and short stays!
The great thing about living on this little island of ours is that nowhere is very far away. We often travel South for a day trip or short stay, simply because it’s so very easy to do so. Easter break is always the perfect time to have a midweek change of scenery, and so last week we jumped at the chance to swap our own city for a different one and made our way to Dublin.
Dublin Coach got in touch a few months back and asked us to try out their Belfast to Dublin route as an alternative way to travel, and I’ll admit at first I was a little dubious. I think with kids there’s something so handy about just piling everything (and everyone!) in the car, isn’t there? I have to say though, we are total converts. It couldn’t have been more simple or more relaxed, and the service, punctuality and affordability make it a total no brainer for travelling to the South.
With services running sixteen times daily each way, and luxury coaches boasting extra leg room, free wifi, a toilet (you don’t get that in our Citroen! 😉 ) and a journey time of less than two hours to the very centre of the city, it felt a very far cry from public transport. Andrew absolutely loved that he could spend the time reading rather than driving, and with no tolls, city traffic or car parking fees to pay it makes the €40 return fare (for all five of us! Children under 12 are free – two per paying adult) extremely reasonable indeed. As a matter of interest we actually priced the train to compare and it was a considerably more expensive (and complicated!) option.
Some pictures of our day and a little itinerary too, should you be visiting soon!
We caught our Dublin Coach from Glengall Street promptly at 9.35am and were in Dublin city centre by 11.30. The journey passed in a blink and the free Wifi on the coach meant that the gang were fully entertained throughout. I caught up on some emails too, as well as ordering some Summer clothes for the kids. Multitasking at its best! 🙂
We made a beeline for coffee and a snack when we jumped off, and came across OffBeat Donuts pretty close to the coach stop. They were incredible and I literally can’t stop thinking about them. I mean, it’s probably worth the return journey just for those! We tried lemon meringue, cinnamon sugar, cookies and cream and a crunchie one too. I’ve no pictures because they were gone in three seconds flat, but their memory lives on in my InstaStory highlights if you’d like a look!
After refuelling, and high on sugar, we made our way through Temple Bar and Trinity to St Stephen’s Green. We were so fortunate with the beautiful weather and this park is extra stunning on a blue sky day. The street performers were absolutely my favourite part too. 😉 Born for the stage these children of mine!
After a quick look on Grafton Street (and essential Disney Store visit!) the five of us (plus Stitch) made our way through the side streets to Georges Street Arcade. En route we passed this amazing little baking shop called The Kitchen Whisk. If you are keen on cooking or baking and in the area I’d definitely recommend it for a look. Just the prettiest little store!
We ate lunch at Checkpoint Pizza (pizza forevs!) It has a real street food type vibe but their pizza was really delicious and so affordable. The guys running it were super lovely too! Afterwards, we made our way through The Powerscourt Centre back onto Grafton Street. I think this centre was probably my favourite part of the whole day. It has a Liberty style foyer that opens out onto the prettiest indoor/outdoor space, housing little independent shops and cafes. I’ve been told it is amazing at Christmas too, so obviously that’s on the agenda when the festive season rolls around again!
Our last stop of the day was The Wax Museum Plus, really close by to Custom House Quay where we were catching our coach home. It was a great way to fill an hour or so, but I think it would be best kept for a rainy day. The kids did really enjoy it (you can see on my Stories if you’d like to!) but the weather was so nice that I kind of wished we’d spent another hour or so outdoors (or in And Other Stories. That option had my vote! 😉 )
After that, we made one final stop at the donut shop for coach snacks (I abstained but quickly regretted it!) and then caught our bus back to Belfast. It was the best little day, made moreso by the total ease of travel and hassle free journey. I’d honestly thoroughly recommend Dublin Coach and we’ll definitely be using their service again in the future. A day away is just good for the soul, hey?
And what a city to spend it in.
** Thanks so much to Dublin Coach for inviting us to try their service for the day. All words, opinions, images and extra pounds due to donut consumption are entirely our own. 🙂 **