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14 Things to do in Howth (With 1-Day Itinerary Map)

14 Things to do in Howth (With 1-Day Itinerary Map)

There are plenty of things to do in Howth in Dublin, however, many people never look past the cliff trail.

Now, don’t get me wrong: the Howth Cliff Walk is the area’s main attraction, but there’s plenty more on offer here.

In the guide below, you’ll find:

  • One: A map showing what to do in Howth along with an overview of each place
  • Two: A 1-day itinerary that takes in the main Howth attractions (at the end of the guide)

The best things to do in Howth

things to do in Howth

 

As Howth Village is a shortish drive from where I live in North Dublin, I visit the area at least 2/3 times each month.

It’s worth taking a look on the map above, first, as it’ll give you a sense of where the various places to visit in Howth are located.

1. Grab a coffee from Howth Market

Howth Market

Photos via Howth Market on FB

If you rock up to Howth and you fancy a pre-walk caffeine-kick, head over to Howth Market and nip into Bodega Coffee.

Howth Market is one of the more popular markets in Dublin, and it has been on the go for over 11 years.

Back in 2013, the market became a permanent fixture and you’ll find it right across from the DART station.

 

2. Then walk along the pier

Howth Pier

Photos on the left courtesy Fionn McCann via Fáilte Ireland

If you’re looking for walks in Dublin that are in no way strenuous and that offer some decent views throughout, the one along Howth harbour and down to the pier is well worth a bash.

The walk from Howth Market to the end of the pier is 1.4km and it’ll take you around 25 minutes as a relaxed pace.

On a clear day, you’ll be able to see out as far as Ireland’s Eye (keep an eye out for the seals!).

You’ll often see people fishing to the left of this point. Sometimes, you’ll walk up here and find that there’s a lad with a fiddle (or an entire band) playing away.

 

3. Enjoy a great view from St. Mary’s Abbey

St. Mary's Abbey howth village

Photo courtesy Fionn McCann via Fáilte Ireland

One of Howth’s few hidden gems can be found on an elevated site just above Howth Village, and it has a very interesting history.

The first church to be built in this location was established by the Viking Sigtrygg Silkbeard – the Hiberno-Norse king of Dublin – around 1042.

Later, in 1235, a new church was built under the instruction of the Archbishop of Dublin. Little remains of either church and the current ruins date to the late 14th/early 15th centuries.

History aside, there’s a lovely view out over Howth pier from the abbey.

 

4. Tackle the Howth Cliff Walk

The Howth Cliff Walk is easily one of the best things to do in Howth if you fancy a long, scenic stroll.

Now, you’ll need a moderate level of fitness for this walk as there are plenty of inclines, a lot of rough path, and the walk itself can last up to 4 hours (depending on the loop you take).

There are 5 different trails to tackle (info and maps for each here) that vary in length and difficulty.

The trail that tends to be the easiest to follow is the one I have outlined in the map above.

 

5. Or drive to Howth Summit and walk down to Bailey Lighthouse

walks in howth

Photos via Shutterstock

If you don’t fancy the walk from Howth Village and you’re driving, head for Howth Summit car park.

When you pass beneath the metal frame that’s used to keep large campers and caravans out, you’ll see a little path to the right. Follow it.

Continue down towards the Bailey Lighthouse. You’ll get great views of the lighthouse, cliffs on both sides, the Dublin skyline and Wicklow.

This is one of my favourite things to do in Howth when I don’t have the energy (or the time) to do the Cliff Path Walk.

 

6. Take one of the Howth Cruise tours

Howth Cliff Cruise

Photos via Howth Cliff Cruises

Next up is one of the more unique things to do in Howth – one of the cruise/boat trips.

These are 1-hour tours that depart from the village and that offer a very unique perspective on Howth and its surrounds.

I’ve been recommending both of the tours below for a while now:

Both are similarly priced and each takes you past the cliffs and bay, offering views out to Ireland’s Eye.

 

7. Sample one of the trad pubs

If you’re wondering what to do in Howth after an afternoon spent conquering the cliffs, head to one of the trad pubs in Howth.

In my opinion, there are two clear winners:

  • The Abbey Tavern: A historic pub dating back to the 16th-century, famous for its music heritage
  • McNeills: A cosy pub that does good food (past the church in Howth Village)
 

8. The Hurdy Gurdy Vintage Radio museum

Now, when people hear about the Hurdy Gurdy Vintage Radio museum, they often think, ‘I’ve no interest in radio – I’ll give that a miss’. But bear with me!

You’ll find the museum in a Martello Tower – a building that hugely important in Ireland’s early communications network.

It was here where the first communications cable from Holyhead in Wales to Ireland was laid way back in 1852.

Inside, you’ll find an extensive collection of early Morse equipment, gramophones, crystal sets and valve radios, alongside ancient-looking photographs, telegrams and more.

From the outside, you’ll get a great view over Howth and beyond, thanks to its elevated position. This is a good option for those of you wondering what to do in Howth when it’s pouring down.

 

9. Followed up with a post-walk feed

King Sitric

Photos via King Sitric on FB

There are some exceptional restaurants in Howth if you fancy a post-walk feed, and they rang from fancy to nice and casual!

If you’re after a fancy feed, and if you’re a fan of seafood, the likes of Aqua, King Sitric and The Oar House are good options.

If you’d prefer food to take away, you can’t go wrong with fish and chips from Beshoffs (just beware of the seagulls!!).

 

10. Visit one of the many beaches

beaches in howth

Photos licensed via Shutterstock

There are several beaches in Howth that are well worth a visit, however, one that is recommended far too often online is its ‘hidden’ beach.

This beach (top right photo is located along the cliff walk and, as you’ll discover here, it’s treacherous getting down to it and should be admired from above only.

There’s also the slightly hidden Red Rock Beach, which you get to from the Sutton Side of Howth Hill (info here), Claremont Beach and Balscadden Bay Beach.

 

11. Take the panoramic e-Bike Tour

howth bike tour

Photo courtesy shane@howthadventures.com via Fáilte Ireland

If you’re wondering what to do in Howth that’s a little bit different, give the Panoramic e-Bike Tour a crack.

This is a 3-hour tour that’s racked up some solid reviews online.

You’ll soak up mighty views of Dublin bay, see Bailey Lighthouse and hear history, tales and local legend from your tour guide.

If you book this tour, we may make a commission – you won’t pay extra, but we greatly appreciate it as it helps up keep this site going.

 

12. Head off on the Howth Peninsula Hiking Tour

howth safari

Photo courtesy shane@howthadventures.com via Fáilte Ireland

If you prefer to explore with a guide, the 4-hour Howth Peninsula Hiking Tour is worth considering (the reviews online are excellent).

You’ll join an experienced guide that’ll take you to the main things to do in Howth while offering an insight into the history of the area along the way.

It starts from Howth Market and takes in:

  • The harbour
  • St Mary’s Abbey
  • The cliffs
 

13. Craft Beer and Seafood Trail

howth food tour

Photos courtesy Mark McHale_Hidden Howth Experiences via Fáilte Ireland

If you’d like to take a tour of some of the best pubs in Howth with a seasoned guide, this is another great excursion to check out.

You’ll be taken through Howth village and along the way you’ll hear stories from the town’s ancient past over the course of 3 hours.

You’ll also:

  • Taste 5+ local craft beers
  • Munch away on a plethora of locally caught seafood

14. Howth Castle

Howth Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

What was once one of the main attractions in Howth is now set to become the newest castle hotel in Dublin

Yes, Howth Castle, dating back to the 1200s and home to one family for 800 years, was purchased in 2019.

It’s now set to become a 140+ room hotel. If you’re visiting during the summer of 2024, you can take one of the Howth Castle walking tours.

They are run over the course of 1-hour and you’ll be guided around by the castle’s historian.

An itinerary for Howth in Dublin

So, I get asked I Howth worth visiting a fair bit and the answer is yes, once you have a logical itinerary in place.

As there are plenty of things to do in Howth, you won’t fit everything it to a day, but the itinerary above is both worthwhile and doable.

Still struggling to decide what to do in Howth? Feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

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Tabatha Foshee

Monday 17th of February 2020

Thank you for the information. I can not wait to visit in April!

Jesse Diaz

Monday 27th of January 2020

so looking forward to vist in Oct. your site is making it so easy to plan are trip. we will be there 20 days. looks great Thank You again

Orla Kennedy

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

So helpful, looking forward to visiting Howth on feb 8th 2020

Keith

Friday 10th of January 2020

Thanks Orla. Glad you enjoyed reading. Enjoy your trip. Here are loads more things to do in Dublin where you're here.

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