Ireland (Republic of Ireland)

Languages: English, Irish

Currencies: EUR · Euro (€)

Capitol: Dublin

Continents: Europe

Borders: United Kingdom

More useful information

Area: 70,273km2

Population: 4,994,724

Traffic/driving side: left

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +353

Timezones: UTC

Last updated on January 4, 2024

Ice baths were one of the most popular traditions in the past times, especially in northern countries. The popularity of winter swimming has increased rapidly in the last few years and has even become a new sports discipline. Here are few best outdoor swimming spots in Dublin for great adventure in cold waters of the Irish Sea.

Cold water health benefits.

Apart from the fact that winter/ice swimming is a great outdoor adventure, it is a low time-consuming activity, easily accesible, relatively cheap and can be very beneficial physically and mentally. If you are in good general health a short-term whole-body cold exposure can bring significant benefits. Studies have suggested that ice swimming has a wide variety of health benefits including changes in hematological and endocrine function like amelioration of mood disorders and general well-being, boosting your immune system, cooling you down, relaxation and many more. Starting from wide beaches through rocky coastal spots – find out about the best swimming spots in Dublin!

Best outdoor swimming spots in Dublin.

1. Portmarnock.

I have to place Portmarnock on the top of the list – it’s my favourite and one of the most spectacular outdoor swimming spots in Dublin. It’s located in the north side of Dublin near famous Malahide town. During low tide it unveils kilometres of sandy wilderness. If you hit the beach early in the morning you might even see people riding horses in the waves. There is a free, convenient parking place next to Portmarnock Hotel. Check the location here. The place gets really busy at night time with swimming enthusiasts, which offers convenient access to beautiful Irish Sea. 

Driving along the coastal road from Portmarnock Beach toward Malahide town, you will find number of swimming spots with people gathering on the rocky shore. 

If you are in the area you can’t miss to visit magnificent 11th century Malahide Castle and Gardens.

This full-day tour takes you along the scenic Irish coast, world famous Howth – old port and fisherman village, where you can optionally take an unforgettable cliff walk (don’t forget to try famous fish & chips in Howth!)

2. The Forty Foot.

Forty Foot is probably best known outdoor swimming spot in Dublin. The whole infrastructure allows you to step into the water in a safe and enjoyable way, with handrails and stairs leading to cold Irish Sea waters. The place is very well organized with a great diving platform. There will be surely lots of outdoor swimming enthusiasts.

3. Skerries beach swim.

Skerries is a small port town located a little outside of Dublin north direction. It’s a great place for a day trip where you can take a long beach walk and eat one of the best ice-creams in a port coffee spot! There is a spacious car parking, changing facilities and convenient swimming spot located near the harbour. Beautiful seaside restaurants will spoil you with amazing sea food and local specialities (must try crabs!). Kayaking is also very popular in the area. Don’t miss to visit Skerries Mills, a unique heritage dating back to 15th century.

4. Sandymount Strand.

Sandymount Strand is a beautiful beach located near Pembroke in Dublin city. It’s a great place for a beach walk but unfortunately in latest years there have been many alerts about the water quality and swimming is no longer advised in this area. Secondly the water is too shallow for a proper swim. 

5. Burrow Beach.

Located in Sutton, on the way to Howth peninsula. It is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Dublin, ideal for a swim under the eye of lifeguards.

6. Dollymount Strand and Bull Island.

Probably one of my favourite spots  in Dublin coast and never too crowded. There are two ways to get to the Bull Island and one is through the Wooden Bridge with many parking spaces. Walking toward the beach you’ll find – Ladies bathing shelter and Men’s bathing shelter. The beach is extremely popular for windsurfing and kitesurfing activities.

7. Howth Cliffs.

Howth: Binn Éadair in Irish, coming from the word headland. It’s a small fishing village and a great spot for a day cliff walk and swimming adventure. Make sure you find a safe spot to access the water, as it is not allowed to jump from the cliffs. I spotted dolphins and seals many times during my Howth cliff walks. You can choose between short and long cliff walk loop. Check also: Howth Coastal half-day Bus Tour from Dublin with live Guide.

Check for best seaview places to stay in Dublin.

Is it safe to swim in outdoor spots in Dublin?

This is a very wise question! You should always be very careful when approaching, here’s some advise before reaching  swimming spots in Dublin:

  • Check the tide – it is very likely the tide might change within a few hours – it’s very visible in many outdoor swimming spots in Dublin.
  • Water quality alerts: sometimes swimming may be temporarily banned due to water tank overflows that may couse harm to swimmers or increased levels of bacteria in seawater, etc.
  • Check local news! At the end of 2020 Sandymount strand was caked in algae sludge, making the beach unwalkable and the bay unswimmable.
  • Try to take a companion for a swim, it is always advised to be accompanied by another person for safety reasons. Remember the Irish Sea is refreshing but very cold, which may cause different reactions in your body like: crampons, breathing speed up, etc. 
Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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