When you think of Dublin, bustling city streets and large urban parks are more likely to come to mind than beaches. However Dubliners have easy access to Ireland’s east coast, with beaches for relaxing, water sports and rambling. The city’s privileged position in Dublin Bay surround it with beaches without exposing the capital to the weather of many seaside towns, so it is no wonder many are surprised when they find how close Dublin’s centre is to the coast.
In order to get to the beaches, most people use the city’s DART (a rail service which runs along the coast, coming in-land to the city centre). The line runs across the back of Trinity’s campus, with a stop just beyond the university’s Sports Centre, so many students will pop to the beach for an afternoon when the weather is nice.
Each beach has its own personality, from sandy stretches to amazing cliff top views; some are secluded, whilst others have a bustling tourist trade. Over the years I’ve loved exploring Dublin’s coast and here are some of my favourite beaches (all on the DART line).
Probably the best place to go if the weather is nice and you just want to lounge on the sand. On the edge of Blackrock (one of Dublin’s picturesque seaside suburbs), there are plenty of shops and cafes you can pop to when you’re feeling peckish. Because it’s so close to Dublin’s centre (only 15 minutes on the DART) I love to trade the library for Seapoint when the weather is nice.
There are loads of beaches surrounding this peninsular on the edge of Dublin (which was a separate island before it was linked to the mainland). From incredible cliffs to secluded beaches, there’s plenty to do here (including visiting Baily Lighthouse and trying out the Howth Head cycle loop) so I would recommend going for the day.
Arguably not a beach, people have been swimming in and around this spot for over 250 years (although I only managed 10 minutes in the water before escaping for a warm cup of tea!) At the southernmost tip of Dublin Bay, Forty Foot’s iconic steps guide fearless swimmers into the Irish Sea for a dip.