parks and recreation

For when Bloom ends, here are 11 of Ireland's permanent gardens and parks to check out

Escape the concrete jungle…

IF THE WEATHER stays good, everyone will be looking for somewhere to enjoy the sunny spell over the weekend.

In Ireland’s major towns and cities, it’s usually easy to find a green space to relax or exercise in.

We’ve put together a list of places where you can easily escape the concrete jungle and here they are…


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Burgess Park, in Athlone Co Westmeath, overlooks the River Shannon. It’s an ideal place for recreational activities in the town centre.



The Belfast Botanic Gardens are located in Queen’s Quarter and occupy 28 acres of south Belfast. The Palm House conservatory, pictured above, contains two wings of plants from cool and tropical climates.

Admission into the Botanic Gardens is free and there are plenty of trees and flowers to admire on the grounds.


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Visitors enter the Bishop Lucey Park in Cork City through an impressive stone archway and are greeted with a variety of trees and flowers.

Step back in time and visit Cork’s old walls, which are clearly visible in the park.

There is a bronze fountain pictured above, and a sculpture called Onion Seller, which commemorates street traders.



Iveagh Gardens, Dublin’s so-called secret garden, can be found in the not-so-secret location just off Harcourt Street.

There is a maze, a waterfall and a rose garden to explore.

Apart from the Iveagh Gardens, there is also Stephen’s Green Park, the Dubh Linn Garden, the grounds of the Museum of Modern Art and more to experience.



The Ramparts in Drogheda, Co Louth, are located on the south bank of the River Boyne, just down from the Bridge of Peace.

The park contains a newly-opened skate park, a playground and offers lovely views of the river.



The Tim Smythe Park in Ennis, Co Clare is situated beside the town’s courthouse. There are walking paths around the perimeter of the park and two playgrounds for children to enjoy.

For those looking for more intense exercise, there’s an outdoor gym, a 400m running track and a multi-use game area for playing soccer and basketball.


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The People’s Park, the main park in the city, is filled with trees and a large selection of flowers during the summer. There is a children’s playground, a band stand and two park shelters.

During the summer months, the park opens at 8am and closes at 9pm.


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The Kilkenny Castle and its gardens are a perfect spot for a stroll. The 12th-century castle is located in the heart of the city, overlooking the River Nore. The grounds open daily during the summer at 8.30am and close at 8pm. The castle opens at 9am and closes at 5.30pm.



Letterkenny Town Park is the biggest public park in the region.

The park contains a Garden of Remembrance, herb gardens, flower-bed lined walkways, playgrounds and bowling grounds.



Mullingar Town Park in Co Westmeath is a great spot for the entire family to enjoy. It’s located beside the swimming pool and has a large pond, two playground areas and plenty of seating.


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The People’s Park offers visitors and residents of Waterford City a large green area filled with trees. There is a cycle track, paths for walking and running, a café, a skatepark and a children’s playground.

If you’re visiting the 19th-century park, make sure to pay a visit to the unusual water feature.

Read: Here are our 6 favourite gardens at Bloom

Read: This Irish man is set to fly to Africa with a lawnmower engine on his back

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