THE summer holidays are inching ever closer, and if you don't feel like stepping on a plane just yet, we may have the perfect location for you.
Located just 30km from Dublin city centre, Skerries is a spectacular holiday destination with an abundance of activities on offer and incredible scenery to enjoy while relaxing in one of the many restaurants and bars located along the seafront.
Whether you want to learn how to kite surf, go for a kayak in the bay or simply watch the fishermen pull in the latest catch of the day, this seaside town is sure to have something for you.
For those who love lacing up the boots on a breakaway, Skerries has plenty to offer walkers at all levels.
The Skerries Coastal Trail stretches 1.5km along a path that loops around the headland of Red Island and links both the south and north beaches.
Starting at the south beach, walkers will follow a trail around the Martello Tower, with plenty of benches dotted along the way to have a peaceful break while watching the waves crash into the shore.
Follow the trail around the headland to the harbour and the more tranquil North Beach, where you can paddle in the shallow waters or stretch out on the sand.
ARDGILLAN CASTLE AND GARDENS
Are you a history buff? Why not take a trip to Ardgillan Castle and Gardens?
The residence at Ardgillan is a large country-style house with castellated embellishments.
Originally named 'Prospect House', the central section was built in 1738 by Robert Taylor, with the west and east wings added in the late 1800s.
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Initially, the site was heavily wooded, it was cleared out by service soldiers and itinerant workers in return for one penny a day, sleeping accommodation, and one meal.
The house consists of two storeys over a basement which extends out under the lawns on the southern side of the building and has been restored to open to visitors for guided tours.
It also has a fantastic playground for little ones to enjoy and a fairy trail so you too, can discover the magic of the castle.
A unique feature of Skerries is the three islands located off its shores.
The uninhabited Islands are of great importance for all kinds of migratory birds that stop there throughout the year on their journeys from the Arctic or Africa.
Sea birds also nest on the islands, which include Shenick Island, Colt Island and St. Patrick's Island.
St. Patrick's Island is named after Ireland's national saint, who stopped here and founded a church.
A local legend states that Ireland's national saint left a lasting impression on Skerries shore as on a rock on the coast of Red Island, you can see a footprint of the saint.
Red Island is also a popular excursion destination with a large playground and a direct connection to the harbour and beach.
For those who love the great outdoors, why not try your hand at kite surfing? It's best to do it on North Beach and leave the pros to the waves on the South Strand.
Windsurfing can also be enjoyed along with kayaking and paddle boarding, and if you are looking to add a bit of romance to your trip, you could head out at sunset.
If you fancy a dip, the swimming conditions are perfect on the sheltered North Beach.
There are two great bathing spots on the south side, known as the Captains and Springers.
MILLS AND MARKETS
From the beach, you can spot windmills belonging to Skerries Mills, where flour has been milled since the 12th century.
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You can have a go at grinding the grain yourself on a guided tour and see how the waterwheel works up close.
On Saturdays, visitors can stop by the farmers market, the stalls packed with local produce like native lobster, breads, homemade jams and much more.
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