A couple of weeks ago I republished an article about one of my favourite places to go for a walk and hike – The Hellfire Club, on Montpelier Hill up the Dublin Mountains. Well at the foot of the Dublin Mountains and across the road from the Hellfire Club car park, you’ll find Massy’s Estate and Wood Nature Trail. This is where I go to push over huge trees in my spare time … because I’m so strong!
Joking aside though Massy’s Estate is another great spot for a walk. It’s a woodland area that offers easy to navigate pathways that take you through and around the estate. It’s an ideal place to bring your dog. If you like jogging it’s perfect as the trails are clear and if you have children, they’ll love the adventure of the tall trees, the crunch of the leaves, the gurgling of the stream and the mystery of the ancient garden walls that still stand.
On our Visits
We’ve taken the trail that is mapped out. But have taken different routes half way through each time just to change it up. We’ve also spotted something new each of these times. Whether it’s a species of tree we missed, a little waterfall, another pond, the disused Icehouse, or the garden walls. Or on one evening the deer that came to say hello. Lots of the trees have plaques stating what species they are and if you’re unsure of which direction to go in, don’t be, as there are wooden posts along the trail to direct you.
Massy’s Estate – History
There is history behind the estate of course as the ruins were at one time a fabulous and luxurious mansion with sprawling landscaped gardens. The short of it is, the owner, Lord Massy got into financial trouble. The estate was taken from him and his family. The mansion was sold by the banks, who could not find an owner, to a builder for salvage who demolished it. So the mansion was knocked down and with time the landscaped gardens overgrew. Sad really but on a positive note, it is open to the public and enjoyed by many families every day throughout the year.
Massy’s Estate is only 30 minutes by car or bus from Dublin City Centre. But when you get there it’s like a different world. It’s another example of all that Dublin has to offer. For more information on the estate you can visit Dublinmountains.ie here. If you are interested in the history of the estate and the one time owner the Massy family, I came across ‘If Those Trees Could Speak’ by Frank Tracy, which you can access here and which tells the story of the estate and the Massy’s.
A photo gallery to inspire you to get out, about and seeking adventure.
This article was first published in March 2013 but has since received updated text, format and images.