You're never far from the seaside if you live in Dublin — in fact, it's one of the beauties of living in the city. Particularly on days like today.
When the sun comes out, people tend to try and get down to the water — and sure enough, the usual spots pop up over and over again when Dubliners share photos.
Sandymount Strand. Killiney Beach. Clontarf. Howth. The usual.
When the heat kicks in, though, there's only one place to go. And it's not any of the places you might think.
Donabate is the beach in question.
While it's a 22km drive from Dublin city centre, once you get there you're met by a 3.4km open sandy beach that stretches all the way back to Malahide.
The beach consists of a large sandy dune area, which has formed over the last 25-30 years — and when the tide is out it reveals over 400m of the purest golden sand you'll ever see.
Flanked by two golf courses, the beach has ample free parking, is accessible by bus (the 33B) and train (Donabate train station is a 20-minute walk). There are also clean public toilets and lifeguards on duty.
The main selling points
There are a number of reasons why I think it is worth jumping on public transport or hopping in the car and heading to Donabate, rather than just taking the easy option and sticking local.
- It's incredibly quiet. Outside peak times you're often the only person on the beach. During peak times there might be a couple of hundred at most.
- Easy parking. While other beaches fill up you'll never be more than a couple of hundred metres from the beach itself. Parking is also free.
- Great for children. Rock pools, dunes, safe water and loads of room to run around without danger or bothering others.
- Great for dog walking. Let the dogs of the lead to swim, run freely or play in the dunes.
- Spectacular views. Both ways down the coast. Out to a couple of islands and inland over the two links golf courses.
- Sheltered. Even if it's windy you can prop yourself into the dunes and always find a quiet corner
It really is a magical find once you get to know it. People in the area will be well away of its charms, it but those across the rest of the city might be inclined to stay closer to town and the beaches they know already.
I'd scrap that plan and get out here ASAP.
The waves are constantly rolling in and perfect for children and dogs to play in
You can see the perfect layout from the air. Pure soft sand
Parking is plentiful and access easy
Pack a picnic, slap on the sun cream and make a day out of it. You'll be blown away by this spot.