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 what we discovered along the way on our photowalk through Maynooth.
The Royal Canal
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!
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.
Maynooth's High Street Shops
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.
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Maynooth Castle is another photogenic gem to explore. We walked through the imposing stone arch and emerged into a leafy courtyard surrounded by the remains of the castle and castle wall.
Ivy Covered Facades
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.
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.
St. Patrick's College is anchored by an impressive church tower.
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!
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: If you enjoy photowalks, check out these pictures of Dublin for inspiration of places to go beyond Maynooth.
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.
The Courtyard Garden at St. Patrick's College
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!
Maynooth University's Bicentenary Garden
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.
Not only the flowers, but the trees also added to the atmosphere.