Ireland day 0194. Sunday 10 April 2022- Deerpark
|Today’s summary||Took the bus and DART down to Howth to join Dublin Walking Club for a walk round the Deer Park estate and some of the lesser known paths of the peninsula|
|Today’s weather||Overcast and mostly dry with a light shower in the afternoon. Feeling cool in the strong south easterly breeze. About 9C|
|Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Deer Park DWC
OK weather – you can start to get warm now. My shorts are itching to get out of the wardrobe – where they have been stowed away since we arrived last September – and it’s about time the weather co-operated. Though I think we all knew that a cold spring was a possibility when we were deceived by the warm spells we had back in February, then again during the fateful fortnight in March when we didn’t walk the Wicklow Way, I think there’s always a bit of a vain hope that summer will show up early anyway. So far though, April has dashed our hopes and seems to have been particularly cool – probably colder in fact than most of December or January. And today felt especially raw as there was no sun to brighten things up.
Anyway, Val and I decided to make the most of our free day to join the Dublin Walking Club for another exploration of the Howth peninsula. So we were up early (ish) and having deduced that Howth is always busy and parking is a nightmare, travelled down the coast first by the 102 to Sutton then by DART to Howth, to join the rest of the club. We’ve been to Howth quite a few times already so I tended to think there was nothing left to explore, but I was completely wrong. For a start, we visited Howth Castle early on in the walk – it’s a huge place and I didn’t even know it existed. It’s a bit run down at the moment, as it is currently transitioning from being the ancestral home of the St Lawrence (Earl of Howth) family to an becoming up-market deluxe resort and wedding venue. Right now though it seems to be suspended somewhere in between.
We climbed on up past the castle and through the golf and hotel complex (which is all part of the castle demesne) and into the magnificent rhododendron-enshrouded cliff garden at the back. Like the castle itself, the garden is a bit neglected but that might actually be a good thing as the plants have been left to go wild. As a result some of the rhododendrons have grown to massive proportions. Today, they were just coming into flower – a whole rainbow of colours, actually, not just the normal purple – but In think if we get a bit of warm sunny weather (not looking likely, by the way) they will be even more impressive in a couple of weeks time.
We followed a narrow maze of paths up the cliffs beyond the rhododendrons, most of which I would have had no chance of finding if I’d been on my own, almost to the very top of the headland. I’m always impressed by how good the views are from up there, and today was no exception. The view back from Howth over the tombolo neck of land connecting it to Sutton, was particularly impressive.
After a brief stop for lunch (we didn’t pause for long as it was so chilly), we followed the paths in a roughly anticlockwise loop round the summit, before diving back down again to regroup by the DART station in Howth. It was an excellent day out – and once again I think I finished more tired by the talking than by the walking. So after a brief wait, we caught the train and then reversed the bus ride back up the coast, and were in the flat again by 5:30. Now it’s time to put feet up, and for Val to gird her loins heroically ready to go back to work tomorrow morning. More power to her elbow!
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(Elevations corrected at GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )
Max elevation: 156 m
Min elevation: 5 m
Total climbing: 303 m
Total descent: -302 m
Total time: 03:55:43