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The Parks Thread - How Many Can You Run?

  • 29-07-2017 8:33am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Summer. Long runs getting longer. Silly season.

    I find the default run routes can get monotonous and I try to vary them as much as possible. Here's an idea for a bit of fun for runners based in Dublin and other towns/cities: how many parks can you include in your run?

    There are many little-known and little-used parks out there. Why not include them in your run and post a description/review in your post? How many parks did you get to? Where are they? What are they like to run in? Any interesting features/facilities (e.g. water source, interesting trails etc.)? You get the picture!

    We could probably crowdsource useful information on most of the public parks out there. For planning your run, some local authority websites contain information on the parks under their jurisdiction. Dublin City Council's list, for example, is here. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that there are some omissions from this list. Attached below is another list that DCC provides, but it dates from 1999 and thus does not include newer parks such as Fr. Collins in Clongriffin. No doubt there are other omissions which might come to light in due course.

    Describe your run here, perhaps including a link to your Garmin Connect or Strava activity for added detail. As this idea has emerged from some Strava discussion, I know that one or two people have started 'collecting' already.

    Not a competition, of course, but who can run the most parks? Or who can squeeze the most parks into a run? :) :cool:


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    I'll get the ball rolling myself. :)

    11k, 5 parks.

    This recent easy run took in some of my favourite parks - the local Fairview Park, Griffith Park in Drumcondra, Albert College in Glasnevin and the two large greens in Marino. I've always considered the latter to be small parks as they are railed, maintained by the Council and have other features generally associated with parks - trees, a football pitch etc. They are not on the council website but sure enough are listed on the PDF linked above so I think they're legit - despite some quibbling from some quarters in the strava comments. ;)

    All of these parks are looking magnificent at the moment, especially Albert College which really is a gem, with its mature trees and excellent tarmac paths, which measure Just over 1.6k around the perimeter so really handy for mile reps or shorter sessions. Relatively flat too, although there is a little drag from the Griffith Ave. end up to DCU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭ RayCun


    I haven't run it in a while, so I don't have the garmin/strava link, but I've run something like this before
    http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1704896966
    St Lorcan O'Toole park
    Bushy Park
    Marlay Park
    Dodder valley Park
    Tymon park

    I'm sure I could run across some greens and through people's gardens to bump up the numbers :pac: but those are actual parks :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    RayCun wrote: »
    I haven't run it in a while, so I don't have the garmin/strava link, but I've run something like this before
    http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1704896966
    St Lorcan O'Toole park
    Bushy Park
    Marlay Park
    Dodder valley Park
    Tymon park

    I'm sure I could run across some greens and through people's gardens to bump up the numbers :pac: but those are actual parks :D

    Now now. Greens and gardens are clearly not allowed. Only parks on DCC and other official local authority lists. They don't have to be big. Or maybe they do - the rules are malleable, like all good rules. :)

    Here's one from yesterday.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1108567323

    The route was a little contrived, but managed to visit at least five parks I've never been in, although I'd run past most of them before. Some of them are very interesting, and some of them are damn scary, but they are all 'official' parks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    RayCun wrote: »
    I'm sure I could run across some greens and through people's gardens to bump up the numbers :pac: but those are actual parks :D

    Ha! well if that's the game then that increases my chances somewhat :D. We have one park in Dunboyne so I'd have to drive to Ongar or something and try and run a few of the Dublin 15 parks. Might try that next weekend. Looks like the closer to the city you are (both North and South) you have a big crop to pick from.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    Murph_D wrote: »
    The route was a little contrived, but managed to visit at least five parks I've never been in, although I'd run past most of them before. Some of them are very interesting, and some of them are damn scary, but they are all 'official' parks!

    Yikes! Diamond Park :eek: and Liberty Park, you're a braver person than I. Do the rules say you must start from home?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Yikes! Diamond Park :eek: and Liberty Park, you're a braver person than I. Do the rules say you must start from home?

    Those are two (very small) parks I've never been in before. Liberty Park is in the heart of the famous old Monto red light district. When I visited, there were a few addicts hanging about at the gate (not in any way threatening) and a young woman was doing some stretches in the centre of the park (sensibly, allowing a number of possible escape routes if anything happened, I supposed). It's a bare and sad little park, but no doubt it will improve with time. Has a fine bandstand and a little religious shrine, which I suspect predates the park).

    Diamond Park is just around the corner on Gardiner St. It was pretty lively when I visited with lots of kids in the playground. Again, I'd never been in before, but it's a decent small urban space - reminds me of some of the small parks near where I used to live in New York years ago – permanent table tennis tables (also a feature of Mountjoy Sq Park), basketball court, a kids' 'maze' – not scary at all!

    Start from wherever you like!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    I was down there recently looking to see if the pool in Sean McDermot Street pool had potential for a lunchtime swim (it doesn't), a local woman suggested I hold onto my bag and don't take my phone out, in fact she told me twice. I got out of dodge fairly quickly after that :D I remember Diamond park before they put playground into it, and indeed after they put the playground in it was wrecked but yes seems to be used properly by the locals now which is great to see. Look forward to seeing what you come up with next week!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,566 ✭✭✭ Wubble Wubble


    Just had a look at this. Some interesting ones to say the least. I certainly wouldn't call Ormond Square a park - although it has a playground I suppose. It also has a plaque dedicated to John Giles, and then a sign a couple of feet away forbidding ball games :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Just had a look at this. Some interesting ones to say the least. I certainly wouldn't call Ormond Square a park - although it has a playground I suppose. It also has a plaque dedicated to John Giles, and then a sign a couple of feet away forbidding ball games :confused:

    Yep - had actually never been on Ormond Sq before. Had my eye out for Giles landmarks but didn't spot any! Agree it's not a park in the accepted sense but it's on both council lists for some reason. Website claims it is the oldest dedicated public recreational space in Dublin (sounds dubious), but if so that's possibly why its park status is being artificially preserved!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,145 ✭✭✭ positron


    Murph_D wrote: »
    other towns/cities: how many parks can you include in your run?

    All of them. Every run. There's only one park here in Drogheda that I know of (St. Dominics Park) which is on my way to Oldbridge, which means 100% coverage. What did I win? :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭ denis b


    Damn good idea D. A run can always be more than a run. My own little effort yielded a pb :). A win is a win.

    Bram Stoker Park (Fairview): a fitting remembrance name nestled in front of The Crescent. Surrounded by traffic but very well sheltered by shrubs and trees. A couple of laps to make up a km :)

    Ellenfield Park (Whitehall): Where Liam Brady plied his trade as a nipper and the last place that I saw Luke Kelly walking with his flaming red hair.

    Look forward to adding to this list, and of course another pb.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    positron wrote: »
    All of them. Every run. There's only one park here in Drogheda that I know of (St. Dominics Park) which is on my way to Oldbridge, which means 100% coverage. What did I win? :D

    You could always branch out and visit Dundalk. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,935 ✭✭✭ annapr


    denis b wrote: »
    Damn good idea D. A run can always be more than a run. My own little effort yielded a pb :). A win is a win.

    Bram Stoker Park (Fairview): a fitting remembrance name nestled in front of The Crescent. Surrounded by traffic but very well sheltered by shrubs and trees. A couple of laps to make up a km :)

    Ellenfield Park (Whitehall): Where Liam Brady plied his trade as a nipper and the last place that I saw Luke Kelly walking with his flaming red hair.

    Look forward to adding to this list, and of course another pb.

    Can we add a rule that if you include an interesting fact about the park it gets you extra points? Nice one D :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    Have to say, this little game is making things more interesting :). Went out for a walk (sorry!) at lunchtime on Tuesday and decided to see how many parks I could get in. Had to borrow a couple from Murph though and started out in Diamond Park - eh he forgot to mention it's mostly closed off due to the building going on beside it so my walk went like this. Strode through the gate confidently past a group of builders (I'm in a LBD and runners...), walked around by the playground only to realise there was no way out except to go back the way I came :D, good start! Headed up to Mountjoy Square then and in one gate, out the opposite. Have never walked in there before despite working fairly close by, interesting cross section of society and lots of different cultures represented. Headed over to the Garden of Remembrance then, this is another 'only one way in/out' park. Lots of people sitting eating their lunch in the sun and there's a nice looking pool in the middle I could have jumped in and done some lengths :p. No more parks on this walk but did nip into the Department of Education grounds as I passed to do a loop, they have a green in the centre, does that count?! Headed for the boardwalk then to finish it off & make it a bit of a miss match. Verdict: much more interesting than my usual up and down the quays stroll.

    Then today I was heading to Hartstown parkrun so did some googling to see if I could take in a few more parks. Cherryfield Park is across from Hartstown, it's not much to speak of but it's on google maps as a park so I'm taking it....ran Hartstown parkrun and then jogged the mile or so up to Millennium Park, pretty unimpressive as parks go! Poor ole D15 is not blessed in the parks department I'm afraid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Nice work. Sorry, yes, I did notice (and was quite annoyed by) the building work's encroachment on Diamond Park but having never been in there I wasnt sure how extensive it was - after all the 'Tony Gregory' incubator units the new student accommodation is replacing didn't seem part of the park either. I've a feeling some of these new student cities will be quite, eh, lively, although I hope they diversify rather than gentrify the areas they're being built in.

    I was wondering whether the Garden of Remembrance is actually a park - not counted as one by DCC but possibly one of the OPW parks?

    Millennium park? Don't know that one!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    Murph_D wrote: »
    I was wondering whether the Garden of Remembrance is actually a park - not counted as one by DCC but possibly one of the OPW parks?

    Millennium park? Don't know that one!

    Yep it's listed as OPW, not sure if that counts :p, Millennium Park in Dublin 15, runs alongside the new (well, not anymore) bypass roads they built when they built the SC here. Nothing of note to report in it!

    Going to try for some south city parks next week :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Yep it's listed as OPW, not sure if that counts :p, Millennium Park in Dublin 15, runs alongside the new (well, not anymore) bypass roads they built when they built the SC here. Nothing of note to report in it!

    Going to try for some south city parks next week :)

    Well Phoenix Park is OPW so that's good enough for me.

    I always get lost in D15. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    Two parks and a canal today. There's a little park beside the pool I go to in Cabra called Pope John Paul Park, its tiny and aside from a pretty little garden in the front section, is pretty much made up of a path going around some football pitches. Dipped in on the way from the pool to the Canal, ran along there up to Ashtown Gate and then nipped into the trails in the Phoenix Park before dipping back into PJP park again on the way back. I vaguely remember running in there once before but once again enjoyed mixing things up a bit, I'd normally just run from the pool to the PP and back again so really enjoyed the change of scene.

    Is no one else playing?! You're all missing out :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,935 ✭✭✭ annapr


    No parks up here but I did find myself counting mountain ranges on my long run this morning.... I wasn't climbing them :p but could see 4 in 3 counties :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭ denis b


    Two parks and a canal today. There's a little park beside the pool I go to in Cabra called Pope John Paul Park, its tiny and aside from a pretty little garden in the front section, is pretty much made up of a path going around some football pitches. Dipped in on the way from the pool to the Canal, ran along there up to Ashtown Gate and then nipped into the trails in the Phoenix Park before dipping back into PJP park again on the way back. I vaguely remember running in there once before but once again enjoyed mixing things up a bit, I'd normally just run from the pool to the PP and back again so really enjoyed the change of scene.

    Is no one else playing?! You're all missing out :)

    Nice find AM. Have been to a few hurling games there over the years. Just see that they have an older local name on the park The Bogies Could not figure out the origin of the name but thought it might be of interest.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    annapr wrote: »
    No parks up here but I did find myself counting mountain ranges on my long run this morning.... I wasn't climbing them :p but could see 4 in 3 counties :D

    Not sure if they count anna :p you'll have to have a word with the boss, as he informed me earlier on Strava, his game, his rules :D
    denis b wrote: »
    Nice find AM. Have been to a few hurling games there over the years. Just see that they have an older local name on the park The Bogies Could not figure out the origin of the name but thought it might be of interest.

    Denis you're a great man for the points of interest! Funny how a name that originated in the 30's still hangs around in the locality, very 'Dublin'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Nice work, AM. You could've dipped into the Tolka Valley Park too, from what I saw on Strava. Any reason why not? It's generally safe enough! ;)

    Visited that "John Paul" Park for first time on my run last week. Had run past dozens of times without ever going in. You say it's small but it was more extensive than I expected, with plenty of busy pitches and a very impressive looking sports centre/gym/changing facility. I was a bit mystified by the JP2 monicker, but encouraged to see the front section has been recently dedicated to Cumann na mBan, probably as part of the 2016 reevaluation of recent history. Nice mature trees around the park too.

    Bogies - fascinating name. Had noticed the nearby roundabout is called the same. Love these older place names, will try to find out more.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭ Annie get your Run


    Murph_D wrote: »
    Nice work, AM. You could've dipped into the Tolka Valley Park too, from what I saw on Strava. Any reason why not? It's generally safe enough! ;)

    Visited that "John Paul" Park for first time on my run last week. Had run past dozens of times without ever going in. You say it's small but it was more extensive than I expected, with plenty of busy pitches and a very impressive looking sports centre/gym/changing facility. I was a bit mystified by the JP2 monicker, but encouraged to see the front section has been recently dedicated to Cumann na mBan, probably as part of the 2016 reevaluation of recent history. Nice mature trees around the park too.

    Bogies - fascinating name. Had noticed the nearby roundabout is called the same. Love these older place names, will try to find out more.

    I hadn't done a google recce beforehand and didn't realise tolka valley was close by, damn it. I clearly need to be more observant as never noticed the Cumann na mBan dedication either...perhaps I need to start wearing my glasses while running!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭ denis b


    Was away last week in the North East of England and happened across a few Parks that I had a peep into. We are spoiled, and spoiled rotten, in Dublin at least. Our Parks are simply second to none in terms of accessibility, planting, design and facilities. Hats off to the visionaries who have left us a beautiful community resource. How else could we have capitalised and hosted the wonderfully inclusive concept of Parkrun. I digress.

    Last Sunday week I decided to follow on Murph_D's epic 13 Park Run. Started in D2 and had a 32km LR to do so mentally plotted out a course as I went along to add a little cerebral challenge to the physical one of just finishing the distance. These are the Parks I visited:

    St. Kevin's Park - just off Camden St. Lots of historic marked Graves.
    St. Patrick's Park - along the viewing platform X 2 to see the newly planted flower beds
    St. Stephen's Green -
    Iveagh Gardens - into the former Winter Ice Rink and summer Archery Pit
    Merrion Square - with a nod to Oscar Wilde
    Elizabeth O'Farrell Park - with the Maritime Memorials on the Quayside. Also called City Quay Park!!
    Pearse Sq. Park - location for many a film
    Ringsend Park - in the shadow of the Athletics Stadium
    Sean Moore Park - home to Clan na Gael/Fontenoys and where Mickey Whelan played before crossing the river glory with St. Vincent's
    Clontarf Promenade - a little cheeky I think but also worthy of mention for so much inspiration in all weathers
    Bram Stoker Park - the front garden of the houses on the Crescent built to spoil an Earl's view of the sea from The Casino
    Fairview Park - built on reclaimed land from the sea. The railings mark the old sea wall.
    Mountjoy Square - our only true Georgian Square
    Garden of Remembrance - not on our City Council List
    Diamond Park - alive and well on Sean McDermott St. Bring your table tennis bat.
    Liberty Park - Grim surrounds but slowly improving with newly planted borders and Bouncy Castle Funday
    Wolfe Tone Park - all chic now but formerly a graveyard with the slabs lining one end of the park now
    Ormond Square - See if you can find the wall plaque to John Giles
    Chancery Park - is officially named on a utility building but does not appear on the City Council List. I grabbed it. Beautiful Art Deco touches - script, Portico entrance, side building and light fixtures. My favourite park of the day. Blinding symmetry.
    St. Michan's Park - a lost park in a part of the inner city well hidden from view.
    King's Inns Park - closed but I stuck my foot in through the railings close to The Hungry Tree on Constitution Hill.
    Berkeley Road Park - go into the Waterbasin which once supplied water for the new posh Georgian Houses nearby
    Blessington Road/Broadstone Park - linear park following the canal spur from the Royal to the water Basin.
    Great Western Square - and soon to host all those students from the nearly amalgamated DIT's around town. Unusual Wicker Sculptures.
    Phoenix Park - needs no introduction and the scene for so many important athletic meets
    Croppies Memorial Park - was flagging a little at this stage with the heat but glad to report that the park is open to the public again
    St. Audeon Park - closed at weekends. Too many heroin users. Spotted 2 as I passed by.


    Finished the run with a trot along the Grand Canal knowing that I had missed several handy additions. 25 parks visited and an LR completed.

    Edit :Official count 24 Parks


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Epic stuff D!

    This is indeed impressive, although I don't think we can allow you King's Inns or St Audeon's unless you jumped the railings.:pac: Also on my recent run I counted Blessington St Park and the Basin as a single park (in line with DCC list), and I don't think you actually got to Berkeley St Park according to your Strava trace (missed that one myself too.)

    Even with those modifications, I make this 24 parks, way into the lead. :cool:

    Impressed that you made up this course as you went along, too. Hmm. How to top that... :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,935 ✭✭✭ annapr


    Great tour denis but sticking your foot through the railings... don't think you can claim that one! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭ denis b


    Murph_D wrote: »
    Epic stuff D!

    This is indeed impressive, although I don't think we can allow you King's Inns or St Audeon's unless you jumped the railings.:pac:

    27 Parks listed but I left both of these out so can only "claim" the 25!!

    Also on my recent run I counted Blessington St Park and the Basin as a single park (in line with DCC list), and I don't think you actually got to Berkeley St Park according to your Strava trace (missed that one myself too.)
    Had a close look at your pdf and agree that there is confusion here. I used the wrong name to indicate Berkeley Park. I had run through the isolated park at the end of the Western Way but yes, it must be part of the extended Blessington St. Basin Park. So the running (hhmmmm) total is now 24 :)

    Even with those modifications, I make this 24 parks, way into the lead. :cool:

    Impressed that you made up this course as you went along, too. Hmm. How to top that... :D

    Knew I missed a few handy ones as tiredness got the better of me: missed Berkeley, Cabbage Patch, Millennium Garden, Sandymount Green which were all very close by. There are lots of handy Parks in D6. Might try that again leaving out Fairview etc as it is a long drag out to that quadrant and it is kind of familiar.

    Its all in the learning :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ Murph_D


    Ah, I'd missed your last para with the 25 Park count, sorry.

    Thanks for the local history comments - was always wondering about that part of Iveagh Gardens - had assumed it was a bowling green in days of yore. Ice rink / archery pit is much more interesting.

    Giles plaque - have to go back now!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,566 ✭✭✭ Wubble Wubble


    I'm thinking of concocting an LSR to include all the DSS postcodes i.e. D2, D4, D6, D8 etc. For some reason I imagine I'd have to cover a lot more ground...not sure it's even doable in 20 miles?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭ denis b


    I'm thinking of concocting an LSR to include all the DSS postcodes i.e. D2, D4, D6, D8 etc. For some reason I imagine I'd have to cover a lot more ground...not sure it's even doable in 20 miles?

    I think it is doable with an inner line of the post codes here

    Looks like I may have researched it already :eek:


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