As I sat in an Irish pub on a Sunday evening, I realized how quickly my time in Dublin was coming to an end. In 12 hours, I would be heading to the airport. With little sleep and a lot of packing to do, did I really have time to visit Howth?
The last train to Howth
Over the last two days, I had taken a walk in the rain through Dublin Castle. I had a couple pints of Guinness as I toured the Guinness Storehouse. I visited St Patrick’s Cathedral, took a tour of Trinity College, watched a college football game between Notre Dame and Navy at Aviva Stadium, and partied into the early hours of the morning at local Irish pubs.
While the Irish people and craic were the best things about Ireland, I decided to make one more stop on my Irish journey.
At 5:30, I walked with my friend Colm to the Connolly Station to catch the DART train. As Colm headed home, I boarded the train bound for Howth full of doubts, wondering if this trip was a wise decision.
An easy 30 minute train ride would put me in Howth before 7. While I wouldn’t have time to see the castle or hike Howth Head, I wanted to see the sun set in this fishing village as I walked along the pier.
A minor incident with another train delayed my arrival to Howth. I nervously looked out of the window as I quietly pleaded with the sun to remain in the sky just a little while longer. While this wasn’t the last train to Howth, time was running out.
Around 7 pm, we finally arrived in Howth. With sailboats, views of Howth Head, and the Irish sea greeting me, I quickened my pace with the pier in sight.
As I made my way towards the harbor, I was in a race against the setting sun in a village that time forgot.
A fishing village and an Irish sunset
Located on Dublin Bay, this fishing village has grown to become a seaside suburb of Dublin. Howth Head rises above the bay and overlooks the village, boats, and lighthouse. Bird watching, sailing, hiking, and a visit to Howth Castle are the highlights of Howth’s activities.
With just a few minutes of sunlight left on the horizon, I regretfully didn’t have time for any of these. After a weekend of Dublin sightseeing and only a few hours of sleep, this was my spontaneous Irish escape.
As I reached the pier and walked along the walls, my hurried steps slowed to a scenic stroll. Every few paces, I paused to take a photo. Howth Lighthouse, the island of Ireland’s Eye, Howth Head, Dublin harbor, and a sea of sailboats struck a glamorous pose in the fading light.
On this evening, the pink and purple skyline stole the show as the perfect backdrop became a picture to remember in Howth.
As the sun was setting on my time in Ireland, I was glad I made the trip to Howth. After a busy few days in Dublin, Howth was the ideal place to say goodbye to Ireland.
As I enjoyed an Irish sunset in this fishing village that time seemed to forget, a sea of tranquility and peace filled my soul. As I became lost in my thoughts, my mind wandered beyond the sea to a world far away.
While my journey in Ireland would end tomorrow, I realized that unexpected beauty can be found just beyond the horizon.
What’s the best spontaneous trip you’ve ever taken? What destination surprised you?
A day trip to Howth
– If you want to visit Howth, set aside an entire day to hike Howth Head and tour the castle. Have dinner in town, walk along the pier, take a sailboat out to Ireland’s Eye in the summer, or just enjoy the sunset. If you want to spend the night in Howth, book a room at the only hotel in town – Deer Park Hotel. Howth is an easy 30 minute ride on the DART, 9 miles from downtown Dublin.