Howth Cliff Walk – a perfect walk on the Northside of Dublin

One of the more popular walks in Ireland and a great practice for a Camino, a few kilometres from Dublin City Centre. Sure what more could you ask for? I happened to have some time to hand this morning and decided to go along and visit the area. I wanted to bring my new DSLR camera for some practice shots. And I had the village to myself too.

Howth is a perfect spot to go if you want some free space or if you have a few things on your mind, but be wary, it is a tourist area, so the earlier the better. I arrived just before 10am after 2 train trips and headed straight for the trail head. The start of the cliff walk is about ten minutes walk away from the village, which is full of cafes, bars and shops and enough to keep you occupied. The DART brings you right to its doorstep. And with every great day out you learn a few things:

  • The route includes the ruins of the 15th-century St Mary’s Abbey. Its bells were rung in foggy weather to guide Howth’s fishermen safely home.
  • During the 18th century there were many shipwrecks in Dublin Bay, resulting in the construction of Howth harbour in 1807.
  • Howths Martello Tower, one of many built around the coasts of Ireland and Britain during the Napoleonic Wars was to protect against invasion by the French.
  • Ireland’s Eye island to the north is a bird sanctuary and site of an early Christian monastery. (pictures below)
  • The Howth Cliff Path Walk passes Balscadden House, home of the young William Butler Yeats.
  • To the south you can see the coast of Wicklow and the scenic Bailey Lighthouse built in 1814.
  • There has been a lighthouse here since the mid 1600’s (source:
    Activeme.ie)

There are 4 routes you can take, varying in difficulty. I had hoped to take the purple route but due to blustery winds, I took the lower path. Afterward, I had a coffee and watched life go by. I’ll be back before I go to Spain.

Join 488 other followers

A few recent walks

I’ve had a few walks under my belt in the last few weeks so I may as well post a few photos from them. They have been great practice for my trip back to Spain but I’m one or two walks short of being ready for May 7th.

Aware Harbour 2 Harbour Walk – St. Patrick’s Day

The day of the walk marked 50 days before my return to Spain and it was a perfect day to get a long practice walk under my belt. This walk would be like no other however. The Aware Harbour 2 Harbour has been a staple of St Patrick’s Day for years. It is a festive day, everyone is decked out in their green and they celebrate the occasion. Generally. the walk starts in the port of Dun Laoghaire and ends in Howth, 24km later, and people from across the country turn up to walk. So basically, it is something different than standing in a parade or drinking. All monies raised go to support mental health in Ireland.
A good time was had by all and I got a few kms under my belt plus I had great company!

Slieve Gullion Forest Park with Camino Society Ireland

A short walk but a challenging one. Slieve Gullion Forest Park is one hour drive north of Dublin and across the border into Northern Ireland. It was a fantastic day and I looked forward to meeting new people and hearing new stories. Being a volunteer with Camino Society Ireland takes you far and wide but I am comfortable with Dublin and the eastern coast. How and ever, after a brief information talk about the Camino de Santiago to a local audience, we took on one of the forest trails, close to 10kms. And it was mostly uphill from the off. A really enjoyable day and I really did learn alot about area with regard to history and mythology. The park has many trails and caters for all ages.

Find out more at shamrocksandshells.wordpress.com/recent-events

The future’s bright, the future’s clear…

So..the future..that space in front of us that no one can predict. Unless you can read people’s minds, that is. I can’t anyway and I don’t plan on starting!

The last few weeks I have been asking myself in what direction do I want to take ClearskiesCamino, if any. I have been plugging away, doing the same thing here since I started walking the Camino many years ago. I just want to take an extra step up the ladder.

So, I have set myself a number of well achievable goals for the next 6 to 9 months in order to make that next step. I’m a little excited to say the least but excitement is good. I’m not quite sure how it’s going to pan out but I’ll take each day as it comes.

1. Self hosted website – I have reached the end of the line with wordpress.com and I’ve done as much as I can with the resources they offer. The last 7 years have been great but now is the time to push on and locate a site to host my blog and take it from there. I have located a hosting site and it’s just a case of transfering the site across. Many thanks for all the tips I have received regarding this. I will get to keep the ClearskiesCamino name too. I hope to make the switch when my current plan expires in October.

2. I have two Caminos planned for 2019 – the Camino Ingles / Camino Finisterre in May and Camino Portuguese from Lisbon in September. Rather than posting from this blog, I will write my stories in the form of an ebook and publish them free. It’s another avenue I want to go down. And if that doesn’t work, I will keep plugging away at what I am good at. Of course I will continue to post snippets on Facebook and pictures on Instagram. I just want to promote my writing a bit more.

Anyway that’s the plan. Plans sometimes change, my hope is these work out. I will let you know how things go.

Arrows lead the way

My Conversation with Maria from SpanishforCamino.com

I was delighted to be contacted by Maria regarding a possible post on her excellent website SpanishforCamino.com.

Her website is full of hints and tips for those looking to improve their Spanish. As she lives on the Camino, she sees pilgrims passing by every day. So her website is a great place to start if you are planning a few days on the Camino. Not on does she talk about Spanish words, but there are great tips on food and health in Spain.

Anyway, my conversation with Maria can be found here. It was fun looking back at my first Camino. I also talk about this website and my involvement with Camino Society Ireland.

Writing from the Camino..

Hola!

I write to you in the Municipal Albergue in Astorga. I have walked for ten days and while this is not even a third of the full French Way, I have completed the time allotted to me this year. I started in Burgos what feels like months ago and after close to 240kms, I strolled into Astorga this morning.

This has been very much a solitary Camino. I have made friends but none will remain friends once I leave. This contrasts to previous Caminos when I made life-long friends. I have learned alot in these ten days. I have learned to accept more and some important questions have been answered. Time passes so quickly and the important things are not how your day in work is and bills but what is in your pack and what condition your feet are in.

I wish I had more time, I wish my feet didn’t hurt and I wish life could be this simple. But no, i must travel to Santiago to fly to Dublin. One day I will have time to walk for 5-6 weeks but it won’t be for some time. I return home on Saturday with a heavy heart and with sore feet knowing that my Camino continues at home and it won’t be long before I return to this great country. 

I will write in more detail when i return home. In the meantime, Buen Camino to one and all.