Hiking Howth Head

Cold and blustery without a drop of rain, today was the perfect weather for a long walk across the clifftops. I went to Howth in north Dublin for a short ramble and ended up walking almost nine miles in total, but along the way got to see some fantastic sights. When I arrived in the early afternoon; Howth was overcast, grey and extremely windswept – I was thankful I had bundled up in layers of fleece. Off I set along the road leading from the harbour towards the cliffs. This is what Howth Head looks like:

Map of Howth – I pretty much walked the entire perimeter of Howth along the clifftops in a clockwise direction. I can’t feel my feet 🙂

It’s a bit of an uphill hike along the road until you reach the start of the trail proper. From there, it was rocky and very muddy. I haven’t been as muddy in a long time. Fun! It was quite dark and gloomy, but the robins were out singing their little hearts out to cheer me along.

robin, winter, Erithacus rubecula, ireland, dublin, travel, bird, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, photography,

Rocking Robin

As I was nearing the Baily Lighthouse, looking over towards Dalkey Island and the Sugarloaf Mountain, the sun broke through with great shafts of light spilling through the cloud cover.

Here comes the sun

Shafts of light spill over Dalkey Island

Baily Lighthouse peeping out behind a hill

I made it to the summit in good time, and stopped off at the little shop at the top for a coffee. They had a special offer running – if you bought a coffee, you could get a toasted panini for a mere 99c – bargain! I set off along the next part of the trail with my latte and cheese, tomato & onion panini in hand, just the thing to ward off the piercing cold. As I rounded a corner, a rainbow appeared along the edge of a cloud, dropping down just over to my right to end amongst some trees, such a lovely sight to behold. A boat hurried by on the water to my left, throwing up spray that caught the diffused light from the breaking cloud cover. So much to look at, I had to remember to pay attention to the trail, as it was getting tricky now, weaving up and down, perilously close to the edge.

The end of the rainbow

Boat kicks up trail of light

I pushed onwards, past fabulously-named spots such as Hippy Hole and Doldrum Bay until the Martello Tower came into sight – one of a series of towers built to fend off an invasion  by Napoleon.

Martello Tower

The sky was now taking on the most incredible hues as sunset drew close. Looking back towards Dalkey, the Sugarloaf and the Pigeon House (aka Poolbeg Power Station), here are some of the beautiful scenes I saw along my way to Sutton Dart Station.

Up ahead on the trail, the Sugarloaf Mountain and that glorious sky

Sugarloaf silhouetted against an intense sky

Flying off into the sunset

Layers of gorgeous colour

Wow. It looks like someone took a blowtorch to the sky. So beautiful.


Mottled pinks and blues as the sun slips away


About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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7 Responses to Hiking Howth Head

  1. livvy30 says:

    The sky is amazing! The weather’s been so good this year, unlike last year!

    • ailsapm says:

      It was the perfect day for a long hike. I wasn’t here last year, but from what I hear, it was pretty dreadful. I wouldn’t like to try that hike in the snow!

  2. grishmanphotography says:

    wonderful .-)

    • ailsapm says:

      It really was the most amazing hike, and the weather (and skies) were stunning. So glad you stopped by and commented. Love your ‘guilty brothers’ shot. 🙂

  3. trishworth says:

    Wow! This country is so different from mine, especially in the colours of the sky. Thanks for teaching me about Howth Head.

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