Best Tourist Attractions
The recently restored Skerries Mills Complex is one of the town's true gems and gifts visitors the invaluable chance to step back in time. History lovers will have an absolute field day at this 12th century complex, which boasts two perfectly preserved wind mills as well as a fully operational water mill. Moreover, the heritage listed site is brimming with innumerable original artefacts, which will appeal to those interested in knowing more about the ancient skill of milling. Take an interactive guided tour of the compound, enjoy a relaxing break at the in-house cafe' and indulge in some retail therapy at the in-house gift shop which sells locally made arts and crafts. Skerries Mills is an ideal day-out destination for the whole family!
Address: Skerries Town Centre
Opening times: from 10am-5.30pm (4.30pm in winter)
Phone: +353 1 849 5208
Skerries is home to two Martello Towers, which were once part of a 50-strong line of fortified defence. built all along the coast. Erected during the Napoleonic period in the early 19th century, the towers are thought to have been mirrored on ones built in Corsica, which had been greatly effective in deterring the French during an invasion there. Martello, in fact, is thought to be a misnomer for Mortella, the Corsican headland where the original towers were built. The only two remaining towers are nowadays found near the town harbour and on nearby Red Island, which is a fantastic place to walk around in. Whilst the interior of the towers are not accessible to the public, they still warrant a very close look. Not only are the granite structures incredibly photogenic against the backdrop of the sea, their elevated positions grants exquisite coastal views.
Address: Skerries Harbour & Red Island
Ardgillan Castle & Demesne Park
Ardgillan House is a magnificent 18th century seaside estate set on almost 200 acres of spectacular grounds. Built by Reverend Taylor in 1738, the castle was acquired by the local council in the early 1980s. After extensive renovation works, which included an impressive amount of interior renovations, the complex was opened to the public in 1992. Nowadays, Ardgillan can be hired for private functions and weddings, whilst many of the antiques-filled rooms on the ground floor can be explored on a guided tour. Aside a visit to the castle, visitors can spend hours exploring the perfectly manicured gardens and enjoy holistic treatments in the Health Care Centre. A recently built playground will keep the littlies entertained for hours on end, whilst mums and dads enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Rose Garden cafe.
Address: Balbriggan (just north of Skerries Town Centre)
Opening Times: daily 9.30am-6pm (4.30pm in winter)
Phone: +353 01 849 2212
Newbridge House & Farm
Yet another historic manor house, Newbridge is set on over 350 acres and offers attractions for young and old alike. A fully functioning farmhouse, with stunning gardens, perfectly decorated interiors and a myriad of fun activities for kids, Newbridge is the ideal destination for the whole family. Indeed the hardest part about a visit here will be tearing the kids away from playing with the Shetland ponies, piglets and baby goats! The mansion itself is an absolute delight; much effort has gone into ensuring it looks, and feels, just as it did almost two centuries ago.
Address: Hearse Road, Donabate
Opening Times: 11am-4pm
Phone: +353 1 8436534
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NewbridgeHouseandFarm
The Legend of St. Patrick's Footprint
Legend has it that when St. Patrick fist set foot on what is now St Patrick's Island, he was accompanied by a goat. It was not only his only companion but also his source of nourishment thanks to its milk. During one of his many visits to the mainland, a few locals from Skerries travelled to the island and stole the goat. St Patrick's four-legged friend met an untimely end, and was feasted on by her abductors. Upon his return to the isle, and discovery that his beloved goat missing, St. Patrick flew into a great rage and with a mere two giant steps returned to the mainland in search of the culprits. When confronted, the goat thieves could only bleat as they tried to deny their deed. It was only when they finally relented and told the truth...their voices returned. St.Patrick's footprints are still visible today: one is on Red Island, by the rocky bathing area on the southern end, the other on Colt Island. Sceptics can rest easy...the footprints are widely believed to have been carved on the spots where St Patrick stood, by his loyal followers. As a tribute to the legend, a bronze statue of a goat's head was commissioned, made and mounted on the walls of the Church in 1989. Better late than never!
St Patrick Church
The modern-day Catholic Church of St Patrick was consecrated in Skerries over 70 years ago and, although it completely replaced an older model, it retained its ancient limestone bell tower. Albert Powel, a famous Irish sculptor at the time, was commissioned to carve the front facade of the church. Originally, he had carved a vision of St Patrick standing atop his goat, but was later enticed to swap the goat for a Celtic scroll. It seems that even after all the centuries, locals found the reminder of their ancestors' evil deed far too painful.
Address: Strand St., Skerries Town Centre
Opening Times: http://www.skerriesparish.ie/mass.htm
Phone: +353 01 8491250 (Parish Priest: Fr Richard Hyland)