Howth is a typical thing that is on every “things you should do when you’re visiting Dublin!” list. And why not? It is easy to get to when you’re staying in Dublin and in less than a hour you can feel, see, touch and smell the real Irish nature in stead of the big city! Fill your lungs with the fresh ocean air, feel the wind in your hair and see the birds flying over the sea.
How do you get there?
It is really easy! Just take the DART from Connolly or Tara Station (both around 20 minute walk from Dublin International Hostel)! It will cost you around €2:50 with a Leap Card and €3:25 for a normal Adult ticket one way. The train ride will show you some more of Dublin. The last part where the train goes over the small piece of land between the city and Howth is really pretty! Once you get out of the train you are immediately on the main road in the village center. All the restaurants, cafes and bars are situated here.
A bit further down the road there is the farmers market on the right. It is a really cute and small marketplace filled with organic and fresh foods, jewelry and clothes. It established around 9 years ago and it is open during the weekends and Bank Holidays. A nice place to start your day with a cup of coffee and some freshly baked cupcakes or so! On the other side of the road you’ll see the seafront, I would really recommend you to walk along the pier to see Howth from a different perspective. There is a tiny lighthouse at the end and you will see the cliffs of Howth with the water smashing into the rocks.
The “marked” Howth cliff walk …
There are several marked paths that will lead you over the cliffs. They all start at the same point but the shorter ones will take you back to the village over The Summit parking lot much quicker. There is also the possibility to walk along the whole cliff if you follow the purple route (the longest one). You can get a map of all the walking paths on Howth at the tourist information kiosk (it is situated near the seafront). We followed the red marked route along the cliffs. There are placed a couple of benches along the route to stop and have a beautiful view over the ocean.
After a couple of kilometers each individual path will go their own way. The red one lead us over the parking lot and into the village. After a little while we were heading back into nature and the trail lead us over the mountain. Our red mark was pointing to the right, but in front of us we could already see a tiny bit of Dublin and we saw another trail leading away heading for a beautiful view of it. Curious as we are.. we followed that path and it was amazing:
Apparently, the path lead us towards a golf course, because suddenly we were standing on a square of really neatly trimmed grass! (Whoops! I don’t think we are allowed here..) We followed the road down because eventually you should reach the village again right? So we came through some beautiful and really diverse landscapes: from birch trees and fields full of heather to a pretty dark forest with trees insulating the path above you. Eventually we reached a plateau of rocks with a gorgeous view of the ocean and the mountains at the back (if you are lucky with the weather of course). Also you’ll have an amazing view over Dublin city and bay from here!
Back down again!
We followed the path down via some big stone made steps and reached the Deer Park Hotel. From there the road give us a sight at another golf course (How many golf courses can a tiny village have?!) Just down the road is Howth Castle. Unfortunately it is not open to the public because it is still a family home for over 800 years now.
Around the corner of the castle is the transport museum. They have the biggest collection of public services vehicles and commercial road transport. It is only about 700 meters from Howth Dart station so even if you don’t want to walk the whole tour around the cliffs it is really easy to get to.
Plenty of stuff to do in Howth to spend your day! It is a nice getaway if you have the feeling you need a bit of nature. Howth has the perfect combination of nature and city and it will give you the feeling of being right in between. The village feels really welcome and it is the perfect size to get a day away without having to rush to see everything!