While the foamy Guinness of Temple Bar may get all of Dublin’s attention, many travelers to Dublin seem to forget that the Irish capital is actually located remarkably close to the sea.
Actually featuring an expansive coastline, the Dublin seashore ranges from the Howth peninsula in the North to the celebrity riddled coastline of Dun Laoghaire in the south, where you can call into Bono or Van Morrison for tea, or perhaps just relax in Enya’s private castle.
For us mere travelers, however, the time will more realistically be spent wandering the sailboat lined seashore, with no better place to explore than the humble seaside community of Howth.
Reachable by car or by the local DART train, Howth has all the charm of a typical North Atlantic fishing village, yet is located a mere cab ride from the buskers and bars of downtown Grafton Street.
Trendy wine and cheese bars share the main strip with local barbershops, as local children either play on the seaside park or wander the docks of the sprawling marina. The air boasts the distinctive nip of wind carried off of water, as the cry of seagulls and wafting traces of seaweed complete the shoreline stereotype.
Hikers looking for panoramic views of the area can take to any one of the headland’s myriad walking trails that hug the dramatic and windswept cliffs. With narrow ribbons of dirt that wind their way precariously close to rugged cliffs and dropoffs, it is easy to find a sense of rural seclusion just minutes from the fast paced Dublin city center. If Dublin was San Francisco, then this is Muir Woods. If it were Sydney, then these are cliffs from Coogee-Bondi.
Having completed a shoreline stroll along the cliffs that peer back at the Dublin city center, the trail will wind its way back onto Howth’s main promenade, where all that’s left to do is grab a glass of wine or a Guinness at sunset and soak up the simplicity found on the Dublin seashore.