Located at the end of a bus journey, or halfway through a train journey, Malahide is a mere 30 minutes or less from the centre of Dublin and just 10 minutes from Dublin International Airport. The adult single fare, correct at time of writing, is £1.10.
A seaside town, Malahide held the 'tidiest town' prize for several years before the rapid expansion of all the commuter towns surrounding Dublin finally sucked Malahide into the net, too. It is now one of the more exclusive addresses around, with houses often selling for up to twice the price of similar sites in other towns. It boasts a castle (home to the Talbot family) with spacious grounds, a marina, and a very nice beach and several rather exclusive golf courses, all in the vicinity.
Located on a river estuary, the town, as it stands today, really started to expand in the early decades of the 20th Century as the Talbot family started leasing off more land for residential purposes. The town boasts some very attractive Georgian houses along Church Road though the millionaires' mansions along the Malahide Road and out along the back road are almost as impressive. If you are just coming for the architecture, the marina village is a more impressive sight. Perched between the railway bridge and the estuary mouth, it commands the view along the river. However, due to a slight lack of foresight, the view is often marred by the dredgers that are in constant use to keep the channel clear.
The castle has extensive grounds encompassing several GAA1 pitches, a cricket pitch - which is unusual in Ireland, for the Irish aren't known for their love of the game - tennis courts and a par three golf course next to a pitch and putt course. The castle itself hosts the national portrait gallery and a top class model railway exhibit. Well worth a visit.
A Few Pubs
The centre of the town boasts three main pubs: Duffy's, Gibney's and Smyth's. As it's Ireland, Guinness is a speciality in all of the pubs.
Duffy's has a mostly older clientele that congregates in the bar and lounge area downstairs. A slightly younger crowd may occasionally be found in the upstairs bar.
Gibney's caters to a younger crowd, though a great variety can occasionally be seen. Probably the most popular pub in town, it has several bars, a karaoke stage and its own off licence next door if you get fed up with the locals and want to head home for a quiet drink.
Smyth's is across the road from Gibney's, and attracts people in their mid-twenties to thirties. Generous seating and plenty of televisions tuned to sports. Tends not to get quite as crowded as Gibney's.
One of the more exclusive hotels in North County Dublin can be found in Malahide. The Grand Hotel is often used for business conferences and boasts its own swimming pool, gym and restaurant besides the top class accommodation. It is located at the end of the main street into the town if you approach from the castle and is minutes' walk from the beach.
And a Very Nice Beach
Malahide has its very own sandy beach. However, the current is very strong and there is a vicious undertow due to the river estuary. Bathing is not suggested until you get around to the Irish Sea coast, which is south of the estuary, where the current is weaker. A favoured place is by the high and low rocks, which create natural diving platforms, only slightly tampered with by man, to provide steps so you can get back out of the water.
A Suggested Walk
No matter what the weather, try going for a walk along the Beach as far as Portmarnock (the next town over), it doesn't take much more than 15 - 20 minutes each way and is very relaxing, offering good views of Ireland's eye and Howth Head across the bay.