The seaside town of Howth lies approximately 29 minutes east of Dublin. It’s been a trip two and a half years in the making, and the end result was worth the wait.
No matter how much the city of Dublin captures my heart and undivided attention, I need breaks from urbanity. Ireland is renowned for its spectacular coastal villages, and Howth is no exception. It is a haven of a peninsula, a collection of centuries-old nobility and ruins, endless views of the water, and the best fish and chips you may ever have.
We boarded the DART train from the Pearse Street Station and rushed away from the city center. Howth’s impact was instantaneous. It’s the perfect small getaway when you don’t want to travel too far. Here’s a quick guide on how we spent our time–and stomach space.
**Note: These photos were all taken in the same 2-hour span of time. Some were taken moments apart. That sort of weather is the cheeky play normal on the Emerald Isle. 🙂
Along the shining sea
From a break in the main road, the peninsula unfolds. Inch along the railings, past seafood restaurants and cafes, until you reach the end. All the way is the harbor, and the further you trail from the town the more of its shades of pastel homes and shops. Overlooking the lighthouse and stretch of beach to the left, we stood and witnessed the seagulls ducking in and out of the sky, swooping over the sapphire waves.
We meandered around for about an hour, the sun’s poking out from behind the cloud kept us lingering along the breezy edge. For a place to sit with a book or excellent company, look no further than this point!
The cliff walk, Howth Castle, and lighthouse are well-known ways to visit the village. It was extremely windy that day, and our tired feet didn’t want to traipse on. (I don’t totally blame them, and now I have more reasons to come back!)
At the weekend market
On weekends and bank holidays, Howth hosts craft and food vendors in an enclosed outdoor space, sectioned off by shops to weave in and out of. It has become a permanent fixture in the town after years of having a more pop-up status. Peruse inside for artsy trinkets and outside for antiques, organic produce, freshly baked bread, and sweet treats. We saw some lovely local artwork and woodwork for sale. I was enamored with wooden coasters that were carved with the names of Irish cities, as well as a heart filled with its colors. Now it’s another item of Irish decor in my room.
Kaylee and I couldn’t help ourselves, and despite having devoured a large breakfast at the Queen of Tarts earlier in the day, we bought cupcakes. They were right at the entrance, beckoning out to us, demanding that we buy one…
Buns is Ireland’s first full-fledged cupcake bakery, selling cakes in small white cups and decorated with a creamy swirl of frosting, my favorite part of any dessert. I picked out a vanilla 99, inspired by Ireland’s famed 99 cones. What a classic goddess it was.
If we hadn’t been flying back to Boston the next day, odds are that we would have left with armfuls of bread in tow–and a big box of cupcakes.
In the Beshoff Bros. Restaurant
We got a bit confused about the Beshoff Bros. takeaway place, not venturing past the front door to order our fried haddock to be delivered in a piece of newspaper, but we were very happy in its connecting restaurant next door.
As a New Englander, my pride in our seafood is unmistakable. I have no bones about spreading the word that we are the face of Good Seafood. Ireland knows how to do fish and chips like no other, though. I’ve never had it as good anywhere else. You can taste the freshest, highest quality ingredients in every bite. Beshoff Bros. is the place to be for all of your fish and chips fantasies, and we were certainly swimming in them. Fear not, for they serve a whole range of seafood delights to rock your world.
Initially, I didn’t feel dressed up enough for the occasion, but surrounding us were enough parties dressed similarly casual to us that I didn’t feel out of place. Kaylee and I split a plate of their fried haddock and chips, which was the perfect amount for two people already slightly bursting.
I’m drooling just thinking about the crispy outer skin of the fish, the breakaway into flavorful meat, and the added zest of tartar sauce. You guys, there was just nothing like it.
So there you have it! A half day or full day is absolutely worth your time. The quickest out you might find from Dublin, and the most delicious. With its intimate downtown and natural beauty in tow, you can do no wrong.