Heading To The Coast
Saturday dawned a bright and sunny day and after a leisurely morning getting ready we strolled across the city, crossing the Ha’penny Bridge to Connolly train station to catch the train to visit the small fishing village of Howth. The electric rail system called the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a quick and easy way to get around Dublin. It runs along the coast of the Irish Sea from Malahide or Howth in north County Dublin southwards as far as Greystones, Co Wicklow. Our journey took about 30 minutes and we arrived in to Howth station early afternoon.
Howth is a lovely, quiet and small fishing village on the north side of Dublin Bay. It has a railway station, harbour, a market which is home to an array of Irish crafts and foods, various nice shops and a good selection of places to eat.
As soon as we arrived, we were on the lookout for some fish and chips and we spotted a take away opposite the train station which looked heaving, so we decided to take a stroll down the pier to see what else was available. Seafood, of course, takes centre stage in the many pubs and restaurants of Howth and along the pier and down the town centre there are many menus to check out. We walked back to the original fish and chips take away we had spotted earlier called Leo Burdocks which we found to be rather pricey but very nice and certainly kept us feeling topped up for the whole afternoon.
Now it was time to walk off the lunch and this peninsula is the ideal place to do a spectacular walk along the steep cliffs of Ireland and also to take some of the most beautiful images which is exactly what we wanted to do! The Howth Cliff Path Loop Walk is one of Irelands best coastal walks and is suitable for all being a moderate 6 to 10km (2 to 3 hrs) loop walk taking in some great scenery. One of our group wasn’t wearing the best footwear for this walk and we hadn’t got very far when we remembered “you are only as fast as the slowest member of your group” !! So we split and those that could manage it walked further on ahead whilst “unsuitable shoes” returned down the hill to admire the views from lower down.
All that walking meant that we were becoming dehydrated and the guys in our group needed Guinness top ups, us girls certainly needed gin and tonics so we found a table in O’Connell’s restaurant and bar and spent some quality family time together laughing, drinking and generally enjoying ourselves! The laughter continued when we stepped outside to head back to the train station and a humongous seagull pooped from a great height on one of the lads, it looked like he had been paintballing and he felt like he had been shot!! They say it’s meant to be lucky, we are not quite sure how or why but it certainly was funny!!!
As we approached the station, we noticed the lovely pub underneath called The Bloody Stream and decided we had time for 1 more drink before catching our train home. The pub gets its name from the bloody stream from a battle over which it is built and it describes itself as a warm and welcoming interior with an old-fashioned feel which it certainly has. It was a shame we only had time for a quick drink as we could have quite happily made this our home for the rest of the evening. Next door to The Bloody Stream we spotted the quirky Dog House Blues Tea Rooms where they serve pizza fresh from the wood-fire stove. We didn’t go in but it certainly looked very welcoming and cosy there as the night began to draw in and the temperature dropped.
We made our way back to our house to freshen up again before heading out to eat, we had decided upon Bunsen Burger in Temple Bar and it was very busy when we arrived around 8.30pm. You can only book if you are a party of 8-10 so we joined the queue and we were told to expect a 45 minute wait, however, the waitress very kindly took our mobile number and told us to wait for “the call” which meant we had a spare 45 mins, what could we possibly do?? Head to another pub of course!!! We sauntered across the street and found ourselves in The Norseman which was packed with people enjoying the live Irish band and we enjoyed a round of our usuals, Guinness for the guys and G&T’s for the girls. Very soon we did indeed receive “the call” and returned to Bunsen and after upsetting some other customers who thought we were queue jumping we sat down to choose from the worlds smallest menu! It’s basically a business card and the menu is simple, Bunsen do straight up burgers and they do them very well, the hand cut fries we had to accompany them were excellent too, we really enjoyed our meal here. There is also a small selection of soft drinks, milkshakes, beers and wine so something for everyone really.
To finish off our evening we headed back to the Vat House Bar to enjoy more live music and a few more rounds of drinks before walking home to collapse in to bed after a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Want to know what we got up to on our final day in Dublin? Keep an eye out for Dublin Diaries – Day 3!
Jess & Jane