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Plan Your Trip to Howth, Ireland

Raksha Kulkarni Nov 30, 2019
Howth is a beautiful coastal town in the northern suburbs of Dublin, Ireland. The peninsula, covered on all three sides by the Irish Sea, has so much to offer! It definitely is a breath of fresh air for people who want to escape from the bustling city life of Dublin.

Explore the Harbor

You can start by exploring The Harbor as it is nearby to the station. Here, you can just enjoy the view of numerous fishing boats and hundreds of seagulls circling them. If you’re lucky, you might even spot seals.

There are 2 piers – the West Pier & the East Pier. The west pier has the famous attraction with an imprint of King George IV’s footprints.
The west pier has several famous restaurants and shops selling fresh fish.

The east pier boasts of stunning view of the Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island. The Harbour Lighthouse stands tall at the end of the pier since 1817. You can enjoy live music on this pier and try fish and chips from the famous Beshoff Bros.

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Enjoy the Sight of Numerous Boats!

Visit the Howth Castle

The Howth Castle is a short 10-minute walk from the station. It covers an area of 450 acres and is one of the oldest occupied buildings in the country. The castle is divided in four private residences. It is very famous for its rhododendron garden, which blooms in May and June. The gardens are open to the public.
There are tours on Sundays from June to August, while in July tours are available on Saturdays too. A café in the premises will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Thursdays to Sundays for you. You can also visit The National Transport Museum close to the castle. It has a display of trams, double-decker buses, fire engines, etc.

Howth Cliff Path

There are four route options, of which the shortest will take around 2 – 2 ½ hours to cover the 6km trail. This path takes you around the harbor and to the cliff top. The walk is not very difficult. Different arrows work as a guide and also show the route distances under categories longer and shorter, so choose wisely.

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The scenic route boasts of beautiful flowers along the way. The panoramic view of the blue waters of the Dublin Bay adds to the beauty!

Howth Summit

Howth Summit is at the top of Howth hill. It is one of the famous viewing spots with incredible views of the Dublin Bay. Hike up or take the 31B bus. If it’s raining, avoid hiking, as the weather is a little uncertain there.
Bog of Frogs Loop is a famous hike of around 12 km. Purple arrows mark this trail of almost 3.5 hours. This is not a very easy one but is definitely worth the stunning views!

Visit the Balscadden Bay Beach

You can reach this beach easily by following the road towards Howth Head. Walking up the hill, follow steep steps after finding the gate to reach the beach. This can be a quiet escape if you want to avoid the crowd for some time.

Visit the Howth Market

It’s open on the weekends and bank holidays between 9 am to 6 pm. The market is just besides the DART station. It is filled with a variety of organic foods like cheese, chocolate, cupcakes, and nuts. You will also find handmade jewelry, Irish crafts, and beautiful antiques.

Visit St.Mary’s Abbey

Being the first church built in Howth, it was built in 1042. The church remains that are left now were built in the late 14th century. The tomb of Christopher St Lawrence stood in a corner, now stands amidst a cemetery.

Go to Ireland’s Eye

It takes only a 15 minute boat ride from Howth pier. The boats operate in summer months and are at an hourly frequency. The island is uninhabited. There are remains of an 8th century church and Martello tower. It is currently a bird sanctuary where you can see fulmars, razorbills, gannets, and many more.

Visit the Hurdy Gurdy Vintage Radio Museum

This museum contains a 40 year-old huge collection of gramophones, vintage radios, and music boxes selected by Pat Herbert. It is situated in the old Martello tower overlooking the harbor. It’s open from 11 am to 4 pm in the months of May to October. The name was derived from a type of string instrument – hurdy-gurdy.

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The Picturesque Baily Lighthouse

The Baily Lighthouse

It is the last lighthouse to be automated, in Ireland. It’s one of the most photographed lighthouses because of its scenic location. Its old-fashioned architecture stands tall near the rocks. Unfortunately, it is not open for public but you can just go near it and enjoy the view.

Visit the Serene Claremont Beach

You have to go ahead from the West pier and cross the semi-industrial area; you’ll find yourself on a beautiful beach.You can see Ireland’s Eye right in front. The water even joins the Sutton's Burrow Beach.

Eat, Drink, and Enjoy

It's a peninsula so obviously, try seafood here! The village offers you the freshest fish to amaze your taste buds! Enjoy fish n chips, calamari, and seafood tapas; while enjoying the stunning views. Just walk along the pier and check out different menus.
You can also try Guinness, a dark stout which was first brewed in Dublin.

Enjoy ice cream while sitting on the edge of the pier.

There’s also a dog-friendly café named ‘The Dog House Blues Tearoom’ which is famous for its quirky décor and delicious food. It is among the very few restaurants which serves till late. This one serves till 11 pm.

Explore With the Locals

There are a few guided tours around the hidden gems of Howth. The tours lasts for 3 hours and gives an in-depth insight about the history. YOu will get to know a lot of interesting stories about Vikings and Normans.

How to Reach Howth?

You can travel by bus which is a 30-minute ride from the Dublin city center. Bus 31 & 31A both will not only take you to Howth, but you can also travel in and around Howth.

Dublin Bay Cruises is another way to reach your destination. These cruises travel every day and cost around 25 Euros, which includes a train voucher if you don’t want to sail back.
If you’re in Dublin, take a train from the Connelly station. The trains are at a frequency of 10-20 minutes. The short journey of 25 minutes will cost you only 6 Euro for a round trip. The last train from Howth to Dublin leaves at 11 pm. Remember, there are 2 trains. Be careful to board the train which has Howth as the last stop.

Things to Carry

  • Carry a good pair of shoes as you’ll have to walk a lot.
  • You need to take a good camera with you. You’ll be tempted to click thousands of photos.
  • Carry a pullover with you as the winds can get cold sometimes.