Design Destination Ireland

Here are our top picks for design destinations in Ireland for design seekers.

Ireland has a strong, distinct design and architecture culture.
What follows is our top picks to design destinations around the country. From what to know before you go, and how to get there, the information mentioned here only scratches the surface of what Ireland has to offer, but it’s a start.

photo credit: this is Galway, Coffeewerk + Press, Axel Brunst

#1

Latin Quarter, Galway

22 High St, Galway, H91 VX4E

The Latin Quarter is an area of the arts, where you can often find artists and artisans selling their creations by the side of the road.

Located in this quarter is Coffeewerk + Press, a craft shop and cafe with a clear objective: ‘to showcase the overlap between Irish and international art and design over the perfect cup of coffee’. This hugely popular neighbourhood store is beloved by all who crave quality design as much as, if not more than, their daily caffeine fix.

How to get there: It’s a two and half hour journey by car from Dublin. Alternatively, buses from Busaras and trains from Heuston station are available for those who would prefer to use public transport.

photo credit: Connemara.net, ballynahinch-castle.com

#2

Kylemore Abbey ( Originally Kylemore Castle) 

Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway

Formerly known as Kylemore Castle, Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery which was designed by James Franklin Fuller and built in the mid 19th Century by Mitchell Henry as a gift for his wife. It was purchased by the Irish Benedictine Nuns in 1920 after they were forced to flee Belgium during WW1.

It’s an amazing structure and has undergone recent extensive renovations to restore it to its former glory. The walled Victorian garden has also been restored to include garden buildings and the flower, vegetable and herb gardens. Well worth a visit and great for walks too as the estate extends to over 1000 Acres in total.

How to get there: If driving from Dublin, head for Clifden in Galway, stay on the N59 toward Letterfrack. As you come into Letterfrack you will see Connemara National Park on your RHS, stop off here if you’ve got a couple of hours to spare and do the Diamond Hill walk. It’s a mid-level walk of around 1.5-2 hours and at the top of Diamond Hill you get an incredible view of the surrounding countryside along with a great view of Kylemore Abbey (weather permitting). From there Kylemore Abbey is about a 5 minute drive.

photo credit: legancastle.ie

#3

Legan Castle Farmhouse

Legan, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

A glamping getaway located on the grounds of a 16th Century castle, this rural hidden gem is perfect for a complete wind down.  Once you’ve found it, there’s no need for phones or devices, you’ll be too busy relaxing, star spotting and deciding on what to have for breakfast.

How to get there: About an hour and a half drive down the M9, and located just outside Thomastown

photo credit:  Howley Hayes Architects

#4

Peoples Park Pavilion

Park Rd, Glasthule, Dublin

Aside from design, food appears to be another firm favourite for a couple of us in the studio here! Finding a design destination which captures both isn’t too tricky.  This great little island of ours appears to be honing the art of merging design and culinary brilliance!

We’ve picked The Pavilion at People’s Park, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin as one of our favourite design destinations (slash food destinations!!)

Refurbished to its former glory by Howley Hayes Architects in 2016, this beautiful building, designed by John Loftus Robinson in the late 1800’s, now stands like a beacon for Victorian architecture. The added extensions provide a striking contrast to the original Victorian structure.

Home to one of Fallon & Byrne’s restaurants, the space magically glows at night, transporting you to a setting not dissimilar to Tavern on the Green in New York’s Central Park.

This space can be enjoyed both daytime and night-time. The ongoing works to the Peoples Park add to the beautiful setting.

How to get there: Getting there is quick and easy – about 30 minutes journey from Dublin’s Connolly Station to Dún Laoghaire. Dublin bus services are also available.