Not far from St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin (two blocks away, in fact) is another park – less popular, but just as beautiful. It’s called Iveagh Gardens.
To get here, you walk straight past the St. Stephen’s Green Shopping center, and continue down the luas line into the Georgian buildings turned apartments. At the art gallery, You turn left on Clontarf street, go down a little slightly dodgy looking alley and past a parking lot to a stone and brick wall. Here you see a single brown non-descript sign in the ivy indicating this is Iveagh gardens. The park is about the same size as St. Stephen’s Green but there’s something here you don’t find in the Busy St Stephen’s green.
A feeling as if the hub-bub of the city has disappeared behind the stone walls.
To me, it’s magic.
Here the birds sing. Here the water pours from the man made waterfall and fountains and makes a pleasant little churning that blocks out the nearby Tram, cars, and police. Here, the wind blows through the trees and you can hear the leaves rustle. Here you can walk, sit, lay on the grass – it’s not blocked off, and the way it’s divided is almost to encourage you to feel its spongy green masses.
Here you can crunch down the pebbled pathways, wander through a maze, and sit on the sun warmed benches filling your nostrels with the scent of the rose garden and the earthy compost used to make them bloom.
Here you can think, contemplate, ponder.
You can lose yourself down a wooded pathway and bump into a Greek or Roman revival statue.
Here You can slow down.
You can take it all in.
You can have a picnic, you can have a nap.
You can have peace.
You can have quiet – in the middle of the city.
You can rejuvinate.
Yes. This is my favorite secret park in the heart of Dublin, and if you visit, remind me to take you here to experience the magic.