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Phoenix Park (Dublin)

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6 Reviews

This is Dublin's playground - the largest urban enclosed park in Europe, with a Circumference of 11km (7m) and a total area of 712 hectares (1,760 acres). Situated 3km (2m) west of the city centre. Ornamental gardens, nature trails, and broad expanses of grassland, separated by avenues of trees, including oak, beech, pine, chestnut, and lime. Livestock graze peacefully on pasturelands, deer roam the forested areas, and horses romp on polo fields.

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    6 Reviews
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      18.10.2009 16:25

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      I live beside the park and i do alot of wildlife photography and have done for the last 7 years i know nearly every inch of it and it is a beautiful tranquill park in early morning when there is no traffic traveling through it, the reason i am writing this is to try promote the beautiful wildlife we have here in this vast park who cares what size the park is, there is an abundance of wildlife here that not many dublin or irish people know about for people who are intrested here is a short list of certain species that inhabit this beautiful..... over 15 species of butterflies,9 of bats,4 raptors, 80 birds,8 dragonflies-damsel,7 fish,turtles,10 mammals lots insects, And personally i think the O,P,W should do more to promote and conserve the wildlife that inhabits this park and to attract more of the winter visitors in redkite32.....

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      17.11.2008 00:54
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      A must see!

      I was sitting thinking of something really worthwhile to review and I remembered my excellent breathtaking visit to Europe's biggest city park. Phoenix Park in Dublin honestly took my breath away and not just for it`s sheer size (1,752 acres) to be precise but also for its beauty.

      The entire park is so well looked after and there is so much to do and see in it I really would say it is worth visiting Dublin for all on its own. There is a huge area which is filled with sporting arenas of one type or the other such as cricket pitches, Football and rugby pitches and even polo pitches, if you visit the park on Wednesdays or Sundays from May to September you can witness live games of polo which I have to say is great to watch.

      There is so much more to see besides and some spectacular views to boot, the phoenix monument, Ashtown castle and the deer and other wildlife just to name a few.

      As with most parks there are snack vans and ice cream vans to grab a bite to eat or a drink from and it is just as well as you really could be in this park all day and then some.

      If you are in Dublin you have to visit this park and if you have no plans to visit Dublin then make some because this place is amazing, oh and don't forget to take a camera whatever you do!

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      13.02.2008 14:18

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      If the lengths you are giving are right, the largest european urban park would be "Casa de Campo" (Madrid, Spain) with 4,254 acres (1,722 ha).

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      17.01.2008 15:12
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      The biggest inner city Park is located in Poland not in Ireland.

      In my opinion 'Phoenix Park' in Dublin is definetely not the largest inner-city park in the Europe.
      I think that you should count mainland Europe's countries as well. As far as I am aware Poland is in Europe as well. Moreover it is one of the biggest European countries. 'Silesian Culture and Recreation Park or Voivodship Culture and Recreation Park' located in Katowice (Poland) is the biggest city park in Europe. Its area is 620 hectares (1532,055 acre). Which means that this park is much more bigger than Phoenix Park. This park has got much more to offer as well: Silesian stadium which hosts national football matches, motorcycle speedway world championships and music festivals, Planetarium, Zoological Garden with dinosaurs valley, Ethnographic Park, Amusement Park, International Trade Hall, Swimming pool complex, Water sports centre, tennis courts, restaurants, cafes etc. Moreover its got Poland's largest rose garden, home to over 30,000 and one of the most beautiful in the world. There is also 'Elka chairlift' which is an unique city chairlift in Europe. It's running in a huge triangle up to 20m above the park between the Silesian Stadium, Amusement Park and Planetarium and carring up to 1,300 people every hour at a speed of 1,6 m per second. This chairlift is 6 km long.

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        24.11.2007 11:15

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        phoenix park maybe 1,760 acres but sutton park in birmingham covers 2,400 acres so is this the largest in europe ?

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        29.01.2002 20:00
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        ~ ~ The Phoenix park in Dublin has the distinction of being the largest inner-city park in the whole of Europe. It is a truly marvellous amenity for the people not only of Dublin, bit of the whole of the country, and for the countless thousands of visitors who visit our “Green Isle” every year. When I say that it is a large park, I really do mean it is a LARGE park!! At 1,752 acres, it could quite literally take you days to walk round it completely, and to visit its many attractions. It’s easy enough to find. From O’Connell Street Bridge in the city centre, simply walk up the quays of the River Liffey for about a mile and a half, and you simply can’t miss it. ~ ~ The Phoenix Park came into existence in 1662. James, the Duke of Ormond, wanted to create a royal deer park, on the off chance that if the then King, Charles 2nd, ever decided to pay him a visit in Dublin and fancied a bit of hunting and “craic”, he wouldn’t have far to travel from Dublin Castle. But right from the start, the common people of Dublin claimed it for their own, and used it for common grazing, despite the Duke’s best efforts to dissuade them from doing so. (the Irish were always a stubborn and obstinate lot!) To this day the deer roam free in the park’s precincts, and in fact are something of a danger to the heavy traffic that now uses the through route to the suburbs of Castleknock and Blanchardstown on the north side of the city. Many’s a time they have put the heart crossways in me by jumping out in front of my taxi at night, when it is impossible to see them coming until they are right in front of you. Nowadays they are practically tame, and it is sometimes possible to get them to eat titbits right out of your hand, if they are approached quietly. The deer are mostly of the dappled, fallow variety, but if you keep your eyes peeled you might just spot a few of the native Irish red deer,
        which are becoming increasingly rare these days, but there are still a few colonies of them here in the Park. During the day, the deer are usually to be found in the spinneys near the Castleknock Gate entrance at the north side of the Park. ~ ~ The main road through the Park takes you past the sports grounds and cricket pitches, which are used extensively by the public. (It may surprise some of you over in the UK to know that cricket is still played extensively here in Ireland). This main road is lined for its full length with old Dublin gas-lamps, which in recent years the Corporation have fully restored to working order. Also just off the main road is Dublin Zoo, which was founded in 1830, and has been expanded in size and given a complete facelift in the last few years, and is well worth a visit. (But that’s another opinion) On a Sunday, the Park really comes to life. As well as the cricket, soccer, and rugby pitches, you have cyclists and walkers by the score, and horse riding is commonplace. On three afternoons a week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, from May to September) you can even see people playing real “pony polo”. This is a highly skilled and very old sport that has been played here in Dublin for centuries, and is great fun to watch. Model enthusiasts (cars and aeroplanes) use the park to hone their skills, and some of them are very skilled indeed. During the summer, you will also hear the roar of real Formula Racing car engines, as there is a series of races held here on a closed circuit inside the park, which provide a fantastic and thrilling spectacle, and are free of charge to spectators. Again, there is an old tradition of motor racing here, with actual Grand Prix races being held here during the 1920’s. One old legend has it that a Grand Prix was once held up by a steward when a family of red squirrels decided to take an afternoon stroll across the racetrack! These red squirrels
        used to abound here in the Park, but nowadays you are more likely to see the more common grey variety, as the red squirrel population is also sadly in decline. ~ ~ As you enter the park from the main city entrance in Parkgate Street, there is an open area on your right hand side called the “Fifteen Acres”. Quite how it got this name I’m not sure, as the actual size of the area is 195 acres. It was here in 1979 that the current Pope, John Paul the Second, said Mass for a congregation of over one and a half million people, at that time more than half of the population of the whole of the Republic! This was an astounding spectacle, and hundreds of priests were used to distribute Holy Communion. A huge monumental cross, appropriately named the Papal Cross, (more commonly called the Pope’s Cross) has been erected here in memory of the occasion. ~ ~ On the main road through to Castleknock you will also see two very grand white country houses, practically opposite each other on either side of the road. On the right hand side is “Aras an Uachtarain”, the residence of the President of Ireland, the present incumbent being the Northern Irish barrister, Mary McAleese, who succeeded that well known world figure, Mary Robinson, who is now the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This is a splendid old mansion, and is open to the public every Saturday when guided tours are conducted. (free of charge) It is not unheard of for the President to come out and actually chat to visitors, as she is often in residence, and she is truly a “President of the People”, having never lost sight of her ordinary roots. (She is VERY popular here in Ireland because of this trait.) Opposite the President’s house, on the left hand side of the road, is the American Ambassador’s Residence. Again, this is a magnificent old mansion, but no public tours here, as the American Secret Service guard
        s it day and night. I have been inside the house on a few occasions however, when I was driving Foreign Office personnel on official business in my taxi. I even got sandwiches and some totally delicious coffee (Red Mountain?) delivered to me once (on a solid silver platter!) by an ENORMOUS Secret Service agent. I kid you not! He must have been seven and a half feet tall if he was an inch, but a very pleasant fellow once I got him chatting. I wouldn’t have fancied getting on the wrong side of him though. There was a suspicious bulge under his jacket that I’m sure was a gun resembling a small cannon of some description! ~ ~ In the extreme south-west corner of the Park is the Knockmaroon Gate, beside which is an Information Centre, where you can get information on all aspects of the Park, and full details of all its various types of wildlife and country walks. Right beside this Centre is the start of a Nature Trail, which is very well signposted, and which leads you eventually deep into a wild area of the Park called the “Furry Glen”. This is a fantastic ramble on a pleasant sunny afternoon! ~ ~ If you follow the signposts from the Phoenix Monument, you will find yourself at the Phoenix park Visitor’s Centre, which is within the grounds of Ashtown Castle. Here again, you can obtain full information on all the Park’s many amenities, and also enjoy a wee cuppa and a selection of cakes. The Castle itself was only discovered fairly recently. It was originally built in the 1600’s, at the time the Park was opened, and was the residence of the park-keeper, whose job it was to stop the deer and wildlife being poached by the Dublin rabble. Later it became part of a more regular house, and was plastered over. This house was for many years the residence of the Papal Ambassador to Ireland, and it was only when it was demolished in the 1980’s that the original Castle structure was discovere
        d. A miniature maze has also been built here that is great for keeping the youngster’s (and some not so young) amused, while you partake of your refreshment. ~ ~ One last grand mansion located in the Park deserves a mention. Situated near the Castleknock Gate, “Farmleigh” was for many years the home of the legendary Guinness family. It came up for auction in the late 1990’s, and the Irish Government purchased it as a State Residence for visiting Heads of State and dignitaries. Many millions were spent renovating and modernising this old house, and now it is quite literally a palace. You can take a look for yourself, as the Government have opened it to public display when it is not in use on official State business. ~ ~ Well. That just about covers it folks. My apologies for the length of this opinion, but it has been in the melting pot for a long time, and simply kept increasing in length every time I worked on it. If you ever visit Dublin, then be sure not to miss this marvellous Park. It is well worth the visit.

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