Once the sun hopefully starts to shine in Dublin, there are plenty of outdoor swimming spots for all you water babies out there to take a dip in the sea. And if you’re not too fond of swimming, there are loads of great beaches to lounge on, too!
One of the best places in the world to take a dip, according to an article in the New York Times, the Forty Foot in Dublin is world-famous. In James Joyce’s Ulysses, the character Buck Mulligan dives into the sea from Forty Foot, and this has added to the fame of the popular swimming spot.
The depth of the pool makes it an excellent place to dive in and many a Dubliner will have done this once or twice in their lives. It used to be reserved for men but it’s now a space for everybody to enjoy. Read all about it here.
2. The Baths, Clontarf
Clontarf Baths opened back in 1886 and, although it’s still a seawater pool, it has since been renovated. There is now a bar and restaurant attached, which overlook the pool, so you can sit and have a coffee or a cup of tea after a nice dip.
There are hot showers and changing rooms and to swim here and this August it’s open to the general public. Read more about it here.
3. Bullock/Bulloch Harbour
Plenty of people swim and dive here — there are even two diving clubs associated with the area. Plus, there are seals! However, this is an active harbour with boats and people fishing.
So, although it’s an amazing place to swim, people do have to exercise caution. It’s also possible to hire boats so, if the sea is a bit cold for swimming, you could always spend the day afloat, rather than immersed.
4. Howth Cliffs
Diving from the Howth Cliffs into the Irish Sea is not for the faint-hearted, but people seem to love it. It’s an exhilarating experience and there are plenty of ways to enter the sea in the area. But do note that it’s more suited to experienced swimmers.
5. Bull Island
The beach on Bull Island is known as Dollymount Strand and it’s the perfect place for a laid-back swim in the sea. You don’t have to dive off any cliffs to enter the water here, just stroll into the sea from the beautiful, sandy beach and enjoy the gentle waves.
6. Brittas Bay Beach
Brittas Bay Beach is serene, idyllic and sandy. On a hot summer’s day, you can lay back on the beach and feel like you’re somewhere on the south coast of Spain! The sea laps peacefully at the shore and it’s beautifully blue.
7. Bray Harbour
If you’re looking for a quiet place to swim outdoors then Bray in County Wicklow is a pretty good bet. Getting into the sea involves contending with quite a rocky surface, but it is a very picturesque place to spend the day, with gorgeous views of Bray Head.
8. Sandy cove
Sandycove is one of the most popular swimming spots in Dublin. There are two walls, partially separating a pool of water from the sea. These walls make the perfect platform for diving into the sea, which, on a sunny day, turns a beautiful turquoise colour.
Seapoint is a very popular swimming spot because it’s not far from the city centre, and it’s so easy to access the water. Walk down the steps and the slope of sand below your feet will ease you gently into the sea. In summer this place can be packed with people so it’s best to come first thing in the morning if you can.
10. Killiney Beach
Killiney Beach is popular with swimmers and can be an amazing place for a dip in the summer. From the sea, you can see a vast expanse of Dublin’s coastline. The beach is stoney so shoes might be a good idea here.
11. Vico Baths, Vico Road
This final spot is a true hidden gem. Often referred to as ‘Hawk Cliff’, this is possibly one of the best of the bunch. A small path will lead you down to the sea, and a ladder will lead you into the water, where you’ll be rewarded with excellent views of the shore.
There’s even a small seawater pool for when the sea gets a bit too much. Oh and, to avoid any surprises, note that clothes are traditionally optional here.