Are you looking for a great side trip from Dublin? Try the fishing village of Howth! It's wonderful!
I have been to Dublin, Ireland many times, and always enjoy my visits there. It's a lovely city, and one of my favorite places to go. And even though I am very fond of it, on my last trip there I was looking for something to do that would get me out of town. Something new. Something different.
I found exactly what I needed in the little fishing village of Howth.
From the city center in Dublin, I hopped on the DART (local train) and it was about a 30 minute ride out to Howth. Once there, I walked everywhere I wanted to go. No need for a car in this town. The village itself is small and quaint, and the other big attraction is the hiking you can do.
(click any photo to enlarge)
From the DART station, you make the short walk in to town. Since I arrived around lunchtime, I stopped in a little cafe for a bite before taking off on my hike. I figured it would be good to do the hike first and then explore the village when I returned. So I fueled up.
I wandered through the village briskly, and at the end of it is where the trail begins. This trail takes you up into the hills a bit, and offers up some fabulous views over the Irish Sea and the island known as Ireland's Eye. The trail itself is steep in some parts, but I would rate the difficulty level overall as moderate. The trail winds it way around the peninsula that Howth occupies and is well worth the effort. All together, I spent a couple of hours on the trails before heading back into the village.
Once back in the village, I headed straight to the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, because I just love shooting ruins and churches, and this was a two-for-one, so I was pretty excited. This church dates from the 1500's, although there were other structures here hundreds of years prior to that. I enjoyed this spot all to myself, which is great, photographically-speaking.
After plenty of photos of the abbey, I walked downhill to the village itself to wrap up my day. I wandered in and out of shops and took photos around the harbor and anything else that caught my eye. There were a lot of fishing boats coming in for the day and unloading their catches - it was rather interesting and fun to observe.
Then it was a short stroll back to the DART station, and a short ride back to Dublin. If you have plans to be in Dublin and are looking for something to do outside of the City Center, I would consider a half-day (or even a whole one) in Howth. It's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Dublin.
And of course, if you are looking for things to do in Dublin, don't forget that I have a list here of all the best places to photograph in Dublin. It will keep you busy for a while!