killiney area, again on the DART line, you find Hawk Cliff: a series of cliffs, unknown to many, that stretch for 0.15 miles. Peace and tranquillity are the watchwords in this location and the experience of taking photographs at dawn, maybe with a few fishermen, is amazing.
6. White Rock
The long stretches of coastline in this area allow you capture the sacredness of a place which, once a seaside destination, is now one of the most peaceful and least frequented areas of Dublin. Its name, it is said, is derived from the colour of the rocks and from the effect of the sun reflecting on the water. Take the DART as far as Killiney and then ask for directions.
7. Samuel Beckett Bridge
You will be asking yourselves, ‘But surely everyone takes photographs of the Samuel Beckett Bridge?’, and the answer is easy: everyone takes pictures of it in exactly the same way, from the same angle and often at the same time of day. What is our advice? Go in the evening, as the sun drops behind the city and the first street lights start to come on; position yourself at a distance from the structure, in order to capture other elements in the foreground. You will find other photographers who will probably position themselves on the bridge to give a new perspective to the same photo and you will take home a unique photo of Dublin.
9. Jameson Chimney
As with the above: everyone takes pictures of the Jameson distillery but only a few from a different angle. All you have to do is change perspective and wait for the best light and an image that has, by now, become part of common knowledge changes and manages to tell you a lot more than you previously imagined.
10. Grand Canal
Grand Canal is one of the most lively and active areas of Dublin, home to the offices of the big multinationals. The far end of the canal, near to the Docks, is the ideal place for those who love to take photographs but who, once again, don’t want to end up taking the same old clichéd images. When the sun goes down and hides behind the theatre, reflecting on the still water, you are certain to get a great photo.
Article: Veruska Anconitano
Photos: Giuseppe Milo
La Cuochina Sopraffina is a food and travel blog by Veruska Anconitano. I work in marketing and communications, in very close contact with Giuseppe, the photographer responsible for the images and the technical aspects of my website (and who is also my husband and work partner!). It is very hard to pin us down because, for us, taking a flight is as habitual as brushing our teeth each morning. Together, we travel in discovery of the world with our photographic equipment and knife and fork always at the ready.
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