One of the great joys of living in Dublin is its proximity to the seaside – spontaneous plans can be acted upon simply by hopping on a bike, bus or DART and you can be dipping your toes in the sea in a matter of minutes.
With the sun finally showing its face today, we thought we’d take the time to bring you a list of the finest spots to go for a swim within close range of the city centre.
10. Howth Cliffs
Not for the inexperienced!
Howth’s steep slopes can be tricky to navigate and getting out of the water isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do – but this area is a great asset to the city for those experienced in the water.
9. Bull Island
This sandbar-island a few kilometres north of the city centre is a haven for waterspot activities, among them windsurfing and kitesurfing. It’s also a delightful swimming spot, and while the water here isn’t really that deep, it’s a great low-key place to go swim and relax for the day, and feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle.
8. Great South Wall
This place is often overlooked in conversations about swimming in Dublin Bay but it’s closeness to busy areas like Ringsend and Grand Canal Dock make it a very convenient place to pop to. Hop on a bike after work, continue past the Poolbeg towers and take a splash in the water as ferries and freight ships slip in and out of Dublin Port not too far away!
7. Skerries Beach
While it might not be an obvious choice for people to head to on a sunny day, Skerries beach has plenty of charms – the beach here is very clean (it’s a blue flag), there’s a great presence of lifeguards and the backdrop of the colourful buildings of Skerries makes for a very pleasant swimming experience. Well worth the trip up!
As the closest swimming spot to Teddy’s Ice Cream, Sandycove Beach occupies a privileged position in Dublin Bay. Sandycove is a great place to go with kids – there’s decent parking nearby, plenty of green space to run around in and it’s well covered by lifeguards.
Also, yeah, grabbing a Teddy’s 99 immediately after leaving the water. Worth mentioning that once more.
5. Portmarnock Beach
Portmarnock Beach has a feeling of being far away from the city despite only being less than half an hour away on the DART. The “Velvet Strand”, as it’s affectionately known, is a lovely, smooth, wide, open place to spend a day swimming and chilling on the beach.
Portmarnock itself also has plenty of wonderful places to eat… even if none of them offer Teddy’s 99s.
Between White Rock Beach and the Vico Baths, Killiney boats some of the finest places for swimming in Dublin. These have a more secluded air that places further up the coast and the dramatic slanted slopes overlooking the beach provide breathtaking views.
The beaches here are a little rockier and the water can be choppy, but that’s all part of the charm!
3. Bullock Harbour
Just down the coast from the Forty Foot, Bullock Harbour is a great alternative choice to its busier neighbour. If you’re after an adrenaline rush, this place has some of the highest jumping points in the greater Dublin area.
The harbour is also a great place to launch boats and, if you’re in the mood for exploring underwater, there’s a Scuba diving school.
One of the classic Dublin places to go for a swim – jumping in for a dip by the Martello tower is one of those images that sums up Dublin like no other.
Seapoint has the advantage of being a very handy place to get to – this is one of closest good-quality swimming spots to the city centre and the beach is right by the DART station. Better again, Blackrock and Monkstown, with all their lovely food and drink options, are only a matter of minutes away.
1. The Forty Foot
A true Dublin institution, this place has been a favourite since James Joyce went for dips in his skivvies, and even long before that.
As it’s the city’s most popular swimming spot the facilities are great – there’s plenty of handrails and ample space for access to the sea, not to mention an excellent, beloved jumping platform. As it draws such a large crowd on sunny days it’s also a very social place to go for a swim.