Over twice the size of Central Park New York, The Phoenix Park is one of the largest designed landscapes in any European city and it's on our doorstep.
The Victorian Tea Rooms, situated along picturesque Chesterfield Avenue, have drawn visitors since the late 1800s! Constructed as a refreshment kiosk for visitors to The Park and nearby Dublin Zoo, today the Tea Rooms serve a wide variety of delicious, freshly made dishes. This beautiful landmark building, constructed in 1896 for the princely sum of three hundred and forty pounds, has captured the imagination of numerous artists and film makers. An outdoor seating area is provided which is ideal for those lazy summer days.
Farmleigh House and Estate is one of our favourite attractions in the Phoenix Park, a historic house holding important collections, an art gallery, a working farm, and the official Irish State guest house. This estate of 78 acres was purchased from the Guinness family by the Irish Government in 1999 with the house being carefully refurbished. A historic house, Farmleigh remains a unique representation of its heyday, the Edwardian period, and boasts a working farm with a herd of Kerry Black cows! Farmleigh House and Estate is open seven days a week, is free to visit and tours of the house and gardens are available from Monday to Sunday between 10.00 and 17.30. Situated on the grounds overlooking an ornamental lake the Boathouse Café allows you to enjoy a wonderful setting while enjoying quality nutritional food, complemented by an excellent wine/drinks list, speciality coffees, and confectionery. A must-visit for both couples and families alike.
The Fallow Deer the parks most famous residents. The deer have been living in the Phoenix Park since the 17th Century!! They were introduced to the park for hunting, but fortunately, these days the deer live out a peaceful life in the park. They are free to roam the 1,750 acre park so you’ll need a bit of time to spot the 600 or so residents. Travel along the main road until you get to the cricket field and then keep an eye out in the wooded area or later in the day, the herd tends to move away from here towards the back end of the park, near where you’ll find the soccer fields. It is advised keeping a distance of at least 50 metres from the deer and although they are cute, please don’t touch or feed the deer. Good times for all ages and happy exploring!
The Magazine Fort built in 1735, it was occupied by British Armed Forces until 1922 when it was turned over to the Irish Defence Forces after the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The Irish Army continued to operate the site as an ammunition store through the mid-20th century and was fully demilitarised by the 1980s. The main body of the fort is approximately 2 acres in area, is surrounded by a dry moat and the walls are approximately 1.5 metres (5 ft) thick!! Sadly the site is in a somewhat derelict state but some repairs were undertaken in 2016 to allow for the site to be partially opened to the public initially as part of 1916 Rising centenary events. The OPW does operate guided tours of the site, with limited tours departing the Phoenix Park visitor centre at set times on Sundays, from April to October. It's a little off the beaten path for most but perfect for those looking for an outdoor pursuit.
The Playground located beside the picturesque Victorian Walled Garden beside the Visitor Centre has proved to be a major attraction since opening in 2008. The imaginatively themed design of this playground is bright and attractive with a great variety of play units, including provision for children with disabilities. Health and Safety has been a primary factor in the design of the playground, and on the environmental front, significant use has been made of recycled materials in the manufacture of both the play units and the ground surface. The EVOS multi-activity play unit is particularly worthy of mention, as it is the first of its kind in the country. The playground is suitable for children from 4 to 12 years old. Opening hours for the playground is 9.30am to one hour before sunset all year round. Parents will be happy to hear that the Phoenix Café is located in the grounds of the Visitor Centre adjoining The Walled Garden serving a wide range of healthy and vibrant salads, freshly baked quiches and specials, as well as the renowned scones which are baked fresh every morning! The café recently won the Best Café In Ireland Award voted by Irish Times readers, as well as McKenna’s Best In Ireland Guides, and Georgina Campbell Awards. If you're lucky enough to be visiting us this Summer make sure to add this to the agenda.
Dublin Zoo - We can't talk about the Phoenix Park without mentioning one of Dublin's most visited attractions Dublin Zoo. With over 1 million visitors a year Dublin Zoo is a must-see experience and the perfect day out for families, friends, couples and those visiting Castleknock Hotel. Founded as a private society the zoo opened its doors on September 1, 1831 and 1840, featuring 46 mammals and 72 birds donated by London Zoo the gates opened to the public for a penny on Sundays! Now officially Ireland’s biggest family attraction the zoo is home to over 400 animals from all over the globe. Many of the animals living at Dublin Zoo are extremely rare species and they partner with over 25 conservation organisations worldwide as well as take part in international breeding programmes for endangered species. Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation and price of your ticket will help to continuously improve the Dublin Zoo habitats, fund breeding programmes for endangered species and support worldwide conservation projects – not bad for a fun-filled family day out! Castleknock Hotel is also proud to support Dublin Zoo through the adoption of the Giraffe herd on an annual basis. Add a Family Day Pass (Admission for 2 Adults & 2 Children) to your family adventure at the checkout when booking your stay online or by asking a member of our reservations team when booking by phone! For more information including opening hours please Click Here.