Hello and welcome to this weekend’s walk.
The other day our government eased the restrictions on movement to allow county wide travel and by a stroke of luck our weather took a huge turn for the good ! So, last Thursday I jumped in the car and headed for the village of Howth, on the northside of the city of Dublin – so come along with me today for a stroll.
From the air Howth is really easy to spot – if you have been lucky enough to travel by air to Dublin it’s right on the flight path to Dublin Airport and as you look out your window it’s the peninsula that juts out into Dublin bay.
Howth, or Binn Eadair in Irish – Eadar’s peak – is the name of this area, that has been settled since prehistoric times, and has been famous as a trading port for centuries.
Although we arrived by car today the best way to reach Howth is by taking the DART rapid rail line northbound and the last stop is right beside the harbour.
Lets make this our starting point , so off we go !!
Although most places are still shut due to the pandemic the first thing that will catch our eyes is FISH ! There are fish food restaurants, fish and chip shops , sea food shops, fish everywhere . Of course its only natural – for centuries Howth has been a busy fishing port and this tradition continues to this day. There is a big fleet of fishing boats based here , and all the supporting industry busy at work – its a real living operation, so we had better watch out for trucks and forklifts as we stroll around.
Its a fantastic day so we can walk both the East and West pier, and have a look at the vast range of seafood options , the lovely flowers and the many fine old buildings . The marina is packed with yachts – Howth is famous for its yacht club by the way .
Here’s something worth a look – take a look at the footprints in the cobbled surface. These were carved in 1821 to commemorate the very site where King George IV stepped ashore on his royal visit !!
Look upwards and you will see that the village is dominated by an old Martello tower that stands on the hill, these towers were built in the 18th Century all along the east cost of Ireland – and within sight of each other to warn of an attack from the French … that never came by the way !
Also overlooking the village is St Marys Church and abbey . Lets walk uphill through the narrow lanes and have a look at this ancient building and its graveyard. The original church was built by Sitric, the king of Dublin in 1042 ,and what we now see dates mainly from the 14th Century .. and right nearby is the world famous Abbey Tavern – maybe you have visited here for a night of fine food and entertainment ; fingers crossed it wont be too soon before it re opens.
Lets stroll back down to the car and enjoy the sunshine in this pretty village.
We won’t head home right now as there is a spectular walk that we simply cannot miss now that we have come this far .
So, for next weeks walk I’m going to bring you on the cliff walk around Howth head.
You had better rest up, and get your hiking boots ready !