Howth Pier, Howth
Howth has an active harbour with lots of fishing boats as well as the Howth Yacht Club which has slightly fancier boats! Its one of the largets yacht clubs in the city. Just sitting watching the boats come in and out the harbour [with an ice cream in hand of course!!] is a nice way to spend an hour or so!
Seal watching in the harbour is a must. I had never seen these animals in the wild before but to see them swimming between the fishing boats in the harbour is amazing, watching their heads bob up and down out of the water looking for bits of fish discarded by the fishermen.
Walk out onto the Howth Pier as far as you like, to the end, even on the windiest and/or wettest day. You just have to hope that if conditions are such that a big wave wipes you off the wall and starts sending you off to sea, there's at least one other walker on the pier who is still standing and who is able to throw this handy lifeline and life-ring out to you. If not, well, you can swim, can't you, just see where the current takes you!
After a ten minutes' walk from the DART station (at the entrance go to the left) you arrive at the Howth Pier. A walk along this very windy stretch of pier to the light tower is really nice! You can also take the (less wind torn) walk below the pier, but I liked the wind better.
It's ideal to reminisce with a friend about good times encountered, or when you're alone to think about things to come.
The views on Dublin Bay are a welcome extra; also check out the planes just whistling by. It's an ideal spot for plane spotting, as my friend said :-)
You can also take a small boat trip to Ireland's Eye (Eye is for Island here), a small island in front of the Harbour, with splendid rock formations. You can take a peek at it on the enclosed picture.
I have no pics of this place, or, at least, I can't find them at the moment.
I still want to talk about a magical evening I spent in Howth.
Howth is a very small village north of Dublin. You can reach it taking the road by the coast. Sea is east of you so the sun, in the evening, is behind you. Nothing blinds you preventing the sight of the coastline.
Arriving there I saw a panorama I will never forget.
The village, with its small colourful houses, climbs the hills surrounding a small bay.
Hills are also covered by long grass, waving by the wind.
Silence and peace everywhere, a small number of inhabitants slowly walks along the steep small roads. A small harbour is there, and the masts of docked white boats gently wave by the wind.
Long piers protect the harbour from the foaming sea, and beyond them, in front of the bay, there is a small green island, dominated but a smooth hill. An ancient, abandoned house is also there.
The landscape and the magical atmosphere cannot be described by writings or photos, you must go there, remain silent for a while, and feel...
We had dinner in a small restaurant. Food was superb, and while we were eating, a young wonderful woman with dark red long hairs came in.
She was pregnant, and started playing old celtic ballads with her harp, sweetly singing.
I stopped having dinner, took my glass of wine, and sat alone for at least two hours in exstasy listening to her music. She also played a song from Kate Bush (and I'm a great fan of her!). I can't remember her name, she was from Colorado, and she married a lucky man from Howth.
Oh God! What a place!!
Here's a look down at the pier at Howth. This is from where many leisure boats as well as fishing boats head off into the sea.
Howth is a peninsula, specifically a tombolo, which means it's an island connected to the mainland by a narrow sandbar (amazing what a little web-based research can produce).
The port is quite picturesque, with recreational boats and fisher's ships sharing the same piers. Actually, there were much more recreational boats and yachts than anything else. I reckon Howth days as a fishing village had gone long ago. The port also has a beautiful marina
Your first stop after arriving in Howth by train or by bus will be Howth Pier probably. It's very nice here, you can watch the small fishing boats, the birds and the planes flying into Dublin airport ;-)
My favourite thing to do is to get a sandwich from one of the shops opposite the harbour and eat it at the end of the pier.
When I came here last, however, it was a bit windy - sunny though - and the waves were crashing over the pier. Not a perfect day for a picnic ;)
As everyone here has said, if you can withstand the crazy winds along the pier you'll find the lighthouse You may be a bit tired from fighting the winds - but the views are worth it.
If you can manage to walk to the end of the harbour wall without the gale force winds blowing you into the sea, then you will find the lighthouse!