Whether it’s summer or winter you’ll always find people swimming outdoors in Dublin. The coastal capital is home to some wonderful sea swimming spots with a choice between bathing areas, sandy and stony beaches. Most are just a short way away from Dublin City Centre by car or public transport - so what are you waiting for? Grab your swimming togs and check out these places to swim in Dublin.
The Forty Foot is something of an institution in Dublin. The famous bathing spot was once for gentlemen only but nowadays all are welcome. Locals and visitors of the 40 Foot can be found swimming from sunrise to sunset all year round - yes even in winter. On Christmas and New Year’s Day groups flock to the Forty Foot for a chilly dip.
Located in Sandycove, the Forty Foot lies on the southernmost tip of Dublin Bay and has helpful handrails for entering and exiting the water as well as a diving platform - if you’re brave enough!
Fun fact: The iconic Martello Tower (as mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses) stands beside the Forty Foot. It was built in 1804 in defence of an attack by Napoleon and now houses James Joyce memorabilia.
Just a short distance from Dublin City Centre you’ll find Bull Island with its bathing shelters, coffee stand, nature reserve and miles of sandy beaches with water sport activities. Bull Island caters for all - it’s a good option for nervous swimmers as the water isn’t too deep and more adventurous swimmers can take part in kitesurfing or windsurfing.
A trip to Bull Island will leave you feeling as if you’re miles away from hustle and bustle from Dublin City Centre. You can relax and swim with a faraway view of the Poolbeg Chimneys.
Check out St Anne’s Park nearby where there’s a garden house cafe, dog park and farmer’s markets on certain days.
Portmarnock Beach is a Blue Flag Beach affectionately known as the “Velvet Strand” by Dubliners. This sandy north county Dublin beach is accessible by DART and is less than a half an hour from Dublin City Centre.
The beach is manned by lifeguards in the summer months and swimmers can enjoy views of the Dublin Mountains and Howth Harbour on a clear day. It’s no wonder that masses flock to Portmarnock Beach to daze away a sunny day.
Tip: High Rock is located near Portmarnock Beach and is a popular swimming spot for seasoned swimmers all year round with a metal ladder and rocks to jump from when the tide allows it.
Located in Dalkey, the Vico is also accessible by DART on the southbound line. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Dalkey from Dublin City Centre making the Vico Baths an ideal swimming spot.
The baths are accessed by a series of steps accompanied by a handrail and can be tricky to find on your first time. You’ll usually see other bathers on their way to follow. You can enter the sea by ladder or choose to bathe in the adjoining seawater pool. You cannot dive into the water here.
It’s well-known that many celebrities reside along the coastline in Dalkey including U2’s Bono. What’s less known is that the sea here is also home to dolphins, seals, and porpoises.
Tip: The Vico Baths are situated beside White Rock beach and Killiney beach if you prefer sea swimming at the beach.
Seapoint is another easily accessible beach in close proximity to Dublin City Centre. You can reach it via the southbound DART in just 15 minutes. This seaside location is within walking distance of Monkstown and Blackrock for some exploring after your swim.
You can swim, paddle board, kayak, and kitesurf at Seapoint. There are also rock pools to explore and birdlife to observe upon the beaches’ mudflaps. It is because of these bird species that Seapoint is a specially protected area.
Skerries is home to one of Dublin’s most beautiful beaches. The blue flag-awarded beach is serviced by lifeguards during the summer season and is surrounded by the idyllic, colourful seaside town of Skerries with amusements, restaurants, bars and other points of interest.
If you prefer swimming in bathing areas, the Springers Bathing Area is also located in Skerries. It is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies and the local swimming club - The Skerries Frosties - swim here every day and welcome visitors.
Tip: Ireland has lots to offer - check out 6 Weekend Breaks in Ireland for Families and 10 of the Best Towns in Ireland for a Weekend Away with Friends
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