Killiney Hill Park, a Victorian park by the sea

Only a short hop away from Dublin, Killiney Hill Park is an ideal venue for a leisurely walk while enjoying the magnificent views over the mountains and the coast. The Park was open at the end of the 19th century to commemorate Queen Victoria’s jubilee. It was a time when new parks were created in response to a growing concern about overcrowding in the cities, noise and polluted air. It was acknowledged then that leisure time and access to fresh air was of benefit to everybody, regardless of their social background. Until then, parks were private and only the middle and upper classes had access to them. Although not located in the City Centre, Killiney Hill Park could be accessed in a relatively short time because the steam train had a regular service between Dublin and Dalkey. Access to the park was free and trails were laid out through the park’s woodlands.

The park stretches over two hills overlooking the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. On Killiney Hill, there are several monuments built as famine relief projects. They provided employment to local men who could then buy food for their families. Standing on top of the hill, the Obelisk is capped with a white and slender cone which is now a familiar landmark.  On the other hill, called Dalkey Hill, a signal tower was built in the early 19th century. It was then part of the defence system built in case Napoleon was to land on the East coast. Later on, the tower was used for signalling ships in Killiney Bay. The tower stands above a disused quarry from where granite was extracted for constructing local buildings. It is used now by local rock climbing groups.

A walk through the park woodlands is most enjoyable. Large trails were built as well as steps when the ground was too steep. At every corner, there are amazing views over the the coast and Dalkey Island with Dublin and its leafy suburbs stretching away in the distance. From the top of the hills, wide perspectives open up over the mountains.


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