Howth (rhymes with both), is a fishing and yachting port, and popular suburban resort on the north side of Howth Head, 15km (9½ miles north-east of the city centre. Its attractions are easily appreciated, particularly at the coast. Howth Head gives fine views of Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains or Boyne Valley beyond. In the bay is the rocky bird sanctuary and monastic island of Ireland's, to which boat trips may be taken in summer. Cliff paths lead around the coastline, through Howth village and its ruined abbey, and past Baily Lighthouse. The 15th-century Howth Castle is inland, partly ruinous, but with fine rhododendron gardens.
Howth Head is one of the dominant features of Dublin Bay, with a number of peaks. In one area near Shielmartin, there is a small peat bog, the Bog of the Frogs. The wilder parts of Howth can be access by a network of paths (many are rights of way) and much of the centre and east is protected as part of a Special Area of Conservation of 2.3 km² (570 acres).
Howth Lighthouse and Ireland's Eye
The island of Ireland's Eye, part of the Howth Estate, and of the Special Area of Conservation, lies about a kilometre north of Howth harbour, with Lambay Island some 5 km further to the north. A Martello tower exists on each of these islands with another tower overlooking Howth harbour (opened as a visitor centre and Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio on June 8th 2001 and another tower at Red Rock, Sutton. These are part of a series of towers built around the coast of Ireland during the 19th century.
At the south-east corner of Howth Head, in the area known as Bailey (historically, the Green Bayley) is the automated Baily Lighthouse, successor to previous safety mechanisms, at least as far back as the late 1600s.
In Howth you can find St. Mary’s Church and Graveyard, a church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The earliest church was built by Sitric, King of Dublin, in 1042. It was replaced around 1235 by a parish church, and then, in the second, half of the 14th century, the present church was built. The building was modified in the 15th and 16th centuries, when the gables were raised, a bell-cote was built and a new porch and south door were added. The St. Lawrences of nearby Howth Castle also modified the east end to act as a private chapel; inside is the tomb of Christopher St. Lawrence, 13th Lord Howth, who died in 1462, and his wife, Anna Plunkett of Ratoath.
Howth is a popular area for birdwatching and sailing, and is also popular with anglers. Anything from cod to ray can be caught from Howth's rocky shore marks, and sea mammals, such as seals, are common sights in and near the harbour.