Once part of the Guinness family estate, this 240-acre (97-hectare) park in north Dublin is dotted with pretty water features and follies. Much loved and often frequented by those who live nearby, St. Anne’s also offers tennis courts, a par-3 golf course, extensive rose gardens, an arboretum, and woodland and sea-view walking paths.
Though well-known by locals, this public park flies beneath the radar of most tourists, though some do stumble upon St. Anne’s while visiting the nearby Bull Island nature reserve. Those who do take the time to explore the rambling park will encounter a range of Instagramable scenes. Explore the Millennium Arboretum, where some 1,000 trees are planted; stroll along the edge of the Naniken River, which flows through St. Anne’s; and look for amusing follies, including temples and bridges, most of which were constructed during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
St. Anne’s Park also offers a children’s playground and picnic area. Guided walks in the park explore the follies, historic buildings, and garden highlights, such as the rose garden in summer.
Things to Know Before You Go
- St. Anne’s Park offers tranquil respite from the bustle of the city streets.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a rainproof jacket to protect you from Ireland’s frequent downpours.
- The park has a playground and a café, situated in a 19th-century stables building.
- The park’s paved paths are wheelchair and stroller accessible.
How to Get There
St. Anne’s Park is situated in Raheny in North Dublin, about 20 minutes’ drive from the city center. The park is served by Dublin Bus routes 29a, 32, and 130. Alternatively, ride the Dart train to Raheny station, which is 15 to 20 minutes’ walk away.
When to Get There
The best time to visit is in summer, when the roses are in bloom. The park is especially vibrant during the Rose Festival, which takes place the third weekend in July and features food vendors and live music performances. Plan to visit on a Saturday to check out the farmers market, which is held near the Red Stables.
The Follies of St. Anne’s
Many of the follies in the park were erected by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, whose father, Sir Arthur Guinness, founded Guinness brewery. The park originally served as the grounds for the Guinness family estate, and though the family mansion no longer stands, many landscaping features do. Notable follies include the hilltop Roman Tower, the waterside Pompeiian Temple, and Annie Lee Tower Bridge, which stands above what was once the main park entrance.