My last Dog Friendly Review featured everyone’s local hipster favourite, the Fumbally Café in Dublin 8. This week’s review features a sort of doggy mecca that I’ve been dying to have time to visit all summer. Up this week it’s PAWS at Ardgillan!
Where is PAWS at Ardgillan?
Ardgillan is a beautiful wonderland that you would never expect to be a stone’s throw from Dublin City Centre. The Castle and surrounding lands are located in Strifeland, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin. Ardgillan forms a third of the demesne also including Kilmainham townlands and Baltray. Ardgillan castle was built in the 18th century surrounded by 194 acres of woods and overlooking the sea. Initially the site was heavily wooded, hence the name Ardgillan, derived from the Irish “Ard Choill” meaning High Wood. It was cleared out by service soldiers and itinerant workers in return for one penny a day, sleeping accommodation and one meal, and now is home to various stunning gardens.
PAWS opened last year to the great excitement of dog and nature lovers everywhere. The owners of the grounds said they opened it because they wanted dog owners to have somewhere they could sit down and relax and have something to eat while out on an adventure with their dogs. Perfect!
What Does PAWS at Ardgillan Offer For Humans?
If you love nature, the sea, adventures, and dogs, Ardgillan is possibly the best combination of these things I’ve yet to come across. Aside from being able to sit back and relax with your pooch, there’s over a hundred acres of land for you to explore. The owners offer guided tours of the surrounding lands but also welcome you to choose your own adventure.
The views from the coastline are quite literally breath taking, the flora is varied and beautifully arranged, there’s a fairy tree trail, and so much more. There are pedestrian and cyclist paths covering much of the grounds, but there’s still so much to explore off the beaten track. I managed to cover very little ground in my visit, but it just makes me very excited to return as soon as possible!
Besides exploring the grounds, there’s plenty to eat and drink at Paws Café too. They have a varied menu of hot and cold foods and drinks. Something for whatever mood you’re in!
What’s Does PAWS at Ardgillan Offer For My Dog?
I was very excited for Paws to be great for dogs because Ardgillan is such a great place to take your dog. I was in the company of a small quiet dog so our visit went smoothly, but I saw one large dog be turned away from the venue.
There are some rules that dog owners needs to follow:
- Dog owners are expected to clean up any accidents.
- All dogs are to be kept on a leash.
- Persistently noisy dogs will be politely asked to leave.
On the plus side, Paws do provide water bowls and doggie treats, so it certainly has its merits over many establishments.
Should You Visit PAWS at Ardgillan?
In terms of a great day out with the whole family (it’s not the whole family without the dog(s), as we all know), Ardgillan itself is astonishing and absolutely worth the visit. If you have a large dog, I would recommend calling ahead and checking, to be sure you won’t be disappointed on arrival. Aside from that, the café is lovely and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Overall, I had a great time and so did my pooch!
Paws at Ardgillan have seasonal opening hours, so it’s best to check their extensive website www.ardgillancastle.ie/opening-times/ for opening hours and all other information you may need, or give them a call on 01 849 2212.