In this post, Grace talks about her favorite day trip that she took during her summer abroad in Dublin.
Of all the day trips I took while studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, my trip to the town of Howth during the first weekend of the program was by far my favorite. Howth is a quaint fishing town located just a quick forty-five minute train ride north of the Dublin city center. One of my CAPA professors had suggested this spot as a must-see of Dublin because it offers a little taste of everything, including shops, restaurants, the beach, a cliff walk, a castle, and my favorite, fish and chips.
My friends and I wanted to get the full Howth experience, so we decided to do it all. We started the day with a walk down the beach and rocks to a lighthouse that looked out to a little island called Ireland’s Eye. People were kayaking, sailboats were sailing, music was playing, and the breeze was blowing. We decided to fuel up for our cliff walk with some fish and chips from a takeaway place called Beshoff’s, which was hands down the best fish and chips I have ever had. Because they are located so close to the sea, they catch their fish daily to ensure the freshest fish and chips around.
After lunch, we began our two-hour hike up one of the paths on the Howth cliff, stopping every couple hundred feet to take in the views (and some pictures, of course). It was a fairly clear day, so it was incredible how far out you could see. On one side of the cliff, you could see the sea glistening in the sunlight and the sailboats getting smaller and smaller the higher we went. On the other side were rolling hills, greenery, and wildlife that seemed to go on for miles. It was so gratifying reaching the highest point, where there was a perfect photo op on an elevated rock with the shore and town in the background.
After we made our way back down, we rewarded ourselves with some ice cream from Gino’s and continued on with our adventure. We saved the Howth Castle for last, which was preserved impressively well for being almost eight hundred years old. There were large iron gates, tall towers, gardens, a golf course, and even a cafe on the castle grounds!
Although we were sad to go, we took the train back to the city center and could not wait to tell the others in the program about our experience. Almost everyone else in the program ended up going to Howth at some point throughout the summer since it was so close by and enjoyable. Some people went even two or three times to show their friends and families who visited them! Our trip to Howth was truly one of my favorite days of the program that brought us all together and really set the stage for the future summer adventures to come. If you find yourself wondering how you should spend one of your free days in Dublin, then you know where to go!
Meet Grace Vitale, a University of Florida student studying Marketing. She studied abroad in Dublin during Summer 2018 and is a CAPA Ambassador this fall.