Howth and Howth Cliff Walk: the Perfect Day Trip from Dublin
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Looking for a one day trip from Dublin? Here’s our suggestion: Howth. And if you’re into hiking or walking in nature, the Howth Cliff Walk is perfect. Here’s a complete local guide on what to do, where to eat and the Howth Cliff Walk, map included.
Howth is the perfect place if you’re visiting Dublin, you have a spare day or you’re in Ireland and you want to chill out near Dublin, and the Howth Cliff Walk is amazing if you love to hike. We love going to Howth, it is one of our favorite places to visit from Dublin and that’s why we’ve created this guide with everything you need to know about Howth and the Howth Cliff Walk.
How to get to Howth?
Howth is located on the North Coast of Dublin and it’s also close to the airport. It lies on a promontory and it’s just amazing. You can reach Howth from Dublin by DART (25 minutes) or by bus (31, 31, 31b) from Dublin City Centre. Eventually, you can also use a car if you’ve rented one: just add Howth on your GPS and you’ll easily find your way.
Where to eat in Howth?
Howth is famous for its food: being on the coast, it means fish is the main ingredient here and locals visit Howth during the weekend to eat good fish and to buy fish to be cooked at home during the week. The seafood chowder is the most chosen dish by people visiting the village: it’s creamy, luscious and full of local fish. Unmissable if you’re visiting the village for the first time.
These are the places we recommend if you wanna eat properly in Howth: they’re not necessarily cheap but they’re absolutely gorgeous. Just remember: in high season and during the weekend, every single place is crowded so you could find impossible to eat in one of those restaurants. There are plenty of places where you can eat in Howth but if you want to eat in one of those, I suggest you book your table as soon as you arrive in town.
Aqua has one of the best views over Dublin Bay and it’s always named among the best seafood restaurants in Ireland. A luxurious place, worth the price.
Octopussy’s Seafood Tapas
If you wanna grab a few bites, Octopussy’s Seafood Tapas is the perfect place. It’s a mix of Irish and Spanish food and everything is super fresh.
The Oar House
An old fisherman’s cottage transformed into a restaurant. The food is amazing, consistent and the service always tops.
A classical Irish tavern/pub, with amazing food, fireplaces, and a friendly atmosphere. Perfect for winter, when the rain and the wind can really hurt your nerves.
Irish artisan products, international ones: an unmissable stop during the weekend. It can be crowded but the good thing is that you can go, grab your food and eat it on the grass or overlook the sea.
The Bloody Stream
Just outside the DART, The Bloody Stream is perfect when the sun shines. Drinks are the reason why this place is so loved.
Where to sleep in Howth?
For obvious reasons, I’ve never slept in Howth in my life but if you’re looking for a laid-back place and you don’t want to go back to Dublin, there are quite a few places in town where you can stop by. Not knowing any hotel or accommodation personally, I suggest you have a look at Booking.com, read the reviews and choose accordingly.
What are the best things to do in Howth?
There are a few things to see in Howth but I’m sure the landscape will capture your eyes. You can walk around the pier and enjoy the smell of the sea and eventually walk around the village to visit the cemetery and the ruins overlooking the sea. The seals are one of the main attractions: people visit the village just to see them and they’re generally friendly even if it’s impossible to touch them.
The Howth Cliff Walk
One of the main activities to do in Howth is the famous Howth Cliff Walk. It’s hard to describe how beautiful it is, especially on a sunny day, and for sure it makes up for a great day trip from Dublin. The walk itself is very touristy in the first part but the majority of tourists only arrive at the first viewpoint so if you continue walking, you will end up in a Paradise where it’s going to be you and very few people around. One of the main points of interest is the Baily Lighthouse but it’s not possible to visit it and not even come close.
The majority of people go for the Black Linn loop, the bravest go for the Bog of Frogs Loop which crosses the entire peninsula and very few decide to arrive at Sutton and from there to take the DART. Approximately, on average it takes between 2 to 5 hrs to complete the trail; it really depends on what you wanna do, how long you wanna walk and if you want to go for the most known part or not.
The main trail starts and ends at Howth Dart station but you can also end up your walk-in Sutton; in fact, as soon as you reach the Lighthouse you will be guided to the right uphill but we recommend you follow the purple loop, much longer, and continue straight ahead because for me this is the best part of the trail.
The path clings to the cliff edge, there are not many people around and the view is simply magnificent. The main problem is that once you arrive in Sutton, you need to walk a few km before you catch the DART or a bus.
The longest trail, the Bog of Frogs, is quite hard and so it’s the trail to Sutton: in both cases, you’ll pass laneways, clifftop paths, and hill tracks. All the others are easy and that’s why they attract the majority of tourists.
The views of Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye, as well as Dublin Bay, are simply spectacular but on the downside, it might be busy on weekends with good weather.
What’s the best time to visit Howth
You can visit Howth every day, no matter the weather. Of course, on winter days are shorter and you may have less time to enjoy the beautiful nature and the Cliff Walk. Take into consideration that if it’s raining or it has rained, the path can be slippery and not that pleasant. No matter the season, make sure you wear hiking boots, a scarf and also a hat: the wind is usually quite strong in the area, and you don’t want to come home with a headache!
More on Howth and Howth Cliff Walk
Are you heading to Dublin or Ireland and do you want more information on customized tours but also on things to do, where to eat and drink and more? Write us an email and do not be afraid to ask for more information or a customized consultation! If you want to have photographic tips on what and where to go to take good pictures, you can get in contact with Giuseppe, based in Ireland as well.
[All pics are copyright by Giuseppe Milo]