A Guide to the Best Places for Sea Swimming in Ireland

A Guide to the Best Places for Sea Swimming in Ireland

To celebrate World Ocean Day, we’re diving into some of the best spots around Ireland to go for a sea swim.

Sea Swimming has become even more popular in recent times and, with so many benefits, it comes as no surprise. 

Many swimmers report feeling truly present in the moment (thanks to the freezing cold water!) It’s difficult to think of anything other than your own body and it can result in an almost meditative experience.

A good sea swim can also be great for your skin, muscles and more, so grab your togs and dryrobe and get ready. We’re going in! 

Here are some of the best spots around Ireland. 

Stony Cove, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

The beautiful seaside village of Dunmore East is known for its stunning beaches. Although it attracts locals and tourists alike during the summer months, it’s a fantastic spot for sea swimming all year round. 

One area of note is Stony Cove. This beautiful, secluded cove offers some shelter from the elements and ideal conditions for swimming. 

The Forty Foot, Sandycove, Co. Dublin

Possibly one of the better-known locations for a sea swim in Ireland, The Forty Foot sits on the southern tip of Dublin Bay. 

Famously, it was previously a men-only swimming spot, but The Forty Foot now welcomes everyone to enjoy its waters. 

Swimmers can take advantage of the Forty Foot’s depth, making it possible to swim even at low tide. 

Aughrus Bay, Connemara, Co. Galway

Nestled in the scenic region of Connemara, Aughrus Bay offers a more quiet and peaceful swim, taking a step away from areas with larger crowds. 

The beach allows a more gentle entry into the water, whether you       are new to sea swimming or simply want to take a more relaxed approach.

Kerin’s Hole, Co. Clare

Kerin’s Hole is a truly beloved spot for locals, who share endless summer and childhood memories at the popular swim location.

When the strong Atlantic water wore down the safe access point for swimming, local residents raised enough money to have it rebuilt. 

That alone tells you how special this spot is!

Carrick-An-Rede, Co. Antrim

Up North now for our next stop and Carrick-An-Rede is a truly unique swimming experience. 

While you enjoy the water during the one-kilometre swim across to Carrick-a-rede Island, you may be accompanied by the sound of nervous laughter as people cross the famous rope bridge overhead. 

While you enjoy ticking some of these spots off your sea swim bucket list, it’s important to keep some safety practices in mind. WaterSafety.ie has some good advice:

  1. Be aware of rip currents: When waves break strongly in some locations and weakly in others, this can cause rip currents: narrow, fast-moving belts of water travelling offshore. These can be dangerous for swimmers.
  2. Know the area: Check real-time information about the water temperature and tides before you get in the water. Be aware of local currents.
  3. Swim between the red and yellow flags: Red and yellow mean it's safe to swim. 
  4. Don’t go alone: Swim with a companion or group. 
  5. Emergencies: If you see someone in distress, call 112 and ask for the coast guard.

Head here for more information on sea swimming safety.