Dublin – Ardgillan Castle Demesne

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Ardgillan Castle Demesne

Ardgillan Castle and Demesne consists of 194 acres of rolling pasture land, mixed woodland and gardens, elevated coastline between overlooking the Bay of Drogheda between Balbriggan and Skerries, 20 miles north of Dublin City. The castle, built in 1738, consists of two storeys over a basement which extends out under the south lawns.The first floor area is used for an annual programme of exhibitions and is also the permanent home of the seventeenth-century, “Down Survey of Ireland”.

The gardens are in three main parts, the formal Rose Garden and the Potentilla collection to the west of the castle, and the walled garden to the north-west which contains herb, vegetable, fruit, and ornamental sections.

The state-of-the-art playground was opened in 2006 and has over 30 pieces of play equipment to enjoy from cradle swings for the very young to a large climbing space net for older children (under 12).

The Ardgillan Castle Bigfoot Experience

School tours and field trips to Ardgillan are proving to be extremely popular especially with the recent arrival of the Ardgillan Bigfoot!

The average visit to Ardgillan takes approximately 2-3 hours and during this time the activities will include:

  • Castle Tours (Choice of Funny Tour or Spooky Tour)
  • (Weather Permitting) Nature Trail – Watch out for Bigfoot! Alternatively Story Telling
  • Lunch Break
  • Playground

Pupils brave enough to embrace the Ardgillan Bigfoot experience arrive at the castle. They are then taken on a tour of the castle – either a pre-booked spooky tour or a ‘funny tour’ with Wonky Willie the Irish cousin of Willie Wonka. Following the tour of the castle, the children will then be taken on a nature trail of the park – weather permitting. On the trail, trees, plants, flowers, herbs and shrubbery will be identified for them. Each child will receive a bag to collect
leaves, nuts, seeds etc. to take back to the castle.

But the children must remain very aware at this point of their visit to Ardgillan, because if the conditions are right and the planets are in a particular alignment, they may well encounter the scary figure of Bigfoot in the trees or woodland nearby. He’s really a friendly Bigfoot, and people say that he’s more
afraid of us than we are of him. And so far nobody has ever caught him. Following the excitement of the outdoor nature trail, you can spend as much time as you like in the state-of-the-art playground that has made Ardgillan Park famous for miles around.

If the kids have brought sandwiches, they can sit in any of the expansive picnic areas and take their lunch, or have their lunch indoors if desired. Oh, and of course, we mustn’t forget the adults. Every teacher will receive a free tea and scone with the compliments of Ardgillan Castle. And so does the bus driver!

Only €5.00 per child (Minimum of 20 children)

To book your school tour contact Ardgillan at email: [email protected]   phone: 01 8905334

Ardgillan Attraction

Today the demesne is a stunning visitor attraction with a range of facilities the public can avail of, including;

  • Castle Tours
  • Tea Rooms (wheelchair accessible) and Playground Shop
  • State-of-the-art Children’s Playground
  • Children’s Parties (Historically themed)
  • Magnificent Gardens
  • Garden Tours (Pre-booked)
  • Spectacular Cycle and Walking Paths
  • Medieval Stocks and Tudor stand-ins
  • Art Exhibitions
  • Civil Wedding Ceremonies
  • Room Hire, Conference and Workshop Space
  • Picnic Areas
  • Public Toilets
  • Expansive Wide Open Spaces.
  • Free Car Parks


 Ardgillan Castle Parties

Would you like to be King or Queen of the Castle?

There children’s parties have proved to be a huge success since they were introduced in the summer of 2010. They are conducted in conjunction with Laughing Stock Entertainment. The entertainment team put on a fantabulous interactive show making the Ardgillan children and family parties legendary in these here parts, providing you with the East Coast’s most unique and spectacular parties, catering for up to 25 children and include the following.

  • A Professional Entertainer
  • Private Party Area (Fully Decorated)
  • Regal Costumes For Everyone
  • Mini Disco & Games
  • Interactive Story Telling Tour
  • Light Food Options
  • Complimentary Refreshments for Birthday Parents
  • Balloon Modelling
  • Arty Party
  • Face Painting


Ardgillan Castle Demesne Opening Hours

The park is open all year round during the following hours:

  • November to January:-  10.00 – 17.00
  • February to March :-   10.00 – 18.00
  • April  :-    10.00 – 19.00
  • May  :-    10.00 – 20.00
  • June to August  :-  10.00  – 21.00
  • September :-   10.00am – 20.00
  • October :-     10.00 – 19.00


How To Get To Ardgillan Castle

  • By Car

The Park is located between Skerries and Balbriggan and the route is well signposted from the M1/N1 Dublin-Belfast road to Balbriggan.


  • By Bus

Bus 33 from Eden Quay in  Dublin city centre.  –  The bus passes under Ladies Stairs footbridge entrance which is unusuable at present.  It is necessary to walk back to Barnageeragh bridge, and follow road to main entrance.




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