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20th Dec 2016

Bank Holiday Monday Adventure: The Undersung Hero Of The Southside


Weeping willows, weirs and wildlife, the Dodder has it all. Southsiders won’t even have to leave their alleged socio-economic bubble.

You may even catch a sighting of the Luas!

Here’s everything you need to know…


Whatever you want. It’s paved the entire way.



You’re grand.


The route I am showing you here is about 3.5km from Bushy Park to the Dropping Well but you might decide to turn and go back giving yourself a nice 7km walk.


0/5 I had to invent a new rating level. It’s just that easy going.



We are walking from Bushy Park in Terenure to the Dropping Well pub in Dartry. If you have a buddy AND you want to walk it one way without turning back AND you both have cars you can leave one car at the Dropping Well and one car at Bushy Park.

Getting there

Bushy Park is on Templeogue Road in Terenure. If you’re coming from town via Harold’s Cross turn right in Terenure Village. The Dropping Well is on Milltown Road in Dartry.

Public Transport: The 15, 49, 65 and 65b all stop at Bushy Park. I started at the Terenure College entrance. The Dropping Well is very near Milltown Luas stop (Green line) and is on the 142 bus route.



Watch out for the parking zones at Bushy as one side is free and one side is pay and display even on Sundays. If you’re leaving a car at the Dropping Well for an hour or two be sound and have lunch there when you finish.


The Sights

Bushy Park has a market now every Saturday so if you’re not having a Sunday adventure consider one of the Saturday variety. It’s got more than just food too. There was a brass band when I was there last.


Take whatever route you want through Bushy Park towards the pond. There’s a gap in the wall at the back of it that leads out to the Dodder.


Follow the path and cross at the really cool looking stepping-stones. The path will bring you up to the road where you can cross at the lights and continue through the gap in the wall.

You can sometimes see people fishing along this part of the walk as well as the odd swan. If you see a swan close up take a look at its feet. You won’t be disappointed.


Keep an eye out for what appears to be a Roman Triumphal Arch on your right. It was one of the entrances to Rathfarnham castle. The arch is 18th century. The castle is 16th century and was built on an even older site.


We’re going to cross the footbridge at this point and enter Orwell Park. You’re going to start seeing the remnants of industrial activity on the river here as well as the weeping willow trees that are most people’s image of the Dodder. You can cut through the park if you want but it pays to follow the river around.


Follow the path under the tunnel into Dartry Park. It’s equally pleasant and has even more prominent evidence of industry.


You emerge from the park and up the hill with Dartry Mills on your right. It has been creatively turned into offices now and at the top of the road the old Dye Works is now a Montessori.


You are now going to have to follow the road for a little bit around to the right in the same direction as the river was flowing. You’ll be able to pop through the wall a little bit further down.


Follow on past the Weir and you’re at the Dropping Well. Have a look for the Rhino in the river at the back. He showed up a few years ago and the owners swear they have nothing to do with it. He seems happy anyway.


Fancy some food?

Well you are already in your pyjamas at the Dropping Well. It’s got much more to offer than you’re average pub grub. This is Dartry after all.


You can keep on going down as far as Clonskeagh if you wish. It’s definitely worth walking down just to see the Luas go over the viaduct. The Green line Luas pretty much follows the old Bray to Harcourt street line that was closed in 1958 amid much protest from local people and staff who worked on the line.

I recommend you wait to see those people being proved right.