Howth Head, Howth
If you find yourself with a nice day, taking a walk along the cliffs of Howth is a fine idea. The various paths all start at the DART station and are very subtly marked (by this I mean not marked very well) with different color arrows-yellow (cliff path), blue (tramline), red (Black Linn) and purple (bog of the frogs) although somehow the yellow path from the map ended up having green arrows. The paths vary in length from 6-10 kms and are estimated to take 1.5-3 hours and ranging in difficulty from easy-hard.
I was able to find the start of the Cliff Walk by using the map in the Howth is Magic brochure, once I found the King Sitric restaurant, I followed Balscadden Rd to the start of the path. All of the paths share the 1st part of the cliff walk and then go in different directions around when you spot Bailey Lighthouse. At that point, I had enough of walking along the cliffs and followed the shorter yellow (green) or blue path back to town.
For a good portion of the Cliff Walk, I saw no people at all and then a couple here and a couple there, some people were driving up to the parking lot near the lighthouse and starting the walk from there and doing it in the opposite direction. And just like on Irish roads, there's frequently only room for one on the path and someone has to give right of way!
At no point on the walk was it scary because of the height, you are far enough back from the cliff's edge for it not to seem like you are up that high. Part of the trail was muddy and lots of it covered in fairly dense vegetation so I recommend wearing good shoes and long pants. It's not a paved path so it is not handicap accessible. You can see a part of the path in picture #3.
To go to the summit from the harbour you should take Abbey Street. When you come to the church, take the road on the left of the church, Thormanby Road. Follow the road for about 15 minutes till you come to an inn, Summit Inn. Turn left after the inn and walk on a few minutes and you will be at the summit. If you don’t want to walk up to the summit there are buses going along the main road.
If you chose to walk the Upper Cliff Walk it will end at Upper Cliff Road which will soon take you back to Thormanby Road. Maybe you will see the sign on your way up and take this way instead.
The summit is the highest top above Howth with an altitude of 171 metres and from here you have a great view over Dublin Bay (if the weather is nice). When I first came there it was not possible to see much, but as I came back it was clearer and I recognised Dalkey Island and the pointed peak I had seen from Killiney Hill in the south (the Wicklow Mountains).
There is a parking lot and a map showing the Upper- and Lower Cliff Walks. Because of the weather I chose to walk the Upper Cliff Walk and ended up back on Thormanby Road, so I walked the path back up to the summit as it had only taken about 20 minutes.
The path of the Lower Cliff Walk is narrow (and closer to the edge of the cliffs) and as this was a rainy and very windy day it was too slippery to take that way.
It was a very strong wind, my cap flew off my head (but luckily I could catch it) and it was sometimes difficult to keep the hands steady for taking pictures. It rained and then it was suddenly sunny, then it rained again and then the sun came again. The weather changed very quickly.
Howth Head was originally an island but have been connected to the mainland by a tombolo (a deposition landform) and is now a peninsula. Howth village is situated on the north side of Howth Head. From the summit there are nice walks around Howth Head. As I mentioned above I walked the Upper Cliff Walk, but a nice day I would have chosen the Lower Cliff Walk. You can take the Lower Cliff Walk back to Howth or you can walk the other way , past Baily Lighthouse, to the south. Taking this way you will have a nice view over Dublin Bay and you will end up in Sutton.
There are quite a few hiking and walking trails in the Howth area. One very popular hike is to walk up to the "Nose of Howth", which you can see at the very tip of my picture. To do so, from the downtown area, walk up to the very end of Balscadden Road and follow the trail that leads to the edge of the cliff from there (as you're walking along Balscadden Road, keep an eye out for the house where W.B. Yeats lived as a young man - it's on the left, you'll see a marker). Depending on how much time you've got, you can walk along the cliff path all the way to Baily Lighthouse and beyond, or cut back to the village by following the old tram tracks that start at the Summit Inn. Unfortunately, we didn't enough time to go very far, but from the pictures I saw the scenery on some parts of the cliff path looks absolutely breathtaking! Most of the trails aren't very clearly indicated however, so the best thing to do is to get a map at the tourist office (located on the pier) or at a restaurant. Don't forget to bring good walking shoes, it's all up hill!
Because the weather was grim, Peter drove us up to Howth Head and just as we pulled into the small parking lot (or car park, as they say in Ireland), the rain stopped giving us a chance to snap some photos and walk close to the edge of the cliff. The view down toward the lighthouse is spectacular.
Well, during my short trip to Ireland it rained every day, but hey, that's what it takes to make the grass so beautifully green. Look at this field up at Howth Head. It really makes me want to visit the Irish countryside. Ahhhh, another time . . .
In the Howth tourist office the young man recommended us the rhododendron park, but we wanted to make a cliff walk. He obviously though that we were too old to make it, but we were stubborn and found our way there. There were all kinds of warnings like "uneven surface" but we found the path quite easy to walk. We really enjoyed our walk very much. The scenery was so beautiful. Sea under us, lots of bushes, heather and many different flowers in bloom, but the best of all was the peace. There were hardly any other people there and we really loved that.
Cliff walk on the peninsula Howth Head is a beautiful walk during the sunny day.
You can enjoy cliffs above the sea and if you are lucky you can see also seals swimming close to them.
It's beautiful when it's windy. The sea is beautiful then.
It's a nice, not difficult walk which can last up to 7.5 km. It depends which way you are taking.
It doesn't contain steep rises what makes you suitable for almost all the ages. One has to be careful at the edge of the cliffs, but the path is far enough.
Howth Head dominates the landscape around Howth and you can climb up there to the "nose of Howth". Personally I didn't have the time or energy so I just admired from a distance!
Howth also has a castle although I didn't find it. And, as well as Irelands Eye, you can see out to the island of Lambay whcih was one of the first places in Ireland to be attacked by the Vikings.
I went to Howth on a daytrip by bus from Dublin. I got off the bus at the Summit Inn a few miles outside Howth, and then followed the coastline walking path down to the village.
It was a very beautiful (1 hour) walk where I passed the Baily Lighthouse (from 1814) and numerous stunning views of the cliffs and the ocean...
Apparently some people pick this spot as their "final destination", "last stop before heaven", "ultimate view" in life, and I must say, there are worse places!
We didn't go all the way to the back of Howth Head, but I found it impressive to look at.
Once, when I find the time (probably when I'm retired - only 30 more years, and counting!), I'll go back and check out every single spot in Howth!
You can see Ireland's Eye from this vantage point of Howth Head...we were lucky with the weather here :-)
All around Howth head and summit is wonderful wild scenery and crashing waves. I love to come up here for a Sunday walk.