Malahide Castle is one of Ireland's oldest castles, built on land given to Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied King Henry II of England to Ireland in 1174. The Talbot family resided in the castle for nearly 800 years, up until 1975 when one of the last heiresses turned it over to the Irish State.
Now visitors may take guided tours of the castle and grounds, tracing the Talbot family's history back through portraits, artifacts, and stories. The most interesting rooms of the castle include the Oak Room, filled with decorative carvings, and the Great Hall, which is lined with paintings of the family. Keep your eyes and ears open as you wander through the rooms - you may just spot one of the castle's five ghosts!
Malahide is just 8 mi (13 km) north of Dublin, a short car or bus ride away. While the main draw to the area is the castle, the surrounding acres of parkland, known as the Malahide Demesne, are also worth exploring. Within the park are several attractions, including the Talbot Botanic Gardens, Fry Model Railway and Museum of Childhood, which features a miniature castle as well as a collection of antique dolls and toys.