Dublin’s Docklands, Family Trail

It’s time to drop anchor and get exploring Dublin’s Docklands with the ‘Explorers Family Trail’!

There is so much to see and discover in Dublin’s Docklands, from Ireland’s smallest museum to the magical creatures hidden atop The Custom House. This circular trail can be started at any of its seven stops and with a range of activities it’s suitable for all the family to take part in and enjoy.

Grab your trail and let’s get exploring!

Staying or visiting Dublin’s Docklands? You can also pick up a copy from your hotel reception or from EPIC, the EPIC Museum Gift Shop or the Jeanie Johnston.


Trail Tips and Tricks

Need some help with your trail? Want to learn more about all the amazing sites you’ve visited? Let EPIC help you. Below you will find fun facts about the trails stops along with some help to find the answers you need to complete your quest.

You can also track and share your route around the Docklands, with Relive, free to download on Google Play and the App store. See how the route works here!


Stop 1: The CHQ Building

It’s amazing to think that in 1865 the CHQ Building hosted a massive celebration for around 4,000 soldiers who fought in the Crimean War. Want to learn more? Check out the CHQ website – it’s full of fascinating facts on the event.


Stop 2: The Diving Bell

Did you know the Diving Bell is Ireland’s smallest museum? On Dublin Port’s website you can watch videos to learn how the diving bell works and what it was used for. You can even get a sneak peek inside it!

At the diving bell we asked you to tell us what colours you could see? There is a range of colours from orange and grey to purple and green.  Also could you spot the circles? There are three of them! And let’s not forget the sound, could you hear rushing water?


Stop 3: Grand Canal Square

Grand Canal Square was only opened in 2007, making it a very new place in Dublin. It’s the largest paved area in the city and is home to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Facebook and Google.

Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the area includes red resin paving and illuminated red poles.


Stop 4: The Jeanie Johnston

The Jeanie Johnston is a famous replica of a ship that ferried many people to the New World during the Famine. Unlike most ships at the time, the Jeanie is famous for never losing any of its passengers – it actually gained one when a baby boy was born during a voyage!

Also on the Jeanie, you’ll spot Grace O’Malley, a famous Irish pirate. Did you know Ireland is famous for its pirates? In EPIC you will get to meet another famous pirate Anne Bonney. Known as the pirate queen, she spent her life in the Caribbean and was as fearsome as any male pirate.


Stop 5: The Linesman

The Linesman statue was designed by artist Dony McManus. It was created to symbolise a time when the Docklands was bustling with sailors. So grab the rope and see if you could be the linesman! Don’t forget to share your pictures and videos with us on our social channels using #epicmuseum.


Stop 6: The Famine Statues

The Famine statues commemorate the Great Famine. They were created by sculptor Rowan Gillespie and presented to the city of Dublin in 1997.

This spot also represents the last stop on the National Famine Way. Did you spot the bronze shoes? They represent Daniel Tighe and the 1,490 other emigrants who, in 1847, were forced to walk 165km from Strokestown in Roscommon to Dublin.


Stop 7: The Triumphal Arch

Triumphal arches can be found all over the world, in places like France, Belgium, India, Germany and Ireland. The arch found outside the CHQ building was erected in 1813 to celebrate Wellington’s victory at the battle of Salamanca.

CHQ building Dublin
Large rest red diving bell, monument/statue
Striking waterfront art installation in Dublin’s Docklands, featuring a series of tall, slender red sculptures against a backdrop of the city skyline and clear blue sky, symbolizing urban growth and development
The Jeanie Johnston a vintage tall ship docked at a modern city waterfront, contrasting historical maritime architecture with contemporary urban buildings under a clear sky.
Bronze statue of a man wearing a helmet, engaging with a large chain on the quayside, set against an urban waterfront backdrop, symbolizing childhood imagination in the city.
Bronze statues of famine victims, depicted in various poses along a tree-lined pathway, symbolizing movement and interaction in an urban setting with a natural touch
A historic stone archway with a keystone at its apex, framing a view of a street with bare trees under a clear blue sky
Captivating street art of an abstract blue horse in motion, with bold strokes and splashes of color against a soft-hued background, showcasing urban creativity and expression


There are lots of animals to spot around the Dublin’s Docklands; did you manage to find them all?



The bee can be found as you enter the Jeanie Johnston, have a look at the wall!



Dogs can be spotted in two locations on your adventure – at the famine statues and a large colourful mural near stop number 5.



Did you spot the slithering snake? This bright orange creature can be found in Grand Canal Square.


Lion and Unicorn

What about the lion and unicorn? Not animals you see everyday in Dublin. They can be found on the top of The Custom House.



Then there is the butterfly, you may have spotted them on some flowers but you could also have spotted the large mural near stop four.



The Docklands is full of different modes of transport – were you able to spot many on your journey?

What about boats, cars, planes? You might have also spotted some train tracks on the ground. And don’t forget your own mode of transport! Were you walking or did you use a bike?



Were you able to spot any flags blowing in the breeze today? On a couple of buildings in the Docklands you might have spotted the Irish and the European flags. Have a closer look at the Hilton Garden Inn, the Convention Centre and The Custom House, and we are sure you will be able to spot some flags.


Finished your passport?

Drop it into the EPIC Museum Gift Shop or share it with us on social media using #epicmuseum and you could be in with the chance to win an EPIC goodie bag.