Make the short journey to the north side of Dublin Bay and you’ll come to the ancient fishing village of Howth. Lonely lighthouses and medieval ruins sprinkle the wild gorse-rich hillside while the busy harbour is frequented by the comings and goings of yachts and fishing boats, hikers, cyclists and lovers of fresh air! Occupying part of the wild rocky peninsula of Howth Head, this historic suburb of Dublin started life as a Viking settlement and played a key role in many past events from Norman invasions to the gun running of the 1916 rising. Today it is a thriving and modern village with a traditional Irish feel.
Howth has something for everyone and is a popular day away from Dublin for tourists and locals alike, all in search of an escape to the coast. Allow the sea breeze to fill your lungs as you soak up the views of land, nature and sea. Saunter along the pier and watch fisherman ply their trade, seals swimming in the harbour and rare birds flying high over islands in the bay. Reach the end of the east pier and from Howth Harbour lighthouse you’ll see to the north the tiny uninhabited island of Ireland’s Eye, a sanctuary for large numbers of breeding seabirds and popular with visitors taking the regular small boat tours.
Turning around you’ll catch sight of Howth Summit offering excellent views across Dublin Bay and as far south as County Wicklow. A dramatic clifftop walk leads to the site of an old stone fort and the Bailey Lighthouse, shining from the shores since 1814, while a 2000 year old Celtic royal grave is said to be marked by a cairn at the highpoint of the Ben of Howth.
Hungry from your hike, take your pick from the renowned seafood restaurants serving fresh catches right form the sea to your table, or eat on the move with a customary bag of chips or “99” ice cream! Wander through the village with its traditional shopfronts selling everything from boutique fashions to artisan food, crafts and jewellery.
Be one of the locals, “head out to Howth” on your visit to Ireland. Pop out from the city to explore and enjoy all that this charming coastal retreat has to offer.