As the term starts up again, students are in need of an escape from hours in the library and blurry nights at Dicey’s. Check out these day trips (just a few hours from Dublin) that won’t break the bank!
A mere thirty minutes from the City Centre, Howth is a quaint ocean peninsula with stunning views, touristy shops, and excellent seafood. For €5 (with a Student Leap Card) you can take the Dublin Bus all the way up to Howth Summit. From the summit, take the cliff walk along the peninsula’s north edge. You’ll see the well-known lighthouse and Dublin Bay, followed by craggy cliffs, hidden beaches, and the occasional seal. Once you reach the bottom of the cliff walk, the path will take you straight back into town, where you can check out the ruins of Howth Castle. The Dog House Tea Room is the place to grab a bite or pint if you’re looking for a fun, unique atmosphere, but the seafood places, especially Beshoffs, along the pier carry the freshest ingredients Howth is known for.
Image Above: Howth Harbour
A picturesque and expansive valley amidst the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough is a well-known destination for hiking enthusiasts and tourists. Getting there via public transport can prove tricky, but St. Kevin’s, a private bus service, will take you directly from Dublin to the Glendalough visitor centre and back for €20. If you’re making a day trip of it, stick to the shorter trails and loops, as you’ll only have five or six hours before the return bus arrives. The miner’s trail is a bit of a let-down, but the easiest of the walks available. For a more challenging hike, try the Poulanass or Derrybawn trails. The ruins of the old monastic city are still standing, and visitors have free reign to wander the old church and the cemetery that accompanies it. Camping sites are available, and longer trails with stunning vistas and s’mores over a campfire might make the site fee worth it.
Northern Ireland’s capital has more to offer than Game of Thrones and the Titanic (though both are pretty amazing!). For less than €20 with your leap card, you can take a train from Dublin and be in Belfast in two hours. Popular attractions like the Ulster Museum and St. George’s Market are must-sees, but be sure to pop into The Dirty Onion or The Northern Whig for a fun bite to eat. C.S. Lewis Square and the George Best Trail are free, self-guided tours that highlight some of Belfast’s more well-known citizens. The city offers beautiful architecture and plenty of shopping, and the Queen’s University’s campus houses lots of fun attractions. If you’re willing to splurge, day trips to landmarks like The Giant’s Causeway or The Dark Hedges cost around €20.
Image Above: Belfast
Zoe Nicholson – Food & LifeStyle Writer