Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | July 28, 2013

HOWTH – BOAT TRIPS AND PICNICS AND VINO

LIFEJACKETSMy friend Dorothy Murphy was coming back home from England and as everyone knows I love planning days out.  Bord Failte should really take me on!.  Anyway,  I know all of my friends love Howth and we had many happy times their in our teens so I thought a day out in Howth in the sunshine (hopefully!) would be a perfect day out.  I also discovered that a boat goes from Howth to Ireland’s Eye, a small island just a few minutes away.  The boat trip was only 15 euro roundtrip and I was advised by a friend to go out early and spend a few hours on the Island.  I booked the boat trip with Ken from Ireland’s Eye Ferries http://www.boattripshowth.com/.

I decided to meet Dorothy in Wynn’s Hotel and get the Howth Bus just down the road in Middle Abbey Street, we were also going to meet Lorraine off the train.  Lorraine couldn’t make it but myself and Dorothy met up anyway and Caroline O’Neill decided to drive so we met her at Busasaras and met Mary Shiel in Howth.  It was a glorious sunny day and I was delighted because it had been raining quite heavily for a few days beforehand.  We found Ken on his Boat Christmas Eve at the East Pier.  Another guy tried to get us to go on his boat but we informed him we had already booked and he was quite rude, so was glad we were not going with him.  Ken and his colleague Brian arrived back in promptly at 1.00 pm to pick us up.  They were extremely nice and helpful and held our bags etc and helped us on the boat and issued us with lifejackets.  The trip was only about 15 minutes and in glorious sunshine we ended up on Ireland’s Eye.  Ken told us about taking the trail to the beach, which we promptly took.  The first thing we saw was a beautiful old monastery and an abundance of many different types of birds.  The atmosphere was magical.  We made our way to the main beach and sat down and took out our blankets and food.  My friends are very considerate and even though none of them are vegan like me, they bought a selection of mostly vegan salads with them and of course lashings of vino!!.  We sat down on the blanket and laughed as we saw the abundance of food and cutlerly laid out.  I knew I could depend on Dorothy, who I know since I was 12, to bring all the sensible things like cutlery and napkins so I just bought a homemade salad and wine to share. My salad went down a treat, everybody loved it and I bought some wraps to accompany it.  It was an avocado, rocket, spinach, tomatoe, cucumber, red onion, black olive, pineapple, scallion salad with chilli hummous and olive oil.  The girls bought almond infused olives, 2 types of hummous, carrot salad, avocados and much more.  We opened the wine and tucked in looking around the practically deserted beach.  We were there with just a few more tourists including a few American girls who were really enjoyng the day out.   We had a fabulous view of Howth and the bay was full of little boats.  We had intended exploring the island a bit more, but the weather was so glorious that we just sat there chatting and laughing and enjoying our picnic.

After a few hours we decided to head back on the boat.  You pay 15 euro on the way out and any boat will basically take you back, they arrive in every half hour.  As we headed down to the meeting point,  we realised there were a lot more people on the island than we had thought.  Some had just gone exploring and others had gone to different beaches. Ken and Brian docked and gave first preference to the people who had come out with them as they could only fit 12 on the boat.  Luckily, we managed to get on, but another boat was already on its way out.  It was well worth the money, particularly if you stay for a few hours like we did and bring a picnic. I would definitely go again, absolutely fabulous experience.  We decided to head up to the summit and sit somewhere else scenic and continue the picnic.  We had meant to drop in somewhere for a drink but the weather was so nice that we decided just to stay out.  We climbed up past the many tourists and again found a beautiful quiet spot and laid down our blanket and opened more wine and had crackers with hummous and olives.  Again, the views were breathtaking and we were looking across at the island we had just been on.  Highly recommended as a day out and it really does enhance the day going for the visit to the Island,  if there is a group, Ken will also do a group rate.  Its also a great idea to take the 31B from Middle Abbey Street to Howth Summit and do the approximately 45 minute walk into Howth or 31 to Howth Village.  Beautiful place, great company, food and wine and glorious sunshine. We shall return.

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Responses

  1. What a cracking day, you drew me right in there Susan. Those are summer days never forgotten. Love it.

    • Thanks hon, will defo bring you there when you and Ray come over.xxxx

  2. Glad you enjoyed your trip Susan, sounds lovely! I went out to Ireland’s Eye on a 1st date 5 yrs ago, no life-jackets provided, got soaked in the boat there & back, and we were left in the worst area on the Island, a place you couldn’t even explore. Not a great experience, so it really matter which company you book with! You’ve convinced me to give it a whirl again some day 🙂 btw it’s the 31b (or 31) you get to Howth, not the 32b, as that goes to Portmarnock. I grew up in Howth (Summit) & that’s how I know 😉

    • Oh thanks Aoibhinn, I didnt get the bus this time so my memory was playing tricks on me. I actually got the 32 to Malahide last week and then walked into Portmarnock, another great day out. Yes, book with Island Ferries, they are very good. We were also very lucky with the day and bringing the picnic really made something of the visit to the island. Some people just had a walk around and got back on the next boat, but we headed down to the main beach and there were such beautiful views of Howth and only a few people on the beach, so it was fabulous and of course great company with me as well. Im going back with my hubbie again soon.

  3. I love all that coast – Malahide is gorgeous too. Enjoy all your trips during the summer. At least we’re getting one, even if it is unpredictable!


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