A few weeks ago I shared my alternate itinerary for a weekend trip to Dublin. Dublin is definitely a city that requires a good 2-3 day visit. But if you’re there for a long weekend, why not dip your toes into seeing more of Ireland? As I said before, the Cliffs of Moher and the west coast in general is quite a drive away, and probably worth its own trip. Instead I propose a day trip to Howth, a seaside village on the east coast that is much closer!
Howth is a seaside village not too far from Dublin. It’s actually considered part of the greater Dublin, just like a suburb, and marks the northernmost part Dublin Bay. It is an ancient town, said to date back to the 800s.
Howth used to me mostly a fishing village, though now it seems mostly touristic and mostly residential. There are still many boats in and out of the harbour and there are many restaurants and shops offering fresh seafood.
Howth is only 24 minutes away by train (or ‘DART’). If you walk to Dublin Connolly Station, it’s really easy to figure out which train to take. And it’s easy to know when to get out, it’s the end of the line!
It only costs €3.25 for a single or €6.50 for a return. Not bad for a little day trip out of the city.
What to see
While Howth may sound like it’s a bit off the beaten path, it’s actually quite the touristy place. We went mid-August so it was quite busy, but it never felt overly crowded thankfully. Once you arrive in Howth, it may look a little bit like a tacky seaside town, but give it a chance and explore.
Piers and beaches
Our first stop was to walk down the West Pier (the first one you’ll encounter from the train station). It offers a great view over the Howth Lighthouse and the isle ‘Ireland’s Eye’.
The best part of being in Howth was walking and being by the sea. For that reason, we quickly found ourselves at Balscadden Bay Beach, which wasn’t too crowded. There we found some caves and had a little exploration adventure!
Later, we decided to walk up to a high point to get a better view over the town. We decided on the Martello Tower hill and it was lovely. It was a pretty easy little walk up (a mere few minutes) and gave a great view over the town centre, the piers and surrounding sea.
With more time and energy, many will instead follow Balscadden Road up Howth Head to do the Cliff Walk. It does a loop around the peninsula. It takes a few hours to go all the way around, but the views are apparently really worth it!
With a bit more time, I would recommend walking to the Abbey and the Castle. They are nice little places to visit to have a rounded experience of Howth. The Castle dates back
Where to eat
My first and only recommendation is to eat at the Howth Market. Most of the food offered there is street food that you can take away and eat by the pier or on the beach. It’s very convenient if you’re on a day trip or have a limited amount of time there.
There is loads on offer, from savoury to sweet dishes. You will definitely find something for your taste!
Have you visited Howth or other places in Ireland?xx