How to spend a Day in Howth

Me+standing+on+the+Cliffs.jpeg

Things to do in Howth, Ireland

How to spend a Day in Howth - Getting your Nature Fix by Dublin

Around 40 minutes by train, in the north of Dublin lies the beautiful, bustling beach town of Howth, that offers visitors a variety of activities. During my time living in Dublin, whenever I needed a little nature, a breather from the city air or just some sunshine, this was where I'd go.

Howth doesn't just offer an impressive (for a country girl like me at the least) yacht harbor, oh, no, there's all kinds of amazing things you can do!

How to get from Dublin to Howth

Getting from Dublin to Howth is as easy as can be: You just hop on the DART in the city center of Dublin (i.e. through Pearse Station, see Map below) to Howth. Howth is the last station, so you can’t miss it 😉. You're on the train for around 30 to 40 minutes and it even goes by the sea at times, so you get to enjoy a teaser of what's to come.

 

How to spend a Day in Howth - The Top 5 Things to do

1 – The Market

On arrival, if it's on a weekend, right opposite the train station there is a little market with all locally and homemade products. They offer t-shirts, little statues made out of metal, professional photographs of course, some souvenirs and the absolute beeest cupcakes I've had in my entire life.

Cupcakes at Howth Market

2 – The Harbour & Howth Lighthouse

Once you're done exploring the market (don't you dare leave before trying some of those cupcakes! ;) ), you can take a stroll around the harbour, which offers amazing views of the sea and the little islands Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island off the coast. If you walk all the way down the East Pier, at the very end you'll get to Howth Light House – a small Georgian style lighthouse keeper’s residence that was built in 1817. There’s also an adorable little white lighthouse, that you can leave your mark on if you bring a marker. Take a picture of your masterpiece though, as they paint over it every year, otherwise there wouldn't be any space left by now ;) The walk down the pier is a place full of life with musicians playing and people enjoying a portion of Beshoff Bro’s Fish and Chips. If you’re extra lucky, you might even get to see some grey seals off the coast!

No worries, I did pay him for the picture ;)

The View from Howth Pier

3 – Beshoff Bro’s

Talking about Beshoff Bro’s Fish and Chips – according to the locals, those are the best Fish and Chips in the world! The place is really small though, so when eating somewhere on the pier, take care that the seagulls don’t steal your food 😉

 

4 – Howth Cliff Path

Back at the beginning of the pier if you don’t walk left and back towards the city but instead walk right and up the hill, you’ll get to the cliff path loop. Up the Hill you’ll pass a few beautiful houses, but the view gets really incredible as soon as you’re past the houses! The cliffs aren’t as high or as famous as the Cliffs of Moher, but they’re very impressive and the view is absolutely beautiful! The colours are a gorgeous mixture of all kinds of red, yellow and green and we had to stop every few meters because the view got more and more beautiful each time. You can either do the entire loop and walk 6 kilometers, but even if you just walk up there to walk around a little bit, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful sights. If you want to do the loop, you can find a map here.  In any case (and at the risk of sounding like my grandma here), do be careful since there’s no fence and you have to decide for yourself how close to the cliffs you want to go. To give you a taste of the place, here are some pictures:

Me standing on the Cliffs

Howth Cliff Path Countryside View

Cliffs Howth

 

5 – Ireland’s Eye

If you’re still up for some more exploring, once you’re back in the city, you can take a little boat off the West Pier, which is mostly still used by Fishermen, and go out to Ireland’s Eye. My personal highlight of the day was an adorable little girl whose family took the same boat as us asking “Are we in England now?” as soon as we arrived after a 15 minute ride. Particularly for nature lovers this uninhabited island is a great place to explore with small beaches, abandoned buildings and just loads and loads of birds. We all laughed, but to be honest, despite it’s closeness to Howth, there is absolutely no comparison. It’s a place so full of life and nature as only those uninhibited can be. The remoteness covers the island in an aura of mystery. There is no one trail to follow, you can just wander around aimlessly and enjoy the views until you get picked up again by the boat that brought you out.

Ireland's Eye as seen from Howth

Howth as seen from Ireland's Eye

After getting back, my family and I took the DART back into the city center of Dublin, all agreeing that it had been a wonderful day and that Howth is the perfect choice to take a little break from the city 😉