The Howth Peninsula - located north from Dublin Bay is yet another place (besides the southern towns of Bray, Greystones, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey) on the beautiful Dublin coast to visit while staying in the Irish capital. As I mentioned in the previous posts, the nature around Dublin is striking and also very easily accessible by public transport. Within minutes you can travel from a busy, crowded and somehow grey city to the mountainous seaside full of coastal trails running along magnificent rocky cliffs.
How to get to Howth
From Dublin, you can take either the city train called DART from Connolly Station in the city center going north to Howth (do not get off at Howth Junction - go all the way to Howth Station). The cost of the trip is very little - around 6 EUR (8.20 USD) for a return ticket. The journey takes around 30 minutes one way.
Another option is Dublin Bus - number 31a or 31b. The journey is slightly longer but the bus will take you further than the train - to Howth summit (you can take the bus if you want to skip visiting the harbor and go directly to the cliffs). A good solution is to take the train to Howth, visit the town and the port, then do the loop trail along the coast and go back by bus taking it from Howth summit.
What to see in Howth
The town and the harbour
Howth Peninsula is a very popular destination for weekends away from the city among Dublin citizens. Most of them, go to this town for great sea food, ice cream and local markets. The town center is beautiful and colorful, full of greenery and great views of the sea, the "Ireland's Eye" island and the cliffs.
The harbor is visited by many species of seaside animals, not only birds but also seals that come really close to the shore in hope of getting some leftovers left by the local fishermen. They can be spot very often near the ships, especially when you notice some boats returning from fishing.
On sunny, summer days, Howth can become easily overcrowded, however, if you are looking for some more quiet place to enjoy the peaceful, beautiful scenery and nature, there are some options for you. One of them is hiking the trails along the coast. Just follow the paved road from the harbor along the sea and you will see the paths running beside the cliff edges. The trails lead all the way to the beautiful lighthouse on the other side of the peninsula (and even further), as well as to the top of the Howth summit.
The cliffs of Howth are not as spectacular as the famous Cliffs of Moher but they are not less beautiful and also they are so close to Dublin that actually Howth is a must while visiting the Irish capital.
It will take around 2 hours to walk the whole trail. If you don't want to return the same way, on the way back to Howth village, not far from the lighthouse, turn left to the trail that will lead you to Howth Summit instead of hiking back along the coast. You will be rewarded with exceptional views and, after another 20 minutes or so, you will get to the bus stop that can take you back to Dublin (there's no need to go all the way down to the train station).
Wild Rhododendron Gardens
Wild rhododendron gardens in Howth are one of my favorite places near Dublin. Known by few, even on a very busy day, there are maybe 2 or 3 people who go there from Howth town. To get there, from the train station, you must turn right (opposite direction from the Howth center) and then left and walk up past the Howth castle (which is also amazing), the Deer Hotel and golf course.
The best thing about this place is that it's not an ordinary garden, all the rhododendrons grow there wild and their colors will make you feel as if you were in some pretty exotic place. Apart from rhododendrons, you can also find fern trees and Chinese Fan palm tree.
The best time to visit is May and June when all the plants are in full blossom. You can find the full description about the place, more details and photos in this post here.
Copying without permission is not allowed. If you wish to use any of the site's content (photos or text) or work with us, please contact us.
We welcome questions, advice, support or criticism. However, spam comments will be removed.