Howth

Dublin's perfect daytrip

With a place on the DART light rail line, a glut of seafood restaurants and takeaways and beautiful coastal walks, it is easy to label Howth as Dublin's perfect daytrip.

Howth is just 25 minutes on the DART from Dublin's central Connolly and Tara Street stations and a short walk will bring you to the harbour. For drivers there is - and this is more important than anything in life - free parking galore. From the main car park it can't be any easier to explore the harbour town and the fantastic walks.

In the main car park at the harbour a kiosk hands out easy-to-follow free maps of all the walks in the area so no pre-planning is needed. Also, the terrain - although a little off-road and hilly - is pretty easy going even for those who've been on a weekend long binge of Guinness and Abrekebabra. The walks all head out of the town on pretty yellow gorse bordered paths along the the Howth Peninsula and then loop back. Dramatic views across Dublin Bay and onto Baily Lighthouse and elevated panoramas of the town call for multiple photo stops. En-route back to Howth town are the ruins of St Mary's Abbey which gives a really lovely view of the ruins in the foreground and the harbour down below. Overall, a visit to the Howth area is  the perfect antidote to the busy streets of Dublin.

For lunch there are plenty of places to choose from and frankly, if you choose anything other than seafood, you should be fed to the harbour's resident seals. For classic fish and chips you can't go wrong with the Howth institution of Beshoff Bros. or Leo Burdock's, Dublin's favourites. For fresh produce there's Howth Market which is partially open during the week and then bombards with sounds and aromas at the weekends. But that's just a tiny taste of what's on offer.

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