I’ll be in Dublin this summer, are there any beaches I can visit?

I’ll be in Dublin this summer, are there any beaches I can visit?

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Posted Fri 28 Apr 2023 10:39 AM
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One of the amazing things about Dublin is how many great beaches you’ll find on its doorstep. Having the opportunity to take a break from the lively streets, and breathe in some fresh sea air now and again, makes us appreciate the city even more! Dublin’s beaches harbour some history too. In many of these seaside locations, you’ll find Martello Towers which were built along the coast of Dublin to protect Ireland from Napoleonic invasions during the early 19th century. You can visit these Martello Towers on some of the beaches we’ve put on our must-see list. 

The first beach features one of the historic towers, gorgeous sunrises and ship-watching opportunities. Hop on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) in Dublin city centre and jump out at Seapoint Dart station and it’s about a five-minute walk to the beach. Seapoint is very family-friendly but it’s also very tidal. When the tide is in, the water reaches right up to the stone wall, and many seek this perfect opportunity to go for a swim. When the tide turns, the water reveals a sandy bay dotted with seaweed-covered rocks and rock pools. Amenities include toilets and places to get changed if you do fancy a dip, and there is a lifeguard on duty during the bathing season. 

If you stay on the DART a little longer heading south, you’ll reach the Dublin suburb of Killiney which is home to the lovely, pebbly Killiney Beach. This spacious beach is located on the south side of Killiney Hill – a walking route popular with both locals and tourists. And, with views of Killiney Hill and Bray Head, it’s hard to think of a more picturesque location! Another swimming spot in the area worth noting is the Vico Baths, which can be accessed from the scenic Vico Road. Follow the signs down the almost-hidden path to where the rocks meet the sea in a swirl of terracotta and turquoise. This swimming spot was good enough for Harry Styles, and Matt Damon was also spotted here. 

Closer to Dublin city centre, you’ll discover Sandymount Strand. You can get the Dart to Sandymount, but this beach is also walkable from the city centre (it will take just under an hour). Stroll along here and you can enjoy great views of Howth to your left and Dún Laoghaire Harbour to your right. If you’re a fan of the writer James Joyce, you may have heard of Sandymount Strand as a few scenes from his novel Ulysses were set on this beach. Sandymount Strand does have its own Martello Tower, but if you head further south down the coast to Sandycove which is another lovely beach worth visiting, you’ll find the Martello Tower where the opening scene of Ulysses was set. You can also visit this tower's museum which is dedicated to Joyce and his work. 

For a beach with a hint of an island getaway, visit Dollymount Strand. Cross the causeway from the mainland to Bull Island, then choose between continuing towards the lighthouse where there are designated swimming areas along the way, or heading over to the left and strolling along the sand of Dollymount. The island itself was created in the 19th century to deal with silting problems, and it is now a popular beach and home to a nature reserve with many bird species nesting there. Dollymount Strand is a great spot to watch boats coming in and out of Dublin’s port.

Finally, Howth makes a great day out from the city centre and can be accessed by DART. This is a popular location in summer for people looking to visit the cute cafés, eat fish and chips on the harbour walls or do the Howth Cliff Walk. Following this walk just beyond the harbour and up the hill, you’ll find an almost hidden path leading down to Balscadden Bay Beach. This rocky beach provides great views of the Howth Cliffs and Ireland’s Eye across the water. As you relax on the stone-covered beach, you may feel as though you’re being watched from the water… and that’s because you are! Seals tend to pop their heads up and survey human activity from a mere 100 meters away at Balscadden Bay. 

If you’re planning to swim anywhere around Ireland, always check local advice on swimming conditions, and remember that Ireland’s sea temperatures, even in summer, are cold. Check https://watersafety.ie/open-water-swimming/ for more information.

Which beaches does our community like to visit on sunny summer days?

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