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Howth Loop Trail is a 10 mile loop trail located near Howth, County Dublin, Ireland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips.

Length10 miElevation gain1607 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsWalkingRunningViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (25)
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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.

The cliff path is rather exposed in certain sections and it is not recommended during stormy weather. You should always bring a waterproof and windproof jacket given the changeable nature of the Irish weather. The terrain varies from paved paths to rough tracks, with the southern section of the cliff path particularly uneven. Nevertheless, flat trail shoes with good grip should suffice. The best way to get to Howth is via the DART. Car parking is available at the harbour but spaces may be at a premium, especially on fine weekends. There are numerous options for refreshments in Howth village.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (184)
Photos (783)
Recordings (133)
Completed (357)
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James leahy
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Hiking
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Oisin Hoy
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Hiking

very scenic stretch of the legs. some parts muddy. well worth it

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Eoghan Mulqueen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Lovely hike! Great views and not overly strenuous. Took us about 3 hours. would highly recommend Leo Burdocks for a bag of chips after!

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Noeleen Garrett
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Hiking
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Lucy Hand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic trail!! Beautiful views especially in good weather. Parts of this trail are a little overgrown but generally well kept and easy to follow, can be busy,so better to do it on a week day if possible. Definitely one of my favourite hikes.

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Reid Finch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2020
Hiking

First half was very busy, and became less so the further I went. Trail is in good condition and clearly marked for the most part. Would recommend.

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Morgan Daigneault
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingGreat!

I actually did this one in July 2018, but I wanted to record it for posterity. I went on this trail not really knowing what I was getting into. I ended up walking for like 5 hours, alone. As a fairly inexperienced hiker at the time, my feet were absolutely killing me by the end. I prayed for sweet release. But holy crap was it worth it! Absolutely amazing views along the coast. The only weird part I remember is having to walk through a golf course toward the end? But by that point I was feeling pretty loopy anyway. I don't know if I'd do the whole thing again, but I have no regrets.

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Eamon Cummins
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Hiking
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Stanislav Smatana
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Hiking
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Attila Vago
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Hiking

I did a sunrise hike here. It’s fantastic!

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Libby Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

i've done the howth hike a number of times. it's actually the last thing i did before i had to leave ireland due to COVID-19. that hike is my final and one of my fondest memories. highly recommend. go to beshoff bro's after and definitely check out the howth market and pier walk

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Pelle John
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HikingRocky
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Bernard Chanliau
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Hiking

great walk 3.30hrs purple loop

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Sérgio Murilo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
HikingOver grownRockyScramble

Amazing! I made the trail all over the cliffs leaving Howth city center and arriving at Sutton Dart Station. Incredible landscape with different beauty at each walk, always with signage throughout the trail. The next trail I want to do is the red, purple and bristle trails that are inside the forest. These same trails also have their share on the cliffs.

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Alan Fitzgerald
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RunningMuddyOff trailRocky

Excellent trail and at some parts fairly challenging (for me anyway). It can get busy and around l narrow areas runners can be slowed down to a halt. Worth it for the views. Note: it can get very muddy after rainfall and there are plenty of loose rocks so watch your ankles.

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Nick Schoenbaechler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 19, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail with ocean views throughout. Trail is well-maintained.

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Fanny Gardyn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 15, 2019
RunningMuddyOver grownRocky
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Enes Çankırı
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 3, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky
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Papa Jensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2019
Hiking

Making lots of improvements some detours. Follow orange signs and use app.

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Sergio Guillermo
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Hiking

fantastic views! went from howth to Sutton!

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Anna Schwartz
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Hiking

50% great trail and views, 50% narrow trail with no views bordered by homes. INCREDIBLY busy on weekends. I would just do the summit next time. The crowds thin out with elevation gain.

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Leslieann Hannon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2019
Hiking

2nd hike and found the last 40mins tough but the views kept me smiling

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Sam Schmitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2019
HikingMuddy
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