If you feel like a break from busy cosmopolitan Dublin, then head off on a day trip to Howth. It is located only 15km north east of Dublin on the Howth Peninsula in Dublin Bay. Howth is predominately a fishing village and small port and is very popular with both visitors and locals.
The settlement dates back to the 9th century when it was first settled by Norwegians and it has played a key role in some historical events. Many of the guns used by the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising of 1916 came from Howth, where they had been smuggled in from Germany. St Mary's Church is built on the site of the earliest church built by Sitric, King of Dublin, in 1042. The present church dates from the late 14th century.
Howth is famous for its high quality fish, which you can buy directly from the fishermen or in one of the many local shops. There are also quite a few high quality restaurants, as well as the local fish and chip shops, scattered throughout the village, where you can buy and taste the fish.
Howth offers several excellent walks. One of the best is the cliff walk which hugs the coastline where, once on higher ground and weather permitting, you get wonderful views of the Wicklow Mountains, Dublin Bay, Ireland's Eye and the Boyne Valley. Other interesting places to visit include the Howth Castle built in the 15th century and the surrounding Deer Park, Baily's Automatic Lighthouse, the ruins of the St Mary's Abbey, National Transport Museum, Howth Harbor Gallery and the Vintage Radio Museum. The Deer Park is open to the public but the castle is not.
Getting to Howth could not be easier. It is well serviced by public transport including Dublin Bus and the DART. Howth is actually on the end of the northern DART line, you can catch this train from Connolly station in central Dublin. If you wish to travel by car, you will be pleased to know there is plenty of parking on the peninsula.
Howth has a fully functioning traditional harbor and you will see several working fishing trawlers. There is also a marina for private boats and yachts. Another feature of Howth is the abundance of wildlife, including birds and seals.
Howth gets very busy on the weekends, especially if the weather is fine. On Sundays, there is also an open market near the DART station.
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