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Best trails in Howth

257 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails near Howth with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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Map of trails in Howth
Top trails (4)
#1 - Howth Loop Trail
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(173)
Length: 10 mi • Est. 5 h 7 m
Enjoy stunning scenery as you follow the clifftop paths around the Howth peninsula. The Howth peninsula forms the northern tip of Dublin Bay and has long been a popular destination for daytrippers keen to explore its fishing village, its hills and sea cliffs. Despite its proximity to Dublin city, it largely retains a wild, remote feel on account of its relative isolation from the rest of the mainland. This guide explores the harbour area around Howth Village before rambling along the clifftop path around the peninsula, returning over the central hills and via the grounds of Howth Castle. The geology of the peninsula is predominantly quartzite and with rocks dating from the Cambrian period, approximately 550 million years ago, making them among the oldest rocks in Ireland. Evidence of human habitation on the peninsula dates back to at least 3,500 BC. Howth is depicted in a 2nd century map of Ireland by the Alexandrian scholar, Ptolemy, as a small island named Edri Deserta, or Edar's Desert. This suggests that the Sutton Isthmus, which connects Howth to the mainland, only formed in the last 1,900 years. The name Howth originates in the Norse word, Hofuth, meaning headland, and dates from the time of the Viking settlement of the Dublin area. The Irish name for Howth, Binn Éadair, may mean Hill of Edar, referring to one of the Tuatha De Dannan tribe, believed to be buried on the Ben of Howth, or it may be a corruption of Ben na Dair, meaning Hill of the Oaks. The Vikings arrived in 819 AD and established Howth as an important seaport. Following their defeat at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, many of the survivors fled to Howth, where they were left to settle in peace. A number of surnames common to the Howth area, such as Harford, Thunder, Rickard and Waldron, are of Norse origin. The Norsemen remained at Howth until the Norman invasion of Ireland when they were defeated by the Norman knight Almeric Tristram on St Laurence's Day, 10 August 1177. Tristram took the surname St Laurence in honour of his victory and established his estate at Howth Castle. The castle has remained in the ownership of the St Laurence family ever since, although the unbroken line of male succession came to an end in 1909. Isolated from the rest of Dublin, Howth existed as a sleepy fishing village for most of its history until the early 19th century when it was selected to serve as the port for the mail packet ship service to Britain. The harbour at Howth was opened in 1818 but suffered from problems with silting and the packet ship relocated to Dun Laoghaire in 1834. The harbour remains home to a substantial fishing fleet and the village is now a smart suburb of Dublin thanks to the DART railway service. The village and the cliff path draws many tourists throughout the year.Show more
#2 - Howth Summit Inn Loop
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(41)
Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 2 h 58 m
This is a great walk with fantastic scenery and viewpoints. Much of the route travels along the coastline, giving you great vantage points for wildlife and opportunities to walk down to the water. Begin the walk at the Summit Inn.Show more
#3 - Howth Cliff Walk Loop
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(37)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 1 h 44 m
#4 - Howth Cliff Path and Martello Tower
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 1 h 41 m
Howth is an Irish village on the Howth Peninsula, east of central Dublin. The 19th-century Martello Tower houses a vintage radio museum. The clifftop trail has sweeping sea views. Offshore, Ireland’s Eye is an island bird sanctuary with an ancient ruined church. There were 50 signal towers constructed during the Napoleonic wars. These particular towers also known as Martello Towers were erected as a type of coastal defence that would alert the rest of the country of French Invasion. All towers are strategically placed so that when one gives off a signal, the next one in sequence does the same until the whole coast is lit up. There are twelve towers in North Dublin, the first of which is at Red Rock Sutton Creek. The only one of these twelve towers that is able for viewing is the Martello tower turned vintage radio museum in Howth. It offers a vast panoramic view of Howth Harbour, Ireland’s Eye and as far off as Portmarnock. From here you’ll be able to see the next Martello tower in the sequence which is located on Ireland’s Eye itself, which just lies north of the Harbour. Ireland’s Eye can easily be reached during the peak months by Ireland’s Eye Ferries. The particular boat ride offers a roundtrip around the Island and also gives you the option to get off and hike the hill, explore the beaches and discover the ruins on its shores. Howth has an extensive list of famous visitors, including musicians, writers and artists, including one of Ireland’s most accomplished novelists, James Joyce. Joyce felt a deep love for Dublin’s streets, but it seems that Howth managed to capture him just as much. Joyce's monumentous novel, Ulysses is daunting but worth a shot, especially if you come to Howth, considering that it’s set on the very paths that most of us often take. Howth is mentioned more than once in Ulysses and one quote is as follows: “…the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth Head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes”.Show more