Hill Walking in Howth

You don’t have to go far to find scenic hikes (or hill walking as the locals call it) near Dublin. Jen and I took advantage of the recent bank holiday to hike the Bog of Frogs trail around the hills of Howth.

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Map from Irish Trails.

Just five miles south of our house in Malahide, the 10km scenic loop makes you feel a lot further away from the city.

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Right from the car park, the trail totally lives up its cliff walk name. Looking down on seabirds and boats in Dublin bay is a special treat—although your stomach might do a few flips when looking down the jagged rocks to the sea.

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The small signs keeping visitors on the path seemed to rise out of Jurassic-like ferns.

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Jen puts on a brave face as she ventures close to the edge of the trail.
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Hank takes in the sights from the western edge of the cliffs of Howth.
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Baily lighthouse was the last of its kind to be fully automated. The last lighthouse keeper left in March 1997.
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Abundant blackberry bushes line the trail at nearly every turn.

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Protected coves and hidden beaches are accessible from the trail along the northwest side of the headlands. Below, a reminder (mostly to Jen) about the dangers of throwing stones. (Inside story: Jen once had to write “I will not throw pea gravel” 100 times as punishment of an unpleasant incident in grade school).

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On our way to a hidden treasure on this lighter-tread part of the trail.
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Postcard-worthy views of the coast. And only a few miles north of Dublin city center.
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Hank finds relief at a small beach tucked along the trail.

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The remains of the old defensive walls on the northwest side of the headlands (above) gives way to the rainforest feel of the leeward side of the park (below).

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The trail finishes with a downhill walk into the town of Howth, which comes alive on nice summer days with visitors from all over.

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Time for some refreshment at the Abbey Tavern, a landmark Irish pub in Howth since the 16th century, or one of the many fish-themed restaurants lining the marina along Howth pier.


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