North Dublin’s ale trail: 9 pubs along the DART Line

Ever heard of an ale trail? Well, now is the time! An ale trail has become a smash-hit for public transport users, worldwide. It essentially consists of people hopping on a train and getting off at every stop to go to the nearest pub to have a drink. It’s a year-round, Irish alternative to the “12 pubs” Christmas tradition.

The aim is to visit one pub at each stop of the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) line. And barring the fact that this would cost a hefty penny with tapping on and off for each journey, we have to admit it is pretty damn cool.

Ready for some fun? Check out North Dublin’s ale trail along the DART line from Howth to Connolly station in Dublin city.

Stop 1: Howth
Pub: The Bloody Stream

The Bloody Stream is on North Dublin's ale trail
Facebook: The Bloody Stream

After having spent an epic day in Howth, what better way is there to head back towards the city than on an ale trail via the DART?

The first stop on the
trail has got be the Bloody Stream, and given its close proximity to the DART
station (it’s directly under it), you can’t say this traditional Irish pub is
not a handy addition on North Dublin’s ale trail.

Location: The Bloody Stream, Howth Railway Station, Howth

Stop 2: Sutton
Pub: The Schooner Bar

The Schooner Bar is on North Dublin's ale trail

Hop off at the next
stop, Sutton, and walk five minutes to Sutton Cross. In the Marine Hotel, the
Schooner Bar will be a nice change of pace after the Bloody Stream. Picture a
well-lit hotel bar filled with everyone from families and couples to
grandparents too.

Location: The Schooner Bar, Marine Hotel, 13 Sutton Cross, Burrow, Sutton

Stop 3: Bayside
Pub: The Bayside Inn

Bayside Inn is on North Dublin's ale trail
Credit: Instagram / @davemchugh0883

After you’ve gotten
back on the DART (heading towards Dublin city), your next stop will be Bayside.
The Bayside Inn is your typical “old man’s pub,” traditional in style and a
favourite of locals.

Location: Bayside Inn, 2 Bayside Square North, Kilbarrack Lower, Bayside

Stop 4: Howth Junction and Donaghmede
Pub: The Foxhound Inn

The Foxhound Inn is on North Dublin's ale trail
Credit: Facebook / @foxhound1954

The Foxhound Inn is
about a 10-minute walk from your next stop: Howth Junction and Donaghmede. This
watering hole offers a laid-back dining and social space to locals. They have a
strong emphasis on sports here, and the pub is a favourite of a more mature

Location: The Foxhound Inn, 5 Greendale Rd, Donaghmede, Dublin 13

Stop 5: Raheny
Pub: The Manhattan

The Manhattan is on North Dublin's ale trail

This pub has a history
stretching back to nearly two centuries. It is located only moments from your
next stop on North Dublin’s ale trail: Raheny. This classic Irish pub offers
food, drink, and entertainment daily, and it’s popular amongst locals and

Location: The Manhattan, 3-5 Station Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 5

Stop 6: Harmonstown
Pub: The Horse and Hound

The Horse and Hound is on North Dublin's ale trail

The Horse and Hound is the local Harmonstown pub, only moments from the DART station. It prides itself on its friendly staff and laid back atmosphere, and you’re likely to catch any major game here. The Horse and Hound also serves fine quality pub grub—and given that you’ll be halfway through your ale trail pilgrimage, food is probably not a bad idea.

Location: Horse and Hound, Brookwood Rise, Harmonstown, Dublin 5

Stop 7: Killester
Pub: The Beachcomber

The Beachcomber is a pub along the DART ale trail in North Dublin
Credit: Facebook / Beachcomber Kilkester

The Beachcomber,
located just moments from the Killester DART station, is your run-of-the-mill
local Irish pub. Think pints on tap, wooden finishes, screens for watching
sports games, and “regulars” by the dozen. This spot will make for a friendly,
laid-back addition to your ale trail for sure.

Location: Beachcomber, 179 Howth Rd, Clontarf East, Killester

Stop 8: Clontarf Road
Pub: Kavanaghs Marino House

Kavanaghs Marino House in Clontarf is always a good laugh
Credit: Instagram / @smahon19

As you’re approaching Dublin city, make one final stop off in the Dublin suburb of Clontarf. Only a few minutes’ walk from the DART station is Kavanaghs Marino House. This family-run business is always a good laugh, packed with sports heads and locals, and it does solid pub grub too. Note: No food is served on Sundays.

Location: Kavanaghs Marino House, 16 Malahide Road, Clontarf

Stop 9: Connolly Station
Pub: Madigan’s

Madigan's is a pub in Connolly Station

You’ve made it (and,
hopefully, you’re still standing)! Now that you’ve hit Dublin city, there are
endless bar and pub options—some of the best in the country, in fact.

If you’re feeling
mighty and want to cap off your Northside DART ale trail, have one final pint
in Connolly Station. Madigan’s is quite literally seconds from the platforms,
so you won’t have to trek far, that’s for sure.

Location: Madigan’s, Connolly Station, Amiens Street, North Dock, Dublin City

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Dive in and explore the city like a local.

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In compact Dublin, you can easily cover a lot of ground on your own

From nocturnal pub crawling (for educational purposes) to high-adrenaline outdoor activities to fun family-friendly pursuits, choices abound.

You might start with the capital’s supremo tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse. Most people do.

Prefer being under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable guide?

There are tons of tours – walking, traveling by bicycle or bus, amphibious vehicle or horse-drawn cart…or even by boat or kayak.

However you choose to get about, you can also experience the true spirit of traditional Irish culture and history through architecture, dance, storytelling, music, theatre, museums and galleries.

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