Next chance you get to enjoy a break in Dublin, make sure to visit the picturesque village of Dalkey just a short distance south of the city overlooking Dublin Bay.
An important port in the Middle Ages, Dalkey has a fascinating history, which is brilliantly told through the Living History Experience at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.
Costumed actors lead visitors from the atmospheric tenth-century church grounds and graveyard dedicated to St Begnet, through the original medieval townhouse castle from basement to battlements, via the infamous Murder Hole.
Along the way an archer demonstrates how to use a longbow, a cook shares medieval recipes, and the barber surgeon writes out his potions in calligraphy.
The Heritage Centre offers a deeper dive into the history of the area, with touchscreens presenting information in twelve languages, and a timeline from the earliest settlers on the island, through Early Christian, Viking, medieval and Victorian times to the present day.
There is also the opportunity to learn more on a guided Historical Walk around the village. Stopping at Coliemore Harbour, you will hear about the Viking slave trade on Dalkey Island, how Dalkey got its name and why large ships anchored in Dalkey Sound.
On Castle Street, you’ll discover the origins of ‘daylight robbery’, how retired tram horses were duped, and how a young woman led the Dalkey Gold Rush.