If you like to walk or hike then Howth is the place to visit in Dublin. Walk in the footsteps of the legendary Fionn MacCumhaill and his men Na Fianna (Soldiers) whose base was Howth hill.
Howth is a wonderfully scenic peninsula with a variety of terrains from coastal paths and rocky hills to lush woodland. Given its compact nature you can experience all these in a 1-2 hour walk.
There are many off-road paths and tracks criss-crossing the hill which are, unfortunately, not very well signposted. However you can never go too far wrong as given the elevation a view will always appear to guide you.
Setting off from the waterfront the cliff walk eastward around Balscadden Head and on to the spectacular Bailey Lighthouse c.1814 is a must and the perfect start to the day (approximately 1 1/2 hour walk).
Why not stop off at The Summit Inn for a well deserved thirst quencher overlooking the bay.
Another 20 minutes down the old tram tracks (right opposite The Summit) and you're back in the village. Catch lunch at Krugers/The Top House and relax.
Off again and through the village back towards the harbour the entrance to the 15th century Howth Castle is left (about 1 Km) on the main road going back towards Dublin. Take a walk up its long tree lined avenue past the imposing castle and golf courses and you enter the beathtaking beauty of the Rhodedendron Gardens (the largest in Europe) bursting with color and in bloom April to June.
Proceeding onward and upward one is greeted by 360 degree views of West Mountain, the Ben of Howth and the northern and southern coasts. Breathtaking!
If you still haven't had enough cross the Ben and descend on the southern side of the hill to Red Rock with its magnificent martello tower and a wondrous cliff walk that leads around to the Bailey lighthouse once more. Total walk time is approximately 3 hours.
If all that sound like too much why not start your day with a leisurely walk around the harbour itself and watch the fishermen working their skills.
A little further on and you've got the sandy beaches of Claremont and The Burrow. Why not take a dip if you're up to it.