Howth Cliff walk + Whitewater Beach

TLDR – Day trip to Howth for the Cliff walk. We hiked the nearly vertical trail to Whitewater / Hidden beach, where Khaleesi was nearly swept out to sea. Ice cream, pizza, Churros, and great craic.


LUAS to Stephens Green for a walk along the nocar street filled with delivery vans. We’re early enough delivery traffic is allowed; annoying being forced to share the road with cars – ewww. Right before Tara station, we’d planned to stop at Offbeat doughnuts for train doughnuts. The plan was foiled; Offbeat has closed the location; sad face leprechaun; no doughnuts.  After a 10-minute, two train wait, we board the last carriage on the DART for howth. Mom always prepared, read to the children from Charlotte’s Web.

Howth playground and food

From the train, we trekked off east along the waterfront to a Playground. Kids played for a bit, mom and I sat on a bench chatting and watching the kids. Maddex came to us asking for a toilet. He and mom set off to the end of the waterfront where the public toilets are. They returned with Starbucks and cookies. Not sure where they used the toilet.  Next stop, some food shopping up the hill at Centra. Did not find much, but we found enough food. Wonder where the locals have a shop?

Route to the cliff walk took us down a narrow secret path. I brought my new sun hat for the walk. Maddex decided it was his new hat taking it from me. Fits him ok and keeps the sun off of his neck, face and ears. Could be worse I guess he can have the hat.

Cliff walk and beach

We stopped near the trailhead debating which route to take. Michelle picked Whitewater / Hidden beach as our walk destination. It’s about 4km from the start of the cliff walk to the turn for the beach. The last time we did this cliff walk, five years ago, Roxi and Khaleesi were both in backpacks. It was one of our first trips after moving to Ireland. Maddex and Mila remembered it, Roxi not so much. Great hike to the beach cut-off. Kids were excited to climb up a bunch of rocks at the start of the hike and kept the excitement level the whole day. Michelle and I say it often because it’s true, we have great kids. No whining or complaining the whole day – they made the most of the day and had a good time.

At the start of the beach path, you could tell it was steep. Michelle and I looked over the edge of the cliff, discussing; should we or should we not? Pretty sure we both wanted to say no, but we were not willing to be the first to say it.  Down we went. The route started off steep and became steeper the whole way down until we made it to the bottom. At one point, there was a rope bolted into the wall to help; grateful for the rope installer, thanks, mate. Difficult to capture steep in a picture; didn’t even try. It’s about an 80-degree angle most of the way down with crude steps.


The roughest part of the hike down was trying to slow the kids down. They love this stuff!. At the beach, we found two women sitting and chatting on a rock and a man on another rock with a golden lab. Jessy is the dog’s name. The girls ran over and said hi to the dog. Who knows what his owner’s name is; we never asked about him only the dog.

Maddex took off for some parkour on the rocks. Mom took the girls to some rocks at the edge of the water. Khaleesi climbed on top of a large rock then some huge waves started coming in; cargo ship wake waves.  The first one crashed around the rock. Mom told Khaleesi to wait. The next wave was a bit bigger crashing onto the rock a bit. I filmed it hitting the rock. Khaleesi started screaming in fear as the second wave hit. Mom and I both ran to Khaleesi to rescue her from the wave. We were sure they were going to take her out. The third wave was far bigger and crashed over the top of the rock.  We all ended up drenched, and Khaleesi was screaming from fear. The fourth and the final wave was even larger, totally covering the rock – rescued at the correct time to avoid serious damage. DRAMA !!

Khaleesi is totally drenched and shivering a bit. We ate on a rock, covered her with a towel, and tried to warm her up, but it was not working. Hiking up the cliff sounds like the perfect solution. Felt like an hour coming down. Took about 4 minutes hiking up. Only had to pause once to catch our breath; well, mom and I needed to pause – the kids didn’t slow down at all. On the rock, before we hiked back up, Mila was telling Khaleesi how impressive she was that Khaleesi saved her Pig from getting wet. Said she was going to be a good mother based on how well she protected her pig.  – Great distraction from the trauma. Mila is one smart lady.

The kids wanted to head back towards town on the direct route vs continuing all the way around the island; can’t blame them it’s been a long walk so far. Back in town, the kids wanted food. Maddex wanted to eat a whole crab, and Khaleesi wanted to eat an Octopus – we ended up with ice cream from Gino’s followed by sausages, pizza and Churros at the market near the train station. Only 3 of the many food shops were open today; sad face.

The train ride home was long with tired kids – but whatever, the day was worth it. Chief was crazily excited to see us when we arrived home. He came out running, jumping and shaking with maximum excitement !!  Good end to the day.

The rest of the pictures

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