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Summer Day Trips In Ireland

Ireland in the summer is something to behold, the longer summer days allow tourists and locals alike to make the most of their adventures and explore the wide and famously green landscape.

Home to a wide range of festivals from TradFest in Temple Bar, to the Puck Fair in County Kerry (where one lucky goat is crowned as ‘King Puck’), Ireland comes alive in the summer!

Our 3 campuses in Dublin offer an ideal base to explore Ireland – it’s no wonder many tour groups exploring the Emerald Isle choose the DCU Rooms campus due to our excellent commuter locations.

With so many activities, breath-taking sights and history to take in, we’ve picked some of our favourite day trips, with DCU Rooms Dublin as your base.

Wicklow Day Trips

A wealth of unique experiences is waiting to be discovered in Wicklow, located in Ireland’s Ancient East. Lovingly known as the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow’s’ rolling mountains, pristine beaches and numerous historic monuments add a beautiful backdrop to your exploring.


Glendalough, Wicklow is nestled in the Wicklow National Park and is arguably one of the most ‘must see’ sites in Ireland. The Glendalough Way is home to a Monastic site – founded by St Kevin in the sixth century, today you can tour the monastic city – still home to a round tower, and the ruins of churches and cathedrals all readily explorable.

Powerscourt Waterfall, Wicklow

Just a 30-minute drive from Glendalough, take in Ireland’s highest waterfall. Accessible year round, a summer visit allows for longer opening hours. Why not pack your own picnic to enjoy after trekking to the waterfall? Enjoy majestic views while you dine al fresco.

Avondale Treetop Walk

A relatively new attraction, Avondale Treetop Walk boasts 360* view over Wicklow, 38 metres above the forest. The viewing platform is fully accessible and for more adventurous visitors, the descent can be significantly quicker via the spiral slide that deposits you back to earth.

The Treetop Walk is on the grounds of the Avondale House and Forest Park, once home to the Parnell family. Visitors have an opportunity to tour the house and explore the walking and cycling trails of the forest Park.


Just a short drive from Dublin (just 50km), enter the neighbouring county of Kildare. Kildare is known worldwide for its horse breeding and racecourses – making it known as ‘The Thoroughbred County’.

Kildare Racecourses

Enjoy a day at the races! During the summer months, Kildare plays host to plenty of race days at its three large racecourses – The Curragh, Punchestown Racecourse and Naas Racecourse.

The most famous is the Curragh Racecourse – here The Irish Derby takes place every year in the summer, as it has every year since 1866. The first recorded race took place in The Curragh in 1727, however was likely home to unofficial races much earlier.

The Irish National Stud Gardens

Located just a 10 minute drive from The Curragh Racecourse, the Irish National Stud and Gardens proves to be a very popular attraction for tourists and locals. The Irish Racehorse Experience delves through the history of horseracing and how the small island of Ireland made such a big impression in horseracing worldwide.

The Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Gardens, located at the Irish National Stud and Gardens, boast a tranquil setting that bring vivid colours as a backdrop to the sound of trickling streams. The gardens are known as a beautiful place for thought and reflection, crafted by horticulturists and admired thousands annually.

Mondello Park Racecourse

A very different type of racecourse! Mondello Park provides thrill seekers and motorheads a place to come to together. Ireland’s first official motor racecourse was created in 1968, previously racing took place on public roads with much different results.

Mondello Park hold events throughout the year as well as thrill seeking experiences to those who dare. 


What would Ireland be without castles and High Kings? Kilkenny is beautiful small medieval city, just a 90-minute drive or train journey from Dublin.

Kilkenny Castle

Once the home to the powerful ‘Butlers of Ormonde’ family, 800-year-old Kilkenny Castle brings you through the history of this family and their treasures. See the state dining room and the Chinese withdrawing room – where the ladies would gather after meals, while the men enjoyed port and cigars.

Throughout Kilkenny, you will see the prevalence of the Butler family to this day.

Ireland’s Medieval Mile

The Medieval Mile – a route that connects Kilkenny Castle to St Canice’s Cathedral. As the name suggests, along the mile visitors come across some excellent medieval landmarks, including Rothe House, St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower. During the summer, enjoy a walking tour of the medieval mile to take you through the city’s vast history.

Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny

A touch more modern, Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny brings guests through the history of the brewing of Smithwick’s Red Ale. Hear the story of how Smithwick’s was originally brewed by monks who were forced to leave their abbey due to religious persecution before eventually settling in Kilkenny.

Like any good brewery tour you can sample their fine ales to decide your favourite!


What’s better than the beach on a summer day? Dublin and its surrounding counties have excellent beaches to choose from – perfect for a day out by the seaside:
• Bray, Co. Wicklow
• Howth, Co. Dublin
• Dollymount Strand, Dublin
• Sandycove Beach, Dun Laoghaire Dublin

Whatever time of year you are visiting DCU Rooms we are always happy to help guide you to the best places to go, local advice or restaurant recommendations! Remember always book directly on our website for the best rate guarantee and save €10 per night on your stay.

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Sarah Corcoran

Sarah is a part-time travel writer and a full-time Dubliner, born and bred in this colourful city. She loves nothing more than exploring the beauty that’s on her doorstep and enjoying the many attractions and history that Dublin has to offer. She is passionate about writing and promoting her home town to anyone who will listen!

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