Botanic Gardens & Glasnevin Cemetery have always been on my “local bucket list” however I have always imagined it to be so much effort having to drive down to Dublin in traffic. I couldn’t be more wrong! They are less than 10 minutes drive once you get off the M50 and they have their own parking – winning. [There’s also free street parking on Sundays]
It’s a perfect day out for the family, easy on the eye for nature lovers and you can mix in some Irish culture if you decide to visit the museum at the Cemetery.
Admission to the cemetery and the gardens it’s free of charge, however if you wish to access the museum it’s €6.50 per adult, the O’Connell Tower admission is €12.00 per adult. This of course is not mandatory, but for those who enjoy a bit of history that option is always there. There are also number of general tours available, for more information visit the Glasnevin Cemetery Page.
The gardens are suitable for families with children of all ages as well as the elderly. There are no bicycles and scooters allowed; picnics are also prohibited. It’s a perfect calm spot for a family and a place where children can run freely among nature. There is plenty of benches to take a rest on, however I have not seen 1 rubbish bin (strange) so if you have kids and you bring snacks make sure you have an extra rubbish bag.
There is a visitor center there where you will find all the information required, and for €1 you can purchase a little map to show you all the sections of the garden. It’s handy if you don’t want to miss a photo opportunity 🙂
There are number of glass houses which are homes to various exotic plans such as palm trees, ferns, Poinsettias and you will even find a waterfall. It’s incredible how they managed to create a beautifully appointed shapes out of the flowers and their colors compliment one another.
There’s a stream going along the edge of the garden which is a nice feature when you’re walking along hiding from the sun (like I was!). If you’re lucky you might come across a squirrel; we even managed to find one that was “begging” for food, completely used to people.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a very Instagrammable Place!
Some of the sections of the garden are: Rose Garden, Sensory Garden, Viking House, Orchid House, Cherry Trees and many more!
You can access the cemetery directly from the gardens itself. You will then find a map of all the major individuals who where lay there to rest. Among these you will find Michael Collins, John Stanislaus Joyce (James Joyce’s Father), Charles Stewart Parnell, Eamon de Valera and many more.
I have to admit, cemeteries aren’t meant to be beautiful as that’s not their “function” however this is the most beautiful burial ground I have ever come across. The Celtic Crosses and elaborate thumb-stones really make a huge impression and show off the beautiful handiwork. The O’Connell Tower is a focal point of the cemetery and on a nice day it really makes an impression. The entrance to the museum is below the Tower.
Michel Collins’ Grave has its own special place, nearby the cafe. You will easily spot it, as it’s covered in flowers.
I’m going to let the photographs speak for themselves.
Overall it’s an enjoyable, educational trip for the whole family, especially if you’re on a budget as there are no admission fees involved. There’s a cafe serving light snacks and hot lunch in the gardens and you can bring a blanket and enjoy the rare sunshine we get here in Ireland.