The 7 Best Things To Do In Howth

Howth is a beautiful peninsula in the suburbs of Dublin. This fishing village is a fifty-minute trip from Dublin city centre, which makes it the best village for a day out during the weekend. There is so much more to Howth than just the harbour alone. You will find the Howth Castle, delicious seafood, walking trails amongst the seven things to do in Howth that will be discussed in this piece.

The Harbour

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Howth Harbour. Image by author.

The harbour is the first view you will get of Howth, if you come by public transportation. You will notice the Howth Market facing the sea, on the right hand side of Harbour Road at the entrance to Howth. Locals and tourists from all ages can try the vast array of freshly baked goods, jewellery,  clothing, antiques and organic products. The market takes place every weekend and on Bank holidays from 9am to 6pm.

There are four permanent units trading from the market every day of the week 

You can also admire the 19th century Howth Harbour Lighthouse from the end of West Pier.

Walking Trails And Loops

Bailey Lighthouse. Image by author.

Bailey Lighthouse. Image by author.

The train station is the start and finish point of four loops. The Cliff Path Loop will take you along Howth Harbour, the cliffs and it is the right trail if you want to see Lambay Island, Ireland’s Eye and The Bailey Lighthouse. The Tramline Loop traces the historical route of the old tramline. The Black Linn Loop will bring you inland over the Howth Head. The Bog of the Frogs stands out as the most challenging one and will give you the best views of Dublin City, the coastline and the Wicklow Mountains.

No matter the trail you choose, you will follow the sea cliffs covered with Gorse, also called Furze or Whin. This native shrub within this area adds hints of yellow on the green cliffs. These routes can take you anywhere from one and a half to three hours. 

Seafood And Drinks

Fish and chips served with tartare sauce and mushy peas in The Bloody Stream. Image by author.

Fish and chips served with tartare sauce and mushy peas in The Bloody Stream. Image by author.

After the trail, you can relax in one of the many restaurants in Howth Harbour to eat seafood. You can try the traditional Fish and chips with the tartare sauce with a blond beer at The Bloody Stream. For the fresh salmon in teriyaki sauce, you can try Octopussy’s Seafood Tapas restaurant. And for a romantic night, head to Aqua for the whole local catch Balscadden Bay Lobster freshly cooked to order.

West Pier is the best street to buy fresh fish. Many fish markets offer a wide range of fish products that you can also try right away in their restaurant.

Howth Castle

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Howth Castle. Image by author.

Situated on the northside of Dublin Bay, the castle has been the home of the St. Lawrence family since 1177. You can visit the castle with guided tours only, and the 18th century kitchen is now used as a cookery school. If you take the road to the Deer Park Golf, you will have a magnificent view of Howth Castle.

If you climb further, you will see the Rhododendron Gardens, considered the earliest and most famous rhododendron gardens of Ireland. 

Beneath the rhododendrons lies the cromlech or dolmen, one of seven portal dolmens in the Dublin area. Aged between 2500 BC and 2000 BC the massive stone was originally supported by eight other stones that together formed a ceiling for a chamber beneath. This dolmen was probably built to pay a tribute to dead chieftains or kings and protect the contents of their tombs.

Saint Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church. Image by author.

St. Mary’s Church. Image by author.

Saint Mary’s Church is a seven-minute walk from Howth Harbour if you take the train and two-minute walk from the Howth Castle bus stop if you take the H3 bus. It will not take you that much time to visit it, but this is a beautiful little church located in a quiet place near the centre of the city. And it is a great starting point before climbing towards Howth Castle.

On May 27, a traditional Garden Fete will take place in Saint Mary’s Church with live music. Everyone is welcome to the event, which can be a great chance to meet new people.


Deer Park Golf Course in Howth. Image by author.

Deer Park Golf Course in Howth. Image by author.

Deer Park Golf Course is one of the largest golf complexes in Ireland. The 18 hole golf course gives a relaxed environment with a stunning landscape of Dublin’s countryside in the background. St Fintan’s 9 hole offers a panoramic view of the Dublin coastline. The 18 hole Pitch and Putt is a fun and challenging course for all the family. 

Deer Park Golf Course gives a perfect view of the small inhabited island Ireland’s Eye.

On the other side of Howth there is Howth Golf Club, another golf course, rated five star on Google. 

Get a boat to Ireland’s Eye

Ireland’s Eye, a small island near Howth. Image by author.

Ireland’s Eye, a small island near Howth. Image by author.

You can access Ireland’s Eye with a 15-minute boat ride from Howth. This island is a sanctuary for wildlife. At the northeastern corner of the island, a rock called “The Stack” fosters a variety of seabirds: guillemots, gannets, razorbills, fulmars and gulls.

The only remnants of human activity are two structures: the Martello Tower that was built to repel an invasion from Napoleon and the ruins of a church.

Marylou Prevost
Marylou Prevost

After a Master's degree in journalism and one year as a journalist in France, I landed in Dublin to write for Babylon Radio. I mostly love writing about cultural events in Ireland.

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