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14 Henrietta Street + Pearse Lyons Distillery = The Perfect Dublin Day Out

Learn about Dublin history focused on a visit to 14 Henrietta Street tenement museum and Pearse Lyon Distillery. Spend a day out in Dublin spanning over one thousand years of history.
Dublin history spans more than a millennium and some of my Sidewalk Safari one day in Dublin itineraries have covered aspects of this history. 

I recently took a staycation day from my day job and used that opportunity to explore some corners of Dublin's history that we haven't experienced yet. 

This one day itinerary explores the history of the gentry and Dublin's tenement history at 14 Henrietta Street before heading over to an 800 year old church that is now Pearse Lyons Distillery.

Dublin History: Pearse Lyons Distillery copper pot stills

About This Dublin Day Trip Itinerary

One Day in Dublin City Itinerary Rating: Intermediate
This Dublin day out itinerary is recommended for people with the following interests: history, food

Dublin History Day Trip Itinerary in Brief

  1. Sit down for breakfast at Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street
  2. Stop at the Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again exhibit in the Bank of Ireland Building on College Green
  3. Take a guided tour of the 14 Henrietta Street Tenement Museum
  4. Stroll the grounds of King's Inn Law School
  5. Try a slice of chocolate Guinness cake with a craft coffee at Proper Order in Smithfield
  6. Enjoy posh fish and chips with a glass of wine for lunch at Fish Shop Dublin
  7. Tour Pearse Lyons whiskey distillery which is situated in an 800 year old de-consecrated church in the Liberties
  8. Sip an experimental pint or two at Guinness Open Gate Brewery
  9. Eat dinner at The Ramen Bar on South William Street
  10. Catch a performance at the historic Olympia Theatre on Dame Street
Explore other one day Dublin City itineraries here:
One Day in Dublin City Itineraries

    Dublin History Day Trip Detailed Itinerary

    Start a day that will be filled with Dublin history with breakfast at recently renovated but historic Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street. Bewley's Cafe opened its doors on Grafton Street in 1927. 

    That's nearly 100 years of history right there. In some ways, Bewley's feels like a Belle Epoque cafe that you might find in Paris. 

    Sit at smart wooden tables and admire both the rich patterned floor and stained glass windows. Go upstairs and sit on the first floor for great views and people watching.
    Dublin History: Bewley's Oriental Cafes
    What should you eat at Bewley's? I recommend the flaky sourdough croissant which is filled with countless nooks and crannies. 

    You also can't go wrong with Bewley's full Irish breakfast or a plate of 3 mini-scones so you can try all the flavors on offer. 

    Pro-tip: if you are a party of two or more, order one full Irish for the table to share and then supplement with some of Bewley's delicious baked goods or cakes.
    Dublin History: Breakfast at Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin
    Explore Dublin's rich history of poetry with a visit to Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again in the Bank of Ireland building on College Green. 

    Dublin is packed with free things to do and the exhibit on Ireland's recently deceased Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney is one of them. You'll even hear some of Heaney's poetry read in his own voice.
    Dublin History: Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again Exhibit
    Head to Dublin's Northside to learn about what can only be described as "de-gentrification" at 14 Henrietta Street. The museum at 14 Henrietta St. offers a 75 minute guided tour for 9 EUR per adult.

    You'll walk through the history of the building from its origins as a center of Georgian opulence to an overcrowded tenement against a backdrop of Irish history. 

    Learn about the circumstances of some of the former residents of 14 Henrietta Street. You'll be gobsmacked when you learn that there were people living here up until the 1970s and there was no indoor plumbing or running water in the rooms.
    Dublin History: 14 Henrietta Street Museum
    We even made a new friend at 14 Henrietta Street. The lad working the ticket desk described this beautiful cat looking in the front window as "The Bouncer".
    Dublin History: The Bouncer at 14 Henrietta Street Museum
    After finishing your tour of 14 Henrietta Street museum, take a quick stroll through nearby King's Inns Law School. The best part is the tree in the park that appears to be eating a park bench.
    The bench-eating tree at King's Inn Law School in Dublin
    Are you a fan of dessert first like I am? Walk to Smithfield and head to Proper Order Coffee.
    Grab a stool and order the decadent and moist chocolate Guinness cake with some craft coffee.
    Guinness Cake at Proper Order Coffee in Smithfield
    For lunch, I recommend Fish Shop Dublin. Sit at a simple counter to enjoy the day's catch. Not in the mood for fish and chips? Order a plate of mussels washed down with a glass of white wine. 

    Fish Shop is no ordinary chipper so be prepared to wait if you are bringing a large group or planning to dine during the peak lunch hour. 

    We got lucky and nabbed the last two seats at the counter. Several other potential patrons were turned away after us or needed to wait about 30 minutes for a spot.
    Fish and Chips at Fish Shop Dublin
    After lunch, cross the River Liffey once more and head to Dublin's Liberties neighborhood and Pearse Lyons Distillery. Pearse Lyons Distillery is a phoenix emerging from the grounds of 800 year old St. James Church and graveyard. 

    The more recent incarnation of St. James is a gothic construction dating back to the 19th century but laid in ruin prior to this new lease on life. Founder, Thomas Pearse Lyons is an Irish business man who made his fortune in America. 

    Pearse and Deirdre Lyons lovingly invested in the restoration of the de-consecrated church and it opened as a new whiskey distillery in late 2017. Sadly Pearse Lyons died just a few months after Pearse Lyons Distillery opened but you can still hear him talk about the Lyons' vision for the distillery and why they invested in bringing this old church back to life.
    Dublin History: Pearse Lyons Distillery
    The cost of a tour and whiskey tasting experience at Pearse Lyons Distillery range from 20 - 30 EUR at the time of writing. The tour and tasting takes about an hour and includes a walk through the historic graveyard on the property. 

    Pearse Lyons own grandfather is buried here adding yet another connection of this family to this place. Your jaw will drop when you walk inside the restored church building. 

    The crumbled church tower has been replaced with a giant glass spire that lights the sky at night. Copper pot stills are frame by custom made stained glass panels that pay homage to whiskey distilling. 
    Dublin History: Pearse Lyons Distillery whiskey themed stained glass
    After the tour of Pearse Lyons Distillery, head over to Guinness Open Gate brewery where you can sample a variety of ever-changing experimental craft beers. 

    Then head back into Dublin City Centre for dinner on South William Street. I recommend The Ramen Bar for nourishing soup and dumplings in an atmospheric setting.
    Dinner at The Ramen Bar on South William Street in Dublin City Centre
    Finish out this day exploring Dublin history with a visit to the historic 19th century Olympia Theatre. Admire the entrance which is surrounded with stained glass. 

    Head inside to the formerly sumptuous and now slightly threadbare interior to catch a musical or theatre performance.

    Dublin History: the Olympia Theatre

    Map of This Dublin History Itinerary 

    Click on the image of the map below to open an interactive version in Google Maps covering all the details of this Dublin history-focused one day itinerary.
    One Day of Dublin History Map

    Guide to Sidewalk Safari Dublin City Itineraries

    • Leisurely: No need to get up super-early to start this itinerary which is always good if you experienced a little too much of Dublin's famous craic the night before. Take your time exploring the sights on these itineraries or take detours that you discover on your own in the process of following my suggestions.
    • Intermediate: You should be able to comfortably fit in the activities recommended even if you don't get an early start. There is a fair amount of walking involved in these itineraries to get from place to place.
    • Ambitious: Lots to see plus a lot of walking. Make sure to get an early start or you won't make it to everything on the list.
    The perfect formula for a day out in Dublin City includes: breakfast/coffee, morning activities, lunch, afternoon activities, a pub stop, dinner, and evening fun.

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    Dublin History: Tenements and WhiskeyDublin History: Tenements and Whiskey

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    Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 14 Henrietta Street + Pearse Lyons Distillery = The Perfect Dublin Day Out
    14 Henrietta Street + Pearse Lyons Distillery = The Perfect Dublin Day Out
    Learn about Dublin history focused on a visit to 14 Henrietta Street tenement museum and Pearse Lyon Distillery. Spend a day out in Dublin spanning over one thousand years of history.
    Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog