Tag Archives: Beach

Best Beaches in Dublin?

With the weather finally starting to look like summer has arrived, David, takes a look at some of the beaches in Dublin and the surrounding areas. 

Dollymount Beach, Bull Island


Located just 6km from the City Centre, Dollymount Beach, is located on Bull Island and is well known to many Dubliners.  The beach is very popular for joggers and walkers, some accompanied by their dogs. The wildlife reserve status of the island means that dogs must be kept under control by their owners.

Wind permitting, the beach is used for kitesurfing and there is a vibrant community of kite surfers that frequent the beach almost all year round.

How to get there?
Take the No. 130 bus out to Castle Avenue and walk across the wooden bridge. Travel time: 45 mins.

Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire


Sandycove beach is a tiny, sandy beach which is very popular with young families, as it offers shallow water to paddle, perfect sand to play, lovely rocks to climb on and gorgeous views to admire. Nearby, you can find the famous Forty Foot, the traditional Irish bathing place, where – if you are brave and tough enough – you can have a dip all year round. The great advantage of the Forty Foot is its depth, so you can always jump in even at low tide. It’s a great place to swim, with its clean, deep waters.

How to get there? 
Take the Dart, heading towards Greystones, and get off at Sandycove & Glasthule Dart Station, from there it’s a 10 minute walk to the Forty Foot, and another 5 minutes from there to Sandycove beach. Travel time: 45 mins.

Sandymount Strand, Sandymount


Depending on the tides, visitors will either have very little beach to walk on, or far too much. Stretching for approximately 1 kilometre along the Strand Road, Sandymount Strand is a popular walking place and provides outstanding views from Poolbeg to Dun Laoghaire.

A large, flat beach, Sandymount is not great for swimming as its gradual slopes make the water too shallow to swim near the shoreline, but it is perfect for long strolls away from the bustling city.

How to get there?
Take the No. 47 bus out from outside Trinity College to Seapoint Avenue and walk for about 5 minutes out to the coast. Travel time: 25 mins.

Balcarrick Beach, Donabate


Balcarrick beach is located in Donabate, approximately 22km from Dublin City Centre in Fingal, North County Dublin. It is a long sandy beach, 3.4 km’s in length, consisting of a large sandy dune area, which has formed over the last 25-30 years. It is a popular swimming beach, known for it’s sandy dunes. Public toilets and a lifeguard station incorporating a First Aid Station are provided at the beach.

How to get there? 
The beach is about a 20-minute walk from Donabate Village which is served by the train station located in the centre of the town and connects it to Dublin City Centre. There are a number of pedestrian accesses to the beach. Travel time: 70 mins.

Velvet Strand, Portmarnock


Cited by many as the best beach in Dublin, Portmarnock Beach, known locally as the ‘Velvet Strand’, is a wide strand of beautifully, clean sandy beach located in Portmarnock, North County Dublin. Running 8km long, Velvet Strand stretches all the way to Baldoyle and adjoins Malahide Beach. It has a lovely view of the Dublin Mountains and Howth Harbour. If you have a sunny afternoon free, this beach is definitely worth the trip.

How to get there?
Take the Dart, heading towards Howth, and get off at Sutton Cross Dart Station, from there you can take the No. 102 Bus (heading to the airport) to Portmarnock Village and the beach is a 20 minute walk from there. Travel Time: 60 mins.

Seapoint Beach, Dun Laoghaire 


Seapoint beach, close to the city centre, consists mainly of large rocks and sand. It is located near Dun Laoghaire in South County Dublin. The beach is flat and shallow and the area is suitable for swimming at high tide. Beside the beach is the Seapoint Martello Tower, this was part of a network of 28 sites that were built to defend Dublin from Napoleonic invasion in the early nineteenth century and is a protected structure.

How to get there?
Take the Dart, heading towards Bray, and get off at Seapoint Dart Station, from there it is a 5 minute walk to the beach front.  Travel time: 25 mins.

Brittas Bay, County Wicklow


Brittas Bay is one of the finest beaches on the east coast of Ireland. Located south of Dublin, in county Wicklow, Brittas Bay has a 5km stretch of beautiful white sand dunes and clean beaches.

This beach has won a European Union Blue Flag for five consecutive years. With no headlands to interfere with the peaceful rhythm, it is ideal for bathing, sailing and walking. Brittas has a 3.2km stretch of powdery sand and sand dune system which is a designated area of significant interest.

How to get there? 
Take the train from Tara Street Station to Wicklow Town Station. From there, you can either walk, bus or even get a taxi to the beach. Travel time: 2 hours.

David  is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.


Blowing into Dublin

Ariane has come to Trinity from Aberdeen for an exchange semester, she is originally from Germany. 

Dublin is windy. I learned this when I was bouncing at 20,000-15,000 feet for a little over an hour (yes, in a plane). As soon as we landed, everybody took out their mobile phones and immediately called their loved ones. I called my dad. “I have landed.” I told him, “I proudly announce that I have just started my exchange semester in Dublin!”


Trinity’s architecture conjured up figures like Queen Elizabeth the first and Harry Potter in my mind. It sounded like a new adventure. While I couldn’t realise my childhood dream of feeling like Hermione when studying in the library (I thought the Long Room was a study area!), I could do a lot more things than I would ever have dreamed about.

My second encounter with the wind happened on the day I had to hand my essay in to the politics department, which is in the lucky position of being situated between Starbucks and Costa. I proudly printed off my essay (with the credit I had just successfully added online, thanks to the Datapac help desk in the library) and started my trip to my lecturer’s office, when it suddenly started to rain. In a nutshell: I had to print off my essay again (it got wet, it fell in a puddle and eventually, I had to let it go with the wind). From that day on, an umbrella got a special place in my handbag, just next to my extra jumper and leap card.

Getting a leap card is like getting Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, except the stunningly beautiful Irish landscape beats every chocolate river and candy flower. Where I’m from, it takes me ten hours to reach the sea. Here, I could reach the seaside within a few minutes.


One thing that took me a few minutes to understand was the Irish accent. Oh, you didn’t ask me if I could take the garbage outside, but you said it is gorgeous that the sun does shine? Grant! Oh, you didn’t want a carrot cake but a carrier bag? These misunderstandings are the stories you will tell your grandchildren one day. One thing you learn when you live abroad is to laugh about yourself.

Here is the thing about going on an exchange semester – we may be a little selfish in our motivations. “Exchange Semester at Trinity College” definitely makes every employer have his eyes on sticks. Your friends’  plan to visit you before you even set foot on Irish ground suddenly makes you the coolest person alive. You’re the number one conversation topic at your grandmother’s tea time table. “Oh she is going to Iceland, isn’t she?” (not really, but close). Still, that doesn’t stop your pride from putting a huge smile on your face.

world plave

The truth is – going abroad is the least selfish thing you can do and could be the most honourable decision you have ever taken. Let me warn you – you will not be the same when you come back. You will sit at the dinner table telling your younger brother that it is okay to eat close to midnight and ignore the 6-sharp-German-dinner time, because after all, that is what people in Spain do. You will tell your sister that you know someone in Hong Kong who could help her with her Chinese homework. You will urge your mother to take her own bags to go shopping and please not buy the cheapest peanut butter because it contains palm oil which is the main reason for the extinction of the rain forest. You’ll tell your dad that it is fine, you can change the light bulb on your own and yes, you can fix your bike as well!

My semester abroad will not stop once this term ends. All the memories, the friendships and the experiences I made will last for a lifetime. Yes, it has had its up and downs, but I was warned at the very beginning – Dublin is windy. And if it hadn’t been for the wind, I would never have been so appreciative to land safely on Irish ground!

Easter in Dublin

This weekend not only marks the end of lectures for Trinity students, but also the long Easter weekend. With a bank holiday Friday and Monday, there’s time to take a trip. However, if you choose to stay in Dublin there are still lots of things to do…

Dublin’s Beaches

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.

dartIn 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.

Howth Head 


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.

Forty Foot

forty foot

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.


Escapando no final de semana em Dublin / Dublin weekend escape


Howth Head

For English post, scroll down!

Para um dia pouco usual num final de semana em Dublin saia cedo da cama e passe em um dos muitos pubs ou cafés simpáticos, perto de sua casa ou no centro, tanto faz, e peça um dos mais tradicionais pratos irlandeses: o “Full Irish Breakfast”. Esta especiaria da culinária irlandesa vai te abastecer com ovos, bacon, “black and white pudding”, torradas de pão caseiro, as tradicionais salsichas irlandesas, tomates fritos, e um delicioso (há controvérsias) feijão vermelho doce. Uma vez bem abastecido (e provavelmente morrendo de culpa pelas duas milhões de calorias ingeridas às 09h00 da manhã), embarque no DART – o trem suburbano de Dublin – e siga em direção a um dos lugares mais bonitos de Dublin: a península de Howth, ou “Howth Head”, como é conhecida por aqui.

Howth é um simpático vilarejo suburbano de Dublin que, segundo contam as pessoas de lá, foi originalmente um entreposto viking e, por muito tempo, uma pacata vila de pescadores. Hoje se apresenta como um grande e movimentado subúrbio de classe média, incluindo uma bela marina para os apaixonados por barcos a vela. Lá também fica o “Howth Castle”, um dos poucos castelos irlandeses que ainda são habitados por famílias descendentes da antiga nobreza inglesa (existe um outro castelo habitado, também muito interessante, na cidade de Birr, no condado de Offaly, lar de uma antiga família de cientistas que, entre outras coisas, construiu no século XVIII o maior telescópio do mundo na época, o “Leviatã de Parsonstown”, e inventou a turbina a vapor – mas isso é assunto para outro post).

Voltando à nossa península, Howth é também um dos melhores lugares de Dublin para um passeio de dia inteiro e, provavelmente, na minha humilde opinião, o melhor lugar dentro da cidade para a prática de Hiking (você não achou que aquelas calorias do café da manhã seriam de graça né?). O projeto Howth Pathways (howthpathways.com) demarcou quatro belas trilhas pela península, com vários níveis de dificuldade, variando entre 6 e 10km (entre 2h e 3h30 de duração). Todas as trilhas começam do lado oeste da península, após uma simpática caminhada pela bela orla da marina de barcos. Uma vez nas trilhas, você vai encontrar muita natureza, belas escarpas, vida selvagem (sobretudo pássaros costeiros) e também diversas construções interessantes, como o farol automático de Baily, antiga proteção aos navios do porto de Dublin. Se o dia estiver limpo e o tempo permitir, você também conseguirá belas vistas da cidade de Dublin, sobretudo da região do porto e central.

Após o hiking, se ainda estiver com pique sobrando, vá até o “National Transport Museum of Ireland” (www.nationaltransportmuseum.org – entrada €3), que fica a uns 600m da estação de Howth (ponto final das trilhas do Howth Pathways) e aproveite para dar uma olhada no “Howth Castle”, que fica ali do lado (o castelo normalmente não é aberto à visitação, somente em dias comemorativos. Você pode se cadastrar no site deles – www.howthcastle.ie  – para ser avisado sobre estas datas). De qualquer forma, indo ou não até o museu e castelo, termine seu dia em um dos pubs ou restaurantes perto da estação de Howth, para um (uns?) merecido pint de cerveja e um belo almoço no meio de tarde, antes de voltar de trem para casa.


Estudantes brasileiros da TCD/Ciência Sem Fronteiras em Howth| Brazilian Science Without Borders’ Trinity Students in Howth

For a non-usual weekend day in Dublin, get up early in the morning and go to one of the lovely pubs or coffee shops near your house or in the city centre, doesn’t mater, and order the traditional Full Irish Breakfast. This speciality of the Irish cuisine will fill you up with eggs, bacon, black and white pudding, bread toasts, the traditional Irish pork sausages, fried tomatoes and delicious (controversially) sweet red beans. Once satisfied (and probably dying of guilt about the 2 million calories ingested at 9am), get on the DART – Dublin’s suburban train – and go to the one of the most beautiful places in Dublin: the Howth peninsula, or Howth Head.

Howth is a small suburban village that, accordingly to the local people, was originally a Viking trade post and, for a long time, a quiet fishermen’s village. Today, the place is a large and active middle-class suburban neighbourhood, with a beautiful harbour for  sail boat lovers. Howth is also the home of  Howth Castle, one of the last castles in Ireland that is still inhabited by the descendants of the old English nobility (there is another famous inhabited castle in the city of Birr, in  Offaly county, that is the home of a family of scientists that built, amongst other things, the largest telescope of the world in the eighteenth century, the “Leviathan of Parsonstown”, and the first modern steam turbine – but this is a subject for another blog’s post).

Going back to our peninsula, Howth is one of the best places in Dublin for day-trips and, probably, in my humble opinion, the best place in the city for hiking practice (you really thought that the breakfast calories were in vain?). The “Howth Pathways” project (howthpathways.com) established four beautiful walking trails in the peninsula, with several difficulty levels, ranging between 6 and 10km (about two to two and half hours of walking). All the trails begin on the west side of the peninsula and can be reached after a pleasant walk through the main street, on the harbour coast line. Once in the trails, you’ll find Howth’s beautiful nature, with incredible cliffs, wild animals (birds mostly), beautiful scenery and also several historic buildings, like the Baily Lighthouse, an old safety lighthouse to the Dublin’s port ships. If the weather permits, you will be able to get a beautiful view of the Dublin city, mainly of the port and city centre region.

After the hiking, if you still have some energy left, go to the “National Transport Museum of Ireland” (www.nationaltransportmuseum.org – €3 entrance), that is located 600 meters far from the Howth DART Station (the final destination of the Howth Pathways’ trails). Take a look at the Howth Castle also, who is a neighbour of the museum (the castle is not usually open to visitation, but you can sign up in the castle’s website for a newsletter about special opening dates –   www.howthcastle.ie). Either way, going or not to the museum and castle, finish your day trip in one of the pubs or restaurants near the Howth station for one (just one?) well deserved pint of beer and a delicious late afternoon lunch, before getting back home.

Max Brunner is a Brazilian undergraduate student studying in Trinity as part of the Science Without Borders program.