All About Killiney

Killiney is quickly becoming one of my favorite places, and I wanted to tell you all about it. It’s so peaceful and it’s so close to the ocean, you can’t help but feel at ease. If you’re ever in Dublin, you have to visit!

To set the scene: Old, moss-covered stone walls line the streets. Flowers sprout from the cracks in the wall and berry bushes grow above them, their vines crawling along the stone. The ocean murmurs near by as it folds over the pebble shore, revealing large rocks and forgotten structures from long ago. At sunrise, the east-facing blue waters are set alight by yellows and oranges and pinks. Monolith structures and castles peer over the hills, watching the horizon for long-forgotten invaders. Paths from the hills wind down to the water through wild foliage and the occasional foxhole. Beautiful homes dot the land through the avenues, with the occasional belltower, monument, or ruin along the way. There’s almost a constant breeze from the sea, wafting through the trees and picking up the sweet notes of the flowers. The train rumbles through the coast, yellow lights illuminating its path. The air is damp and cool.

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You’d almost believe you were in the countryside, but you’re really just a quick train ride away from Dublin city centre. One stop north, and you’re in Dalkey. Three or four stops more, you’re in Dun Laoghaire. A couple stops south, and you’re in Bray and the Greystones. You’ve all the benefits of a major city while somehow still maintaining the feel of a village.  I don’t know how they managed it, but it’s magic here.

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Killiney in Irish is Cill Iníon Léinín, meaning “Church of the Daughters of Léinín.” The area was first settled around the 6th century, but people really started living here in the 11th century when a church (above) was built in the area. The church still stands today and serves as an ancient reminder of the areas beginnings.

For many centuries, much of Killiney was under the control of the Talbot de Malahide family, some of the original followers of the 1170 Norman invasion.  Killiney later became a popular seaside resort town in the 18th century – Queen Victoria even came for a visit! Killiney bay is often compared to the Bay of Naples in Italy, leading to it’s popularity as a seaside getaway – be sure to keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins!

Killiney Hill park has views of Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay, Bray Head and Great Sugar Loaf mountain. You can see the Wicklow Mountains to the south all the way right to Howth Head in the north. The park’s highest point, the obelisk, is 170 meters above sea  level. The obelisk on top of Killiney Hill stands as a reminder of the great famine of 1741.

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Notable members of the Killiney community include Bono, Enya, the Edge, and Eddie Irvine. Enya lives in a big castle! It’s pretty cool. I haven’t seen any of them yet, but people promise me they’re around!

The transportation in Killiney is really easy as well. The area is served by the Dublin Bus route 59 which goes from Killiney Hill to Dún Laoghaire about every hour. It takes about 15 minutes. An Aircoach service from Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel links Killiney with Dublin Airport all day, every day. There’s also the train station, with departures nearly every 10 minutes. It’s easy to get around!

The people in the community are honestly so great. Everyone I’ve met or talked to has been so warm and kind. The place almost exudes a warmth – it’s like a balm for your soul. The Killiney train station has a delightful coffee shop in it, so be sure to stop by for a yummy homemade treat or coffee (they take all types of currency!).

It’s really a paradise. So, if you’re ever in need of a seaside escape, head off to Killiney. You really won’t regret it!

Slán go fóill!

Kaity

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