Howth Head, a peninsula 15km northeast of Dublin City, has been immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Howth is a bustling village that offers visitors a myriad of attractions including Lambay Island, Ireland’s Eye, Howth Castle, The National Transport Museum, the Martello Tower and the Baily Lighthouse. Wildlife enthusiasts will adore Ireland’s Eye and its bird sanctuary which boasts guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, gulls and gannets. This loop is the longest of four which start at the DART (train) Station in the heart of the village. You are taken along the harbour before climbing away from the village around the Nose of Howth and onto the clifftops. Take in the stunning views of Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye, and be overwhelmed by the heady scent of coconut from the bright yellow gorse on the heath. Pass the Baily Lighthouse on your left as you enter the second section of cliff paths. Leaving the coast after Red Rock, you climb to circle the Ben of Howth and return to Howth Village via the route of the old tramline.A-B. Starting from the DART Station follow the purple arrow onto the promenade along the harbour. You are also following green, blue and red arrows for other shorter loops. At the end of the prom, veer right onto Balscadden Road and ascend to reach Kilrock car park from where you join the well trodden cliff path. B-C. Follow the cliff path for approximately 3km before the green, blue and red loops turn right and ascend to The Summit car park. You continue straight on here to reach the access road for the Bailey Lighthouse. Cross the road and join the second section of cliff path. C-D. Continue to follow the cliff path for another 3km to pass safety handrails at Red Rock. Shortly afterwards, the loop swings right and uphill onto a grassy track. After 500m you cross the busy Carrickbrack Road and enter a hillside section. D-E. The track takes you around the shoulder of Sheilmartin Hill to enter a golf course. Cross the course carefully - using the line of white rocks as your line of travel. On the opposite side enter the Bog of the Frogs area. E-F. You now follow a track through the Bog of the Frogs and onto open hilltop on the shoulder of the Ben of Howth where you pick up the red loop before descending through the grounds of the local GAA Club, and eventually reaching the Balkill Park estate. F-A. Entering Balkill Park, you pick up the green and blue loops as you join the tramline pathway. Follow the pathway downhill to exit directly opposite the DART Station - picking up the green, red and purple loops along the way.
Howth Village, Howth