Sand and sandcastles may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to Dublin but ask Dubliners for their favourite beaches and they will all have a list. So no matter how cold the water is and no matter where you stay in Dublin, whether that’s in budget hotels like Travelodge Dublin Hotels or in more expensive locales, when the sun is shining or you want a blast of fresh air off the Irish Sea, then pack your bathers and transport yourself to one of these 6 great Dublin beaches.
1: Sandymount Strand
A quick 15-minute journey by DART, Dublin’s suburban train service, Sandymount Strand is hugely popular with Dubliners in both summer and winter. In winter, the flat sands of Sandymount see walkers pacing up and down while summer attracts kite flyers, beach football stars and plenty of frisky dogs. The strand has literary connections, like a lot of Dublin, and is the setting for a famous scene in James Joyce’s Ulysses. While not suitable for swimmers, Sandymount has a lot to offer everyone else.
2: Killiney Beach
While comparisons to the Bay of Naples may be slightly overblown, especially when you’re there on a windy summer day, Killiney Beach and its northern end, White Rock, are great Dublin beach treasures. Easily reached by DART from central Dublin, the best time to visit Killiney Beach is at low tide when the sandy cove of White Rock is fully accessible and you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Irish Sea lying in its warm embrace. If you’re still feeling energetic, then climb up Killiney Hill where you can see the surrounding countryside for miles and miles.
3: Velvet Strand
In Portmarnock in County Dublin but reached without fuss from central Dublin by public transport, you can find the smooth pleasures of Velvet Strand. Whatever beach sport you like, you’ll find the long sandy beach the perfect place to play it and the impressive sand dunes the perfect place for climbing and diving. The views of the Dublin Mountains and Howth Harbour are simply stunning, making the Velvet Strand a great place for a summer-time picnic.
4: North and South Beach in Skerries, County Dublin
This is a great beach for swimming, probably the best such location in Dublin. South Beach is a great spot for those learning to swim with its slow, gentle transition to deeper water while North Beach is protected from the high waves of the Irish Sea so swimmers of all levels can enjoy their paddling and splashing to their heart’s content. A Victorian seaside resort, there’s plenty of do when the sun hides its face with amusements, play areas and walking paths for every member of the family to enjoy.
5: Dollymount Strand
Long a favourite for Dubliners looking to stretch their legs, Dollymount Strand is close to the city centre in the suburb of Clontarf. Set in the beautiful location of Bull Island, when you cross the Wooden Bridge from Clontarf, you have full access to the almost 3 miles of sandy pleasure that is Dollymount Strand. In the 19th century, passengers for Dublin would be unloaded here and their journey would continue on horse-drawn carriages into the city. In the modern day, you can drive your horse-powered automobile onto the strand and unload your bucket and spade, ready for your day at the beach.
6: Sandycove Beach
Close to the famous Martello Tower where James Joyce wrote some of his infamous novel Ulysses, Sandycove is exactly that, a sandy cove. Hugely popular for families for young kids, the beach has plenty of shallow water to splash around in and plentiful beautiful views of the ocean. Alongside the beach is the celebrated Forty Foot, a Victorian bathing spot where salt-hardened Dublin denizens jump in and swim the whole year round, no matter the temperature of the water.