We (the Office of Public Works) offer regular guided tours of key historic sites within and near the Phoenix Park.
Scroll down for details on guided tours of the Visitor Centre, Ashtown Castle, The Magazine Fort, Áras an Uachtaráin, Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Arbour Hill Cemetery and The Irish National War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge.
Cycle Tours of the Park are also available from the private company Phoenix Park Bikes, who operate from just inside the Main Gate entrance. Please Click here for more information.
Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
Admission is free to a lively and entertaining self-guiding exhibition on the history and the wildlife of the Phoenix Park which is on display in the Visitor Centre.
The Phoenix Park Visitor Centre is open seven days a week.
Here the visitor can enjoy a historical interpretation of the park from 3500 B.C. to the present day and can also view a twenty-minute audio-visual presentation on the Phoenix Park through the ages or on the history of Áras an Uachtaráin. A lift and stairs access the first floor of the Visitor Centre where there are further exhibits and a nature section. There is also an Exhibition Room for visiting art exhibitions where exhibitions in various media and art and craft demonstrations take place regularly.
If you have any further enquiries contact us on 01 6770095 or at email@example.com.
Please note that no tours of Ashtown Castle are currently taking place due to maintenance works.
Free Tours of the Castle are organised from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on site, at the following times:
Please first check with the Visitor Centre on 01-6770095 to confirm time of tour.
January, February and March – Sunday to Friday: 12.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm
April, May, June, July, August, September, October – Monday to Friday: 12.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm
November and December – Sunday to Friday: 12.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm
Please note that the tours are subject to availability.
Ashtown Castle is a medieval tower-house. Until 1978, this castle was hidden within the walls of a Georgian mansion (called Ashtown Lodge) that was occupied by the Under Secretary for Ireland. When the Georgian house was demolished in the late seventies, the castle was discovered inside. It has since been restored and is now open to the public. It may date from as early as the fifteenth century.
The Magazine Fort
Please note that these guided tours will not resume until further notice.
The Magazine Fort is strategically sited on St Thomas Hill, off the Military Road, and close to the Islandbridge Gate. It was built in 1734 -1736 to the design of John Corneille, to store gun powder and ammunition for British Government Forces. One third of the British Army was stationed in Ireland and was regularly rotated around the Empire. The Fort was raided on two occasions: Easter Monday 1916 and the 23rd of December 1939.
Free guided tours are available. Tickets are limited and are issued from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, on a first come first served basis on the day of the tour. No group bookings are available. Phone 01-6770095 the day before arrival as there can be short notice closures.
Áras an Uachtaráin
Now the residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin started as a modest brick house for the Phoenix Park Chief Ranger in 1751. It was subsequently acquired as an ‘occasional residence’ for the Lords-Lieutenant and gradually evolved to a large mansion. After Ireland gained independence, it was occupied by three Governors-General between 1922 and 1937, prior to the first president Dr Douglas Hyde taking up residence there.
Áras an Uachtaráin is open for tours on Saturdays only, all year round, except for the 24th – 26th of December. Free admission tickets are issued from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on Saturday mornings from 9.30am, on a first come, first served basis. Visitors are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Free transport by bus is provided. Group and/or advance booking is not possible.
Free Guided tours are offered on Saturdays at the following times (Please first contact the Visitor Centre for confirmation tours are taking place by telephone on 01-6770095 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
January – December 2022: Saturdays only at 10.00am, 11.15am, 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3.00pm.
Tours take about an hour and fifteen minutes. The visitor centre and main reception rooms of the house will feature all year round, and summer tours will also include the garden. Occasionally, due to State business it is not possible to accommodate public tours. Please contact us at the Visitor Centre for more information by telephone on 01-6770095 or by email at email@example.com
Grangegorman Military Cemetery
There are Free guided tours of Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7 at 11.00am on Thursdays only from 7th April to 29th September 2022. The meeting point is inside the cemetery gates. No booking necessary. Subject to change and weather permitting. Please telephone 01-6770095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further enquiries.
The cemetery’s pedestrian gate is open from 10am to 4pm, seven days a week.
Grangegorman Military Cemetery, situated on Blackhorse Avenue just outside the Phoenix Park, is the largest military cemetery in Ireland. It was first opened in 1876 to serve as a graveyard for the soldiers of what was then Marlborough Barracks, now McKee Barracks, and their families. Specific zones were laid out for English, Canadian, New Zealand, and Australian service men. A Victorian Cross winner is interred here. Children from the Royal Hibernian Military School are also interred here. Also, the first British Officer casualty of the 1916 Rising. Some of the casualties of the sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster on the 10th October 1918 are also buried here. There are also several members of the ANZAC forces buried in the cemetery.
This picturesque Victorian tree lined cemetery with its well maintained lawns creates a reflective atmosphere. The graveyard is maintained by the Office of Public Works in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
There are also Free guided tours of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge which take place every Wednesday only at 11.00am from 6th April to 28th September 2022 (excluding Sun, 14th August 2022). No booking is necessary. Meeting point is inside the gates of the car park. Subject to change and weather permitting. For more information please contact the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre at email@example.com or on 01-6770095.
Arbour Hill Cemetery
Free tours of Arbour Hill Cemetery take place on Fridays only at 11.00am from 8th April until 30th September 2022. The meeting point is inside Arbour Hill Cemetery’s gates. No booking necessary. Subject to change and weather permitting. Please telephone 01-6770095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Arbour Hill Cemetery is the burial place of fourteen of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. Among those buried here are Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, and Major John MacBride. The leaders were executed in Kilmainham Gaol and their bodies were transported to Arbour Hill for burial. The graves are located under a low mound on a terrace of Wicklow granite in what was once the old drill or parade ground. The grave site is surrounded by a limestone wall on which the names are inscribed in Irish and English. On the left of the wall is a plaque with the names of others who were killed in 1916.
Arbour Hill Cemetery was one of the sites of national focus during the centenary commemorations of the Easter Rising of 1916. This cemetery is in the care of the Office of Public Works. The cemetery is located on Arbour Hill at the rear of the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, Dublin 7.
There are also Free guided tours of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge which take place every Wednesday only at 11.00am from 6th April to 28th September 2022. No booking is necessary. Meeting point is inside the gates of the car park. Subject to change and weather permitting. For more information please contact the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre at email@example.com or on 01-6770095.
In addition, there are Free guided tours of the Grounds of St. Mary’s Hospital (formerly the Royal Hibernian Military School) that take place every Sunday only at 2.30pm from 3rd April to 25th September 2022 (excluding Sun, 14th August 2022). The Meeting Point is just to the left of inside the main gates to the hospital. No booking is necessary. Subject to change and weather permitting. For more information please contact the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01-6770095.