Life in Arklow

9 Jun
The road to Dublin....all roads lead to Dublin!

The road to Dublin....all roads lead to Dublin!

Arklow is a small coastal town about 56 miles south of Dublin. It has a population of about 11,000 and lies on the Avoca River. It is said to have a strong seafaring heritage and also used to have a thriving boat building industry (Sir Francis Chichester’s Gypsy Moth III was built here). The harbour is quiet now – only 7 or 8 deep-water boats fish from here and there is no evidence of boat building. But the river is still lively – the sailing club race twice weekly, the Arklow Rowing Club crews are out on the water several times a week and there are always people casting their lines hopefully from the river banks or from the two beaches north and south of the river mouth. The fish that we’ve spotted in the river are whoppers; maybe it’s due to their diet of untreated sewage that drains directly into the river! Apparently the planned sewage treatment works has never been built due to the protest of one man and, at 17 years duration, is the longest running dispute in the Irish courts

The town centre is busy with many small shops (selling everything you could think of except for chandlery), there’s a plethora of bookies, a multitude of pubs and the ubiquitous Tesco, Aldi & Lidl – all within easy reach of the marina. Although it’s not a particularly pretty town, it does have a certain charm and isn’t a bad place to park for a week or three.

The piéce de resistance of Arklow is the shiny new Bridgewater Centre that houses over 40 chain stores, a multi-screen cinema and fast food outlets. It’s always heaving with people and belies the proclamations of doom and recession that are widespread here. Maybe they’re all just window shopping like me?!

After arriving here on Saturday 30 May, we had a short excursion into the town – mainly to recce the bus service as PT was due to head back to the UK the next evening – and then spent the rest of the time relaxing and recuperating from the overnight passage.

PT duly boarded the bus to Dublin Airport (90 minute journey – €15) late on Sunday afternoon, leaving me to my own devices until 18 June.

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