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7 of the Best Things to See and Do on a Maynooth Day Trip

Take a Dublin to Maynooth day trip. Find out about things to do in Maynooth town. Explore Maynooth University on a photowalk in Ireland.
Maynooth is situated about an hour from Dublin by rail and is among my top picks of places to visit in Dublin by train. This picturesque Irish university town is an ideal destination for a weekend Instagram photowalk. 

I saw a post on Instagram advertising a photowalk in Maynooth in July. The timing was perfect so I hopped on the train and was on my way. In the end, I was the only one that actually showed up for the walk. 

Fortunately for me, my friend Alisa from Travel Sandwich drove out to Maynooth to join me on this weekend photo adventure. Here's a sample of the things to see and do that we discovered along the way on our photowalk through Maynooth.

Ivy covered building on the campus of Maynooth University

1. The Royal Canal

Fishing spot on the Royal Canal near Maynooth, Ireland
The Maynooth Irish Rail train station is situated along the banks of the Royal Canal. I had a little time to kill before Alisa arrived so took a quick walk along the canal path. 

I discovered a series of white numbered plates at intervals along the canal. Judging from the picture on top, these were designated fishing spots. I didn't realize that the Royal Canal was stocked with fish!
Path along the Royal Canal near Maynooth, Ireland
Back in July, the canal was choked with flowering lilypads which made for an idyllic scene.
Meanwhile, Alisa did her own reconnaissance along the Royal Canal and posted this great shot of a stone bridge over the Royal Canal running through Maynooth.
A photo posted by Alisa Roup Kennedy (@travel_sandwich) on

2. Maynooth's High Street Shops

The Glassdoll Storefront in Maynooth, IrelandStone archway leading to Maynooth Castle

We walked from the train station to Maynooth's high street which was lined with colorful shops and cafes. I particularly liked this life-sized doll outside The Glass Doll.


3. Maynooth Castle

Maynooth Castle is another photogenic gem to explore and is one of my top picks of Irish castles to visit. We walked through the imposing stone arch and emerged into a leafy courtyard surrounded by the remains of the castle and castle wall.
Ruins of Maynooth Castle
A photo posted by Sidewalk Safari (@drj_sidewalksafari) on

4. Ivy Covered Facades

Close up of ivy on the walls of Maynooth University

Facades covered in ivy were another photographic highlight from our walk in Maynooth. Some of the buildings seemed as if they were being eaten alive by foliage.
A photo posted by Sidewalk Safari (@drj_sidewalksafari) on
Ivy covered building at Maynooth University

5. The Church at St. Patrick's College

Maynooth University is one of the most picturesque institutions of higher learning that I've visited in Ireland. The North and South Campuses are a study in contrasts. 

We focused our attention on the historic Southside featuring St. Patrick's College rather than on the ultra-modern North Campus. 
Doors to the church at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland
St. Patrick's College is anchored by an impressive church tower.

We visited on a Saturday afternoon when the campus was peaceful and quiet. As we strolled the perimeter of St. Patrick's College, we discovered a door that was ajar. 

As we stepped inside, the rector emerged toting something to his car. We quickly explained that we'd found the door open and our curiosity got the better of us. He was super-friendly and escorted us to the main church hall. Not a bother at all.

The interior of the church at St. Patrick's College was positively stunning. We looked up at a patterned red and blue ceiling with a series of shiny organ pipes jutting out. The rose patterned stained glass window anchored the scene. We'd hit the photowalk jackpot!
Church tower at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, IrelandOrgan pipes inside the church at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, IrelandHallway at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland

🔎 If you enjoy photowalks, check out these pictures of Dublin for inspiration of places to go beyond Maynooth.

Stained glass rose window and organ pipes inside the church at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland
Once again, our curiosity got the best of us when we discovered an unattended staircase. We wandered up the stairs and emerged into the choir's balcony featuring sweeping views of the interior.
Interior of the church at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland
Back at ground level, we admired medieval art on the walls and regal but uncomfortable looking seats for those attending church services.
Paintings and seating inside the church at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland

6. The Courtyard Garden at St. Patrick's College

The courtyard garden at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland

One of the passageways at the side of the church at St. Patrick's College led into a beautiful garden courtyard. We weren't sure if we were supposed to be there but there was no way we could forego such amazing photo opportunities!
A photo posted by Sidewalk Safari (@drj_sidewalksafari) on

7. Maynooth University's Bicentenary Garden 

Bicentenary garden at Maynooth UniversityBee in a field of flowers at Maynooth, University
The final stop on our photowalk (and the most picturesque spot that we discovered in Maynooth that day) was the Bicentenary Garden. 

Located off to one side of Maynooth University's South Campus, the sprawling park features a more manageable walled garden. In July when we visited, the area was abloom with all manner of wildflowers.
Wildflowers in the bicentenary garden at Maynooth University

A photo posted by Sidewalk Safari (@drj_sidewalksafari) on
Not only the flowers, but the trees also added to the atmosphere.
A photo posted by Sidewalk Safari (@drj_sidewalksafari) on
A photo posted by Sidewalk Safari (@drj_sidewalksafari) on
Ireland Photowalks are a great excuse to get out and explore the sights in your own backyard. Maynooth is just an hour by train outside of Dublin but it felt a world away as Alisa and I snapped photos happily all afternoon long.

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Things to do on a Dublin to Maynooth Ireland Day Trip
 Things to do on a Dublin to Maynooth Ireland Day Trip


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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 7 of the Best Things to See and Do on a Maynooth Day Trip
7 of the Best Things to See and Do on a Maynooth Day Trip
Take a Dublin to Maynooth day trip. Find out about things to do in Maynooth town. Explore Maynooth University on a photowalk in Ireland.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog