Malahide Castle is one of Ireland’s most easily accessible, important, and oldest castles. The crenelated site was in the hands of the Talbot family for almost 800 years before being sold to the state in 1975. Behind its sturdy stone exterior, the oldest parts of which date as far back as the 12th century, is an antique-rich interior, while the 260-acre (105-hectare) estate features walled gardens and glasshouses.
Castle admission can be booked in advance. Once on site, visitors can explore the area with a tour guide or opt to independently tour the castle grounds and botanical gardens, where more than 5,000 species of plants grow. Malahide Castle can also be seen during guided full- or half-day tours of Dublin’s north coast. These typically include round-trip transport from Dublin city center and free time to explore Howth village, which overlooks Dublin Bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Malahide Castle makes a great day-trip destination for history buffs and gardening enthusiasts.
- Malahide Castle tours last 45 minutes.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring rainproof gear so you can explore the grounds, no matter the weather.
- A visitor center, Avoca café, children’s playground, and shop are located on the estate.
- Special events, such as concerts, take place on occasion.
- The castle is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Malahide Castle is eight miles (13 kilometers) from Dublin city center. Car-free visitors can get there by organized tour, by Dublin Bus routes 32 or 42, or by taking the DART (Dublin’s electric rail system) to Malahide station, which is located in Malahide village. The station is less than a 5-minute drive (25-minute walk) from the castle entrance.
When to Get There
To explore the walled gardens and grounds, and perhaps even enjoy a picnic at the castle, the best time of the year to do so is in summer. This is when the weather is warmest, though be warned—rain is still a common occurrence even in summer. Avoid the biggest crowds by coming on a weekday, or if it’s a weekend, first thing after opening (9:30am).
The Ghosts of Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle is popular among ghost hunters and rumors fly concerning the castle’s spectral residents. It’s said that up to five separate ghosts haunt the estate, with Puck—a 16th-century jester—being the most famous of them all. His last reported appearance was way back in 1976.