Your guide to Walkinstown: Mid-century estates built around pockets of green

And one very stubborn resident.

Your Neighbourhood is a series of local area guides from TheJournal.ie, presented by KBC. We’re bringing you the best of city neighbourhoods combined with the latest property data.

UNTIL ABOUT 80 years ago, Walkinstown was a dairy farm. It was originally called Wilkinstown after a man called Wilkins, said to have been a farmer in the area in the 15th century. (One of the newest housing developments is called Wilkins View). 

It stopped being a farm in the 1930s, when a major programme of house building began – both social housing built by the Corporation, and privately purchased homes. Over the following 40 years, homes were built on almost every available parcel of land – giving the area a very consistent mid-century appearance.

Today, it is a suburb of mature housing estates, many of them centred around a green. For outsiders, its best-known feature is probably the infamous Walkinstown Roundabout, dreaded by drivers from Drimnagh to Donegal. But don’t let that put you off.

Opinions on the borders of Walkinstown differ – some people would stretch it across Ballymount and Greenhills as well as the core of the neighbourhood itself.

Take me there! OK, here you are on Walkinstown Green facing the Church of the Assumption – one of the facilities built for a growing community in the 1950s.

So what’s the big draw? Walkinstown is a mature and settled area that has seen a lot of families grow up, and is now welcoming some new ones. Thanks to the way the estates were built, it has more green space than many Dublin neighbourhoods, and it’s not one where new developments have outrun the local amenities. It’s more affordable than many places also. 

What do people love about it? The location, says resident Robbie Blake. 

I’ve been here all my life. I’m familiar with it, I play music in the area and I know everybody. It’s handy, it’s only a few miles into town. We’re not on the Luas but it’s not far of a walk up to Kylemore or Drimnagh, and the bus is handy. I’d walk into town in 40-45 minutes.

And… what do people NOT love about it? Um, that roundabout, says local Michael Nestor.

The roundabout is a pain in the hoop. It’s just shit to drive on, I have to get off my bike to walk around it and I have seen so many collisions/near collisions on it.

What’s the story with house prices? The average asking price of a property in Walkinstown and Greenhills is €354,792 according to Daft.ie. That’s a good bit under the Dublin average of around €420k. It’s also rising more slowly than some other areas – up just four per cent over the last year, while some neighbourhoods have seen prices increase by 10 per cent or more. 

How long will it take me to the city centre? It’s just under an hour at a brisk walk. In the car, it’ll take 20 minutes or so outside peak times. 

On Dublin Bus, you can get the 18, 27, 56A, 77A, 123 and 151 to the north end of Walkinstown, or the 9, 17 or 150 to the eastern end. The Luas stops at Bluebell and Kylemore are a few minutes’ walk away too.

Where should I get lunch? Head to the Farmhouse Café, a surprising presence on the Long Mile Road among car dealerships and big-box stores. (It’s actually part of an adjacent shop selling work safety gear.) They do great coffee, sandwiches and home-made cakes. 

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Alternatives: The Green Kitchen on Walkinstown Green is a great community-run cafe serving coffee, cakes and more. Or for something more informal, Fools and Horses delivers good coffee on the Walkinstown Roundabout… served from a horsebox. 

And what’s my new local? Try Eleanora’s on the Drimnagh Road, which is rated for friendly staff and a good atmosphere.

Alternatives: The Halfway House is the oldest pub in the area – it’s been around since before Walkinstown was residential. Or try the Cherry Tree on the Walkinstown Roundabout.

Schools and supermarkets? There’s a Dunnes in the Ashleaf Shopping Centre, and a SuperValu on the Walkinstown Road. Up along the Long Mile Road are a Lidl and an Aldi too. 

There are seven primary schools: St Damien’s (Catholic, mixed, 231 pupils); Riverview Educate Together (multidenominational, mixed, 90 pupils); Assumption Junior (Catholic, mixed, 474 pupils); Assumption Senior (Catholic, girls, 231 pupils); Drimnagh Castle CBS (Catholic, boys, 403 pupils); and Holy Spirit junior and senior (Catholic, mixed, over 600 pupils combined).

There are four post-primary schools: St Paul’s (Catholic, girls, 450 pupils); Greenhills College (interdenominational, boys, 165 pupils); Assumption (Catholic, girls, 258 pupils); and Drimnagh Castle CBS (Catholic, boys, 579 pupils). 

OK, I’m sold. Give me one piece of Walkinstown trivia to impress a local. When Walkinstown Roundabout was being built in 1950, local man Mick ‘Chicken’ Cullen refused to budge.

He lived in a cottage on land that was designated for the roundabout. According to local legend, the city council built him another house across the road – but he refused to move. He stayed in his cottage for 21 years, while authorities more or less built the roundabout around him, before finally moving across the road in 1971. Read the full story here

Do you live in Walkinstown? Share your opinion in the comments!