When you’re sick of shops and Henry Street is hurting your head, put your back to O’Connell Street’s Spire and head straight up the hill. If your feet will go no further, by all means stop in and cool off at the tranquil Garden of Remembrance – but walk for ten minutes more and you’ll find yourself as far from the madding crowd as it’s possible to be while still in the north inner city.
No twists or turns to take – just walk straight up and you’ll at last come to the wrought iron gates of this pretty urban oasis. (Taking a Dublin Bike is a smart option – there’s a bike station beneath the row of Georgian houses that approaches the park entrance.)
It’s nothing grand – no formal landscaping or stern statues as in the Iveagh Gardens – for me, the joy of the Blessington Basin is in its modesty and its littleness. In use as a reservoir to the Jameson Distilleries until they ceased production in the city in 1978, today this quiet pool is filled with water that trips down from the 8th lock of the nearby Royal Canal. City bosses had the place spruced up and reopened as a park in 1994, following years of neglect.
Sit back and take stock on one of the benches that line the pleasing square; or skip through a hole-in-the-wall entry point into pretty Victorian terraces at the sides or the Broadstone Linear Park to the rear (complete with playground and all-weather pitch).
Blessington Basin | Relaxing | Free
Sunrise – sunset daily