At the northern tip of Dublin Bay, prepare yourself for a picturesque walk over cliff tops as you circle Howth head . With its stunning panoramic views, glance north to County Down’s Mountains of Mourne, south to the lush green Wicklow Mountains, and straight ahead for the expanse of Dublin city and its bay in between.
Start your walk to the east of Howth Village at the parking area of Balscadden Bay. From here, a good path leads you up and around the Nose of Howth and onto the cliff tops.
Continue uphill, taking in the stunning views of Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye, but take care of your footing as the path draws very close to the lip of the cliff and you must walk near to the edge. All around, you’ll be overwhelmed by the magnificent heady scent of coconut from the bright yellow gorse on the heath.
Moving upwards to 120m, a slight detour to the south takes you to the magnificent Baily Lighthouse – the last of Ireland’s 82 lighthouses to become automated.
At the highest point of your walk (171m), the Ben of Howth awaits and it’s marked by an ancient burial cairn, which, according to legend, is said to be the final resting place of the last of the Irish giants.
Your return to Howth Village begins along a path running parallel to your outward route. Swinging gently away from the cliffs, you’ll be glad to know that it’s downhill from here, over the heath and into the bustling village.
Directions: Howth village is situated 15km (9½ miles) north-east of the city centre on the north side of Howth Head.
Estimated Time: 2hrs - 3hrs
Start and Finish: Parking area few hundred metres east of Howth Village
Terrain: Mix of tarmac, gravel and firm earthen paths
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