Howth Loop Trail is a 16.1 kilometer loop trail located near Howth, Dublin, Ireland that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running.

Distance: 16.1 km Elevation Gain: 490 m Route Type: Loop

hiking

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

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.

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
50 minutes ago

hiking
2 days ago

Very good trial. Great views over the see. Dogs friendly.

hiking
1 month ago

Great day on Howth head fantastic views. I would highly recommend this hike

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous day for a walk. Lots of flowering bushes and birdsongs. Very well marked trail and moderate traffic on it. Took the red trail which went the coast line and then to the interior. Some roads and residential but most in nature.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

off trail
rocky
2 months ago

2 months ago

when you get the good weather it's one of the best walks you can do ,great views ...

rocky
2 months ago

beautiful trail.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

Great track. Diverges from the official (signalised) trail in a few parts towards the end but I'd recommend the route suggested here over the official one if you don't mind a little bit of climbing.

4 months ago

Stunning views.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
5 months ago

Gorgeous hike. Did it in January, so foot traffic was moderately light. I would guess this trail gets quite busy spring through summer. The north east half of the route sees far more people. South west side provided much greater solitude. Due to its proximity to Dublin, I can see why many tourists make this part of their “Ireland Experience”. Easy to take the Dart from the Connolly station for about €6 p/p round trip. Highly recommend this hike in winter. When its wet, there will be LOTS of slick mud. If thats an issue, avoid rainy weather. This hike was moderately strenuous with lots of slip potential in wet conditions. Wear good shoes.

7 months ago

Excellent hike. Not too strenuous.

9 months ago

amazing trail but if you are an outdoor enthousiast prepare to, stop and queue a lot and be constantly surrendered by tourists. I would recommand doing it in low season and on week days.

9 months ago

Unquestionably my favourite trail in Dublin. Rain or shine, summer or winter. However, best in summer when Deer park forest is in full blossom. Also a great trail to pick magic mushrooms in October. Not a hard trail, no need to dress like an astronaut! Wonderful cliff jumps into the sea near the Bailey lighthouse and great cliff fishing spots as you get close to Howth village. Suitable to run, not cycle.

10 months ago

Probably the most organized and well thought trail system I’ve ever been on! Their is a manned information booth which provide maps of selected hikes. The trail is well marked. And you finish directly across the street from the DART train station. Plenty of excellent seafood restaurants there. Doesn’t get any better than this!

11 months ago

Beautiful views and well manicured trail. Perfect for family outing. Amble parking after searching for it.

walking
11 months ago

Amazing walk! Great views and can stop at the pub for lunch at the top!

11 months ago

Fantastic trail with great views. Local map shows several trails in the area with shorter routes. This is listed on local map as 10km called Bog of Frogs trail. Follow purple arrows.

hiking
Sunday, July 15, 2018

Beautiful views and easy navigation + chances to wander off trail. Would definitely do it again (and maybe I’d bring a beach towel).

Monday, June 11, 2018

Beautiful!

hiking
Sunday, June 03, 2018

Amazing views, cliffs, beach, forest, golf field, etc.

Load More

Featured Trails