Take the plunge!
Sea swimming is one of my favourite pastimes. Health advocates swear by the mental and physical benefits of sea swimming and I will admit the endorphin experience is surreal.
You feel incredibly invigorated after a cold dip in the Irish sea and what’s not to love about the openness of the ocean and taking in the beauty of the Irish coastline.
Take advantage of the seas that surround Ireland by adding these sea swimming spots to your bucket list.
DUNMORE EAST, CO WATERFORD
The quaint fishing village of Dunmore East is the dream for sea swimmers. There are quite a few bathing spots to choose from, including ladies’ and men’s coves, and not only can you swim but you can snorkel too.
The most popular are Councillor’s Strand, a south-facing beach between lofty red sandstone cliffs, and Lawlor’s Beach, right in the village.
Within the village of Dunmore East are several beautiful secluded coves of Stony Cove, Ladies’ Cove, Men’s Cove and Badgers Cove.
BELMULLET TIDAL POOL, CO MAYO
Have you ever taken the plunge in a tidal pool in Ireland? I haven’t — in fact, I didn’t know Ireland had many. It seems they’re quite rare and Belmullet Tidal Pool is now on my list of ‘things to do’ in 2022.
It’s located on Shore Road, in the waters of Blacksod Bay, a short walk from the town centre. The pool is about 20m long with shallow and deep ends, both with ladders.
This is perfect for newbies and those who may be a bit nervous of swimming in the sea. This is a more controlled environment, but still leaves you experiencing mother nature at its finest. And for the youngsters, it has a toddler’s section — ideal.
ANNAGH BAY, ACHILL ISLAND, CO MAYO
A safe haven for sea swimmers is the picturesque Annagh Bay. It has to be one of the most beautiful sea swimming spots in Ireland or even just a stunning area to sit, breathe and relax by the water.
Its white sand and turquoise waters give it an exotic vibe — the Irl-dives anyone? — all we’re missing is the heat, sunshine and cocktails.
To note though, this is somewhat secluded and isn’t the easiest to locate. In fact, you have to hike over the hill from Lough Acorrymore which will take you an hour and half, maybe two.
But it’s perfect for an outdoor enthusiast who wants a hike and a dip.
THE FORTY FOOT, SANDYCOVE, CO DUBLIN
Named one of the best spots in the world to swim by the New York Times, The Forty Foot is probably the most popular swimming spot in Dublin.
Located near Dún Laoghaire in South Dublin, it’s perfect for the adrenaline swim enthusiasts who can plunge from the rocks into the water to their hearts’ content.
Of course, the Forty Foot was once a male-only swimming spot, but is now open to everyone to enjoy — even Dryrobe wearers.
LOUGH OULER, LARAGH, CO WICKLOW
A secluded swim in the wild is Lough Ouler, a corrie lake at the base of Tonelagee Mountain and also known as Ireland’s heart-shaped lake.
To swim here, you have to trek first for around an hour which is perfect for those looking to make a day out of it.
It’s not particularly well know or used as a swim spot because of its location, so perfect if you’re looking for somewhere off the beaten track.
A few words of advice when taking to the open waters, if you’re new to sea swimming don’t swim alone and even if you’re an experienced swimmer, it’s always safer to have a swim buddy just in case you experience any difficulty.