Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wild Flowers of Ireland - Howth

On a day trip from Dublin, Ireland, I had the pleasure of taking the DART (train) to the town of Howth.  
Howth is a rocky headland or peninsula that extends into sea in north Dublin Bay. Much to my delight, it is an area of wild natural beauty supporting many wildflowers. Here is encountered gorse for the first time.  These pictures were taken in early September, 2015. We had a perfect day walking around. 

Howth has two distinct habitats sea cliffs and dry heaths.  From the train station there is a bus to the summit and then choice of two walking routes that meander around the cliff-side slopes above the sea. The day we visited there where people from many nations enjoying the blue skies and  colorful patchwork of flora and abundant bird life.  
I especially liked the blazing yellow gorse and vibrant purple heathers - the contrast with stones and grasses was beautiful. Gorse is a spiny evergreen prone to seaside dry condition. It was so abundant. No fragrance sadly. 

Howth Sea Cliff Path - Sept 2015
Gorse and Heather

Read on for more sites and wild flowers we enjoyed. Also see my other reviews of Ireland sites and adventures.

Below are some of the wild flowers we saw this day. 

These blackberry bushes were so plentiful. We were not the only ones to be foraging along the trail. No need to bring a snack - mother nature provides :)

In the more open rocky areas there were many wood sage with delicate pink flowers clustering around. 

While on the trail we also encountered large portions of the cliff side which were covered in ferns. It seems that each turn gave way to a new dominant plant. 

Above is more Gorse and Heather with bright white rocks of the cliff. Below is a a close up  picture of the gorse, on the right hand side you can start to see the spikes to the evergreen. 

These tall purple flowers were not on the cliff side but on the walk through the village up to the Summit. The look a little bit like phlox. 

The trail is highly variable and in portions rocky and difficult to pass. With many tourists along the route, some not so courteous, those of us with fear of heights may find it a bit challenging. None-the-less, the views and experience were spectacular. 

Bird watching also seemed to be very popular. I'm told it's a national breeding ground for seabirds. All we saw were sea gulls and crows. 
The day from Dublin to Howth, around the city and the cliffs was just over 6 hours and 9 miles walking. 
Highly recommend. 

Teresa Marie

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