A Tourist in My Own City – Blessington Street Basin

Blessington Street Basin is a secret garden right in the heart of Dublin City.  Despite having been born and raised in the city, I did not discover this hidden gem until we rented a house in the area.

Blessington Street Basin

This park is unusual as it is almost entirely made of water!  There is a path around the basin dotted with benches and lined with beautiful raised flower beds. It was renovated throughout 93/94, and officially opened to the public in November 1994.

There is a man-made island in the centre of the reservoir, and this has become an unofficial bird sanctuary.  In the summer months, you may be greeted with the peculiar sight of large hay bales floating in the water.  According to the park warden, they prevent the water from stagnating and keep the environment fresh and clean for the wildlife.

The basin has had a diverse history. It was built in 1803 and served as a reservoir for the city of Dublin.  When the Vartry Reservoir system was completed in the 1860’s, the water from the Blessington Street Basin was no longer needed for the city.  Instead, the water was used to supply the distilleries of Jameson and Powers.

Blessington Basin is an oasis of calm in the centre of a bustling metropolitan city.  It is situated just ten minutes walk from the Spire of Dublin.  It connects to the Royal Canal Linear Park, which in turn connects to walkway along the Grand Canal.  While in the area, you could also visit St Michan’s Church (which is famous for it’s mummies) and King’s Inn.

View of St Peter's Church from Blessington Basin

View the rest of the “A Tourist in my Own City” series:


15 responses to “A Tourist in My Own City – Blessington Street Basin

    • The Church in the background is St Peter’s Church in Phibsborough! 🙂

      Finding this beautiful park is what prompted me to start the ‘Tourist in My Own City’ series. It highlighted how easy it is to forget to notice all the beautiful places and interesting things that are right on the doorstep!

  1. We do tend to take everything for granted in our own town and it’s great that you started this series of your own town. Last year I returned to my birthplace in Scotland, a little town called Peebles, and I had forgotten how pretty it is. The locals take it all for granted, but I saw it in a new light!

    • I’m really enjoying being ‘A Tourist in my own City’, and doing these posts for the blog are keeping me motivated to get out there and discover everything Dublin has to offer!

      I’m sure Peebles is a beautiful place. Scotland really has an air of magic and enchantment about it!

    • Mr Fluffytufts took those photos during Winter 09/10! We don’t normally have snow like that (some years, no snow at all), but that winter was record-breaking for snow in Ireland!

    • No ice-skating unfortunately! 🙂
      That winter (09/10) we had record-breaking ice and snow for Ireland. The reservoir was actually locked during the cold snap (Mr Fluffytufts stuck his hands through the railings to get these photos), probably to stop teenagers trying to walk on the ice. It was not frozen solid, so would have been an accident waiting to happen.

  2. That is beautiful. I wish it snowed here sometimes through the winter, I believe a blanket of snow creates such a beautiful effect.

  3. What a lovely idea being a tourist in one’s own town, all too often we just take for granted the wonderful things right around the corner. This park is absolutely fantastic. Thanks for the walk around.

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