There are a number of benefits to living in Dublin but one that tends to fly under the radar is the magnificent nature that's all around us here in the capital.
Right at the western edge of the city is the Phoenix Park which is home to acres upon acres of lush green grass as well as countless different kinds of wildlife for you to tick off your list.
Today though, we're focusing on the surrounding areas of the park and more specifically, a beautiful little location which a lot of Dubliners don't appear to be familiar with. That location, my friends, is Chapelizod.
Before we go any further let's just stop and appreciate how much that name rolls off the tongue. Coming from the Irish, Séipéal Iosóid, meaning "Iseult's Chapel", you'd be hard pushed to find a better-named place in Dublin and it really is just as lovely as its moniker suggests.
Located at the bottom of Knockmaroon Hill, Chapelizod is nestled between Ballyfermot and the Phoenix Park itself with the Strawberry Beds and Castleknock towering above.
Driving down the hill from Castleknock provides an alternative, more scenic route to the city from north-west Dublin than taking the busy M50. What greets you is a narrow road dotted by colourful rows of old cottages on either side.
Whether you're driving or walking, the winding road will eventually lead you to the small village at the bottom which is home to a small row of shops on the right and The Villager pub on the left.
On a sunny day, you'll usually spot a few locals and/or visitors sitting in the small outdoor area out the front and you could do worse than join them for a spot of people-watching as folks duck in and out of the village for shopping, walking or even about to embark on some river-based activities on the Liffey.
One unique way you can travel along the iconic river is by paddle boarding with Dublin-based adventure company Big Style, an option which we have explored in this article before.
Alternatively, Chapelizod has ample opportunity for nature walks along its banks all the way into town.
Being just under 4km from the city centre, slowly making your way along the river is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Part of your journey will be spent watching water enthusiasts rowing or kayaking down the river, with the Garda Rowing Club located along the way.
That's not to say you shouldn't spend more time in the haven that is Chapelizod. A handful of pretty little cafes and restaurants are just waiting for you to visit. Aussie, you've guessed it, an Australian-themed bar and restaurant is located just at the opposite end of the bridge over the Liffey to the village, facing Cafe De Broc which is ideal for breakfast or lunch.
Prepare to feel a slight twang of envy as you catch a glimpse at the little houses whose back gardens literally back onto the Liffey.
For those who reside in Lucan, Castleknock, Ashtown, and some more surrounding areas, the beauty of Chapelizod comes as no surprise and we expect it's going to get a lot more visitors in the near future as word gets out.
With the famous Strawberry Beds pubs The Anglers Rest and Strawberry Hall in close proximity, Chapelizod is an ideal thoroughfare as you make your way through and from the city and the western suburbs.
Why not check it out this weekend?