Howth has rhodedendrons; I don't know how they rank amongst Howth's most famous features, but being the first bunch of flowers with their very own signpost I've ever seen makes me think they must be up there with the golf courses, fish shops and other delights of Howth.
Last year I just missed the full bloom of the flowers so with the recent spell of good weather and the bank holiday weekend it was an easy decision. That's not of true of course, there are no easy decisions for me: it was between this and a spin on the Jeanie Johnston (yesterday's docklands fun).
The €80 fee swung it; the rhodedendrons charged practically nothing.
It turned out to the right move anyway, however, as the bay was very foggy until about 4pm when the ship was due to return to the docks.
Splendid views of the bay were had by all. Notice how the sea is completely obscured by a mysterious mist. It was tempting to think that if it turned out to be a poisonous fog that turns people inside out how we would be the last go.
Next on the non-existant agenda were the cliffs. This is a great walk and highly recommended. Every bit of the coast is photogenic. Here's a small sample...
There's even a little "hidden" beach down a 100ft cliff. Somebody thoughtfully provided a staircase which even I felt comfortable descending.
Here's the cliff itself, with optional waterfall:
After emerging from the cliff face, we worked out (from the map of Howth that has no scale) that we must have walked about 12 miles - add another 2 afterwards searching for a decent restaurant that would take two sweaty guys in t-shirts.
Thinking, perhaps, that he'd just taken a chance on two hopeful unknowns we got a hearty "fair play to yis, lads!" when we actually tried to pay for our meal.