Howth to Dun Laoghaire

All summer we’ve been promising ourselves a trip on the Dublin Bay Cruise and on Saturday 24th August we finally took it. We booked online earlier in the week and decided to do the journey from Howth to Dun Laoghaire after we finished for the day at the museum.


We were both very excited as we were looking forward to seeing the Dublin coastline and some of our favourite buildings along the way. Leaving Howth Harbour you see our lovely Martello Tower which houses the Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio. This was a joy for us, getting to see the actual motte from the sea allowed us to understand more clearly the important role of the Martello Towers in protecting our coastlines during the Napoleonic Wars. The Howth Martello has a rich and varied history, built on an Anglo-Norman motte it was an ideal location to construct one of the Martello Towers in the North of Dublin during the 1804-1805 Tower building programme. The Tower was built on the Earl of Howth’s land as was the Martello on Ireland’s Eye. The Howth Martello has a long connection with the history of communication in Ireland, being the site of the first telegraph cables coming ashore from Hoyhead in England. Not to mention the site of the first ‘wireless’ communication tests first by De Forest in 1903 and then by Marconi in 1905.


The trip takes you past Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island, hugging the rugged Howth peninsula so you can view with ease the dramatic coastline and the Baily lighthouse. It also illustrates why Howth was such a popular and active ‘smugglers’ spot in years gone by. Passing Sutton you view the lovely Sutton Martello,. We then sailed past the Pigeonhouse or Poolbeg power station and the Poolbeg lighthouse on the South Great Wall on the onwards trip to Dalkey Island. Passing along the way Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove with its lovely Martello that houses the James Joyce Museum and Dalkey. The trip does a lovely loop that allows you to see the sweep of Dublin bay, Dun Laoghaire harbour and take in the full majesty of the Dublin mountains within its vista. As you travel on the cruise you get the full impact of how closely linked the Martello Towers were along the coastline and one can easily imagine them signalling to each other if required.

The weather was typical Irish summer weather and didn’t hamper our enthusiasm at all – in fact for me it made it more of a proper cruise Irish style! A most enjoyable trip with a boat full of happy people enjoying the trip and the lovely views of our home city. As well as being a great way to fully appreciate some of our built heritage in our harbours, piers, Martello Towers et al.

You can see my pics from our cruise here.

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